Date of Award

12-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

First Advisor

Allen Young

Second Advisor

Lee Rickords

Abstract

Dairy robotics, i.e., Automatic Milking Systems (AMS), is a relatively new field, one that has great promise to optimize efficiency, production, and animal welfare of dairy cattle. However, despite quantitative research findings that indicate AMS success, dairy farmers still face challenges integrating AMS into their production systems. During the fall of 2018, interviews were conducted with northern Utah dairy farmers regarding their robotic systems. The respondent data was analyzed to reveal repeated problems with the robots. This analysis was then used to direct research in order to propose solutions to the farmers' AMS challenges. Conclusions were then summarized in an Extension publication designed to help USU Extension agents understand issues and opportunities with AMS technology from a user perspective and, thus, effectively assist farmers with AMS challenges.

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