By Tom Collins
KENNILWORTH — A 17-year-old dairy farmer’s daughter has come up with an idea on how to reduce disease in the barn, nabbing a $750 gift card in the process.
Charlene Elliott, whose father Kevin milks 80 Brown Swiss and 10 Holsteins at Keviott Acres in Kennilworth, about 40 minutes west of Orangeville, designed a freestall dairy barn scraper, called the Lugano 100, for a national 4-H science competition. The scraper won first place.
The Grade 11 student, who plans to be a cow and horse veterinarian when she graduates college, explained that in a freestall barn, a traditional scraper cleans the alleyways, but not the bedding. It’s time consuming to wash and put down fresh bedding, she said.
So she dreamed up the Lugano, which would be attached below the stall dividers and work on a pulley system to scrape the bedding from each stall into the alley. It would then be easier to wash and re-bed, and saves the farmer time that could be spent doing other things.
The scraper, which has not been built and never been tested, would allow farmers the time to clean the stalls more often, which would decrease bacteria and improve somatic cell count, she said.
“It would be cool to try it out some day,” said Elliott.