Technology and the future of Canadian dairy farming

Article 3 min

Think dairy farming is stuck in the past? Take a look at how technology is shaping the role of dairy farmers and the future of Canadian dairy farming.

By DFC - PLC, Communications Team


  • Canadian dairy farmers are using technology to upgrade their farms.
  • Technology is taking care of tasks that previous generations did by hand.
  • Data is being used to optimize animal health, care, and dairy production.
  • Technology is a tool, not a replacement for dairy farmers—human touch is still important.

The image of the old weathered farmer, toiling away in fields and stalls, enduring unpredictable hardships, is just that—it’s old. In reality, today’s Canadian dairy farmers have evolved their farms and barns from those of their parents and previous generations. Find out how the introduction of smart technology on the farm is shaping the future of Canadian dairy farming.

New tools of the trade

Dairy farming has been one of the cornerstones of agriculture in Canada ever since early settlers arrived from Europe centuries ago. And we’ve come a long way from the humble times of milking stools and pails. Modern dairy farming requires modern tools. Nicolas, a 3rd generation dairy farmer, studied industrial electronics, and puts that knowledge to good use every day. Along with Nicolas, many dairy farmers have upgraded their farms with high-tech tools: milking robots, feed-pushing robots, GPS-enabled tractors, text alerts to notify farmers about calving cows, and more.


Nicolas, a Canadian dairy farmer
“I use my [Industrial Electronics] Diploma every day, but I never imagined it would be this useful,” explains Nicolas, a Canadian dairy farmer.

Work smarter, not harder

With technology assisting in some manual tasks, and aiding in the collection of data, the role of dairy farmers is changing. Through technology Canadian dairy farmers are finding ways to improve the health of their cows and milk production, by taking the data inputs and optimizing every little detail. Data is being used to detect illness early on, allowing farmers to intervene sooner and provide the necessary care for their cows more quickly than was possible before, therefore improving their quality of life. Ana-Maria, a dairy farmer from Québec, sees the benefits of data. Her small herd is able to produce the same number of litres of milk that would be expected of a larger herd. And this is good news for not just the farmers, but for the environment. Having smaller herds and efficient milk production processes means a smaller carbon footprint.


Technology with a human touch

While technology is contributing to advancing the dairy industry, what will continue to stay core to Canadian dairy farming are the values of passion and compassion. It’s the reason why dairy farmers invest in technology that focuses on the health, comfort, and well-being of the herd. Technology is not only allowing farmers to optimize milk production, it also improves the well-being of the cows. By adopting technology like motion-activated cow brushes, cow health trackers, and cow pedometers, Canadian dairy farmers are making it clear that future of dairy farming includes providing the highest level of animal care.  


Technology should be seen as an important tool, and not a replacement for dairy farmers. New technology and the data captured will ensure that the next generation of dairy farmers will have the knowledge and tools to continue to produce the highest quality milk for all Canadians.

What’s next?

Animal care: We are cow people

From providing shelter and nutritious food to around-the-clock care, tending to dairy cows is a labour of love.

Learn more
The environment: Our legacy for future generations

Canadian dairy farms are typically family-owned and passed down from generation to generation.

Learn more
It matters to us that our cows are always in a good moo-d

The welfare of our cows means a lot to us. They are our prized possessions and the reason we get to do what we love to do, which is providing Canadians with the first-rate milk they deserve.

Learn more