Wagner Dairy, a historic farm in Meeker County, has been operational since 1887. Currently owned and operated by Leonard and LeeAnn Wagner, their son Justin, and his fiancée Carissa, this family-run farm has grown to include eight employees. The farm specializes in milking 900 dairy cows and cultivating 550 acres of corn and alfalfa.

A typical day at Wagner Dairy resembles a bustling beehive. The farm is constantly alive with the birth of calves, feeding and milking of animals, and meticulous maintenance of equipment. The crops are planted, harvested, and stored to ensure a steady food supply for the herd throughout the year. Essential equipment includes Bobcat skid loaders, John Deere tractors, Supreme TMR mixers, and an array of electrical motors and devices, including a robotic feed pusher.

Electricity is the backbone of Wagner Dairy’s operations. The farm would come to a standstill without it, but thanks to the reliable service from Meeker Cooperative, they have never faced such a crisis. Milking, cooling the milk, and ventilating the barns are significant electrical draws. Ventilation, in particular, is critical as it maintains a fresh air environment that keeps the cows healthy and comfortable. Automated systems control air intakes and fan speeds to ensure a consistent and pleasant atmosphere for the animals. Recently, the farm upgraded to a three-phase line to enhance these systems further.

Power outages are rare issues at Wagner Dairy; however, they have two BlueStar generators that automatically activate during any disruptions to ensure continuous operation. These generators are particularly crucial during neighborhood outages, allowing the farm to function seamlessly and maintain proper ventilation for the cows.

Energy efficiency is a priority at Wagner Dairy. The farm has implemented several measures to reduce consumption, such as three-phase fan motors, automatic controls, a plate cooler using well water to cool milk, and a free-heater that utilizes heat from milk chillers to pre-warm water before it reaches the water heaters. The farm also participates in Meeker Cooperative’s interruptible generator program, which offers reduced power costs and allows the farm to go off-grid during high regional power demands. Additionally, LED lighting across the farm and variable-speed drive motors on the well pumps further contribute

to the energy savings.

The Wagner family has been members of Meeker Cooperative since 1935 when the Cooperative was organized. Over the years, they have benefited from various programs, including the Gen-Set program and LED light conversion rebates. They also take advantage of off-peak rates for two of their houses.

These initiatives have translated into significant financial benefits for the farm, reducing power bills and overall energy usage. The improved LED lighting offers better performance in cold weather and provides a higher quality of light, which both the cows and employees appreciate. The robotic feed pusher enhances efficiency by ensuring fresh feed is available to the cows hourly, saving valuable time.

“When we first considered the Gen-Set program, Meeker Cooperative provided detailed usage spreadsheets and helped develop a timeline for recouping the generator investment,” shared Justin. “Their guidance was instrumental in our decision to proceed.”

Looking ahead, Wagner Dairy plans to explore additional automation and innovative cooling methods for its milk. Their top priorities remain profitability, herd health, and cow comfort.

Staying informed through trade shows, conversations with other dairy farmers, and online research helps Wagner Dairy continually seek new ideas to enhance its operations. Meeker Cooperative has been a vital partner in this journey, offering valuable data and insights to support decision-making and improve the farm’s bottom line.

Wagner Dairy appreciates the Cooperative’s exceptional service and support. As Justin put it, “The best companies are those you forget about during smooth operations but are grateful for during challenges. Meeker Cooperative has consistently been that reliable partner, ensuring our farm’s continuous success. On behalf of the cows and the farm, we thank them.”

Skip to content