Dairy farmers are looking towards the future by embracing technological innovations that complement traditional on-farm best practices.


It used to take about 10 minutes to milk one cow by hand. Milking machines were first used in the 1870s, and after much refinement they eventually became commonplace on Canadian dairy farms in the 1950s.

Some modern milking machines are computerized and can keep track of how frequently cows are milked and how much they produce.


Robotic milking systems allow cows to be milked on their own schedule. The robots can operate with little human intervention and will even send out alerts to get the farmer’s attention on their smartphones.


New developments in farm technology have given cows more independence. Automated backscratchers let them decide when they'd like to be groomed, and smart bands and collars can monitor and record their health just like smartwatches do for people.

Robotic milking systems can analyze milk as it is collected. Milk flagged as problematic is redirected to a waste container at the source, so it does not contaminate milk in the bulk tank.

Automation on the farm

Today's modern dairy farms incorporate a variety of automated technologies that make everything from grooming cows to sweeping the barn a more efficient, streamlined process that’s beneficial to cows and farmers.


When a cow feels it's time to be milked, she can simply walk up to the robotic milking system, which senses her presence and automatically connects the inflations (cups) to her teats for milking. The robot takes care of the rest.

Automated backscratcher

Studies have shown cows enjoy grooming themselves with these automated backscratchers for an average of seven minutes a day. 


Robotic feed pushers help ensure dairy cows have fresh feed available to enjoy whenever they’re hungry. Some models will remix the food as well to keep it visually appealing and reduce waste.

Read more about how dairy farmers maintain quality standards

Environmental sustainability

Protecting the environment can help reduce waste and costs while keeping farmland viable for future generations.

Learn about sustainability

Regulatory procedures

Dairy farmers work with government organizations and industry partners to help maintain Ontario’s high milk standards.

Explore regulatory procedures

Animal care

Happy, healthy cows are more productive cows – and caring for them is an important responsibility.

Learn about animal care