This June Dairy Month featured farm can seem a little futuristic — after all, the Jones family has robots. But the Joneses are not quite the Jetsons and those robots are all for the cows. (Don’t miss checking out this YouTube video of the farm, or the Jones family shortcake recipe at the end!)
Jones Robotic Dairy is a family-owned and operated dairy farm founded in 1942. Sammy and Pamela Jones have been married for 35 years, and work together on the farm every day. Sammy and Pam’s four children who help with the operation are the fourth generation of Jones dairy farmers. The very first Jones Dairy cow milked via robotics on February 28, 2003. At that time they were the first robotic milking system in Indiana and only the tenth in the nation. The robotic milking system allows cows to choose when they would like to be milked, any hour of the day or night, without any human assistance.
The day-to-day operation of the farm is taken care of by three full time employees: Sammy, Pam, and their oldest son, Josh. Sammy and Pam’s other three children and their spouses help when they can along with Pam’s Mom. With their small workforce they are able to farm 550 acres which includes corn, soybeans, alfalfa, rye, and wheat. Most of the corn and soybeans are fed back to their animals. All of the cattle born on the farm are raised there as well, totaling around 140 milk cows and 160 other heifers and bulls from newborn calves to breeding age. The Jones family also sells breeding bulls to other dairy farms.
Agritourism keeps the Joneses busy with an average of 400–600 visitors per year. The Jones Family wants people to know that their main goals are to care for their animals, their soil and their water. They are very passionate about their jobs. Also, it is often forgotten that farmers are consumers too, just like everyone and want the same quality of products on their grocers’ shelves. Sammy and Pam are both members of the Pulaski County Farm Bureau Board, Pam is currently serving as County Woman’s Leader on that Board, Pam is also serving on the County Extension Board.