MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A fifth generation Minnesota dairy farm is now a national model for sustainable farming.

Marshik’s Dairy Farm in Pierz, Minn., is award-winning for its energy efficiency. WCCO-TV’s Edward Moody checked out how it’s also taking dairy into the future.

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The dairy farm features a guided flow system for cows with three different areas. There’s a bedding area where the cows go to relax, ruminate and produce milk. There’s a feed lane where they all eat and maintain a healthy diet. After eating they go through sorting gates, where they are guided into areas to be milked.

If they’ve recently been milked or don’t need to be milked, they go to the bedding area to relax.

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“For the most part, it really does help in keeping the cows moving through the system,” said Owner Claire Marshik. “It gives them the exercise, it gives them the ability when they’re hungry to go eat. It gives them the ability to produce more milk and then go through the robot more often. Overall it’s a healthier cow.”

Marshik said when milk leaves the farm, it takes about two days for it to get into a store for sale.

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The Marshik’s said Grants paid for about a quarter of the cost if the windmill, and half that is the solar panels. They say that made the switch much more feasible.