Research

Canadian Dairying

Canadian Dairying - Milking stool and pail Milking stool and pail rest from Quebec's Eastern Townships, built in the 1850s by a farmer for his wife, as it was she who milked the family's cow (010232); tin-plate milk pail (010248)

The technology of dairy farming in Canada has evolved over the past 200 years through three distinct and overlapping phases:

  1. domestic enterprise
  2. farm mechanization
  3. technological integration

Technological and scientific innovations from Europe and the United States were central to this transformation.  Some of these innovations were the cream separator, the Babcock test, the milking machine, and bulk handling of fluid milk. These innovations came to Canada in two ways. First, they were introduced by foreign manufacturers establishing distributorships in Canada. Second, Canadian manufacturers began adding them to their product lines.  Advertising in Canadian agricultural publications and at local agricultural fairs played a key role in introducing new technologies to Canadian dairy farmers. 

Today, Canadian dairy farming remains highly labour intensive. This has led to renewed interest in robotic milkers and other measures to further mechanize the sector and maintain profitability. 

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