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A new Buckeye dairy is riding the state's trend toward mega-milking operations.
"We're vertically integrated," said Nick Vanderwey, 31, referring to the dairy's onsite capacity to provide food and medical treatment for its herd. "Part of the reason we're on the west side is you need a land base to support that."
The Grand View Dairy, owned by the Vanderweys, will begin operations with 400 cows in January, bringing in about 300 cows per month and building up over time to a milking herd of 2,700.
The Buckeye dairy will be the biggest operation yet for the Vanderweys, who previously owned a dairy farm in Phoenix, where they milked 800 cows. The average size of an Arizona dairy herd is about 1,100.
"Larger dairies is definitely the trend," Nick Vanderwey said. "It's [because of the] advancements in technology and the size of the capital investments it takes."
The Grand View Dairy milking barn features the latest available devices in the industry, which allow for a computer system to check on the health and production of the herd.