Finding a dairy in Northeast Nebraska is like looking for a taxi in New York City. It’s not hard. However, finding one like Demerath Farms is much more unique.
Demerath Farms is a family-owned operation in Antelope County located between Brunswick and Plainview, and for years, they have worked dairy cows using the traditional methods of every dairy farmer. However, when it came time for an update, Bill Demerath and his family decided it was time to make some major changes.
“We needed a new freestyle barn. So we were just looking into freestyle barns and updating old facilities,” Demerath said. “We knew the robots were out there, and we wanted it designed right for robots to eventually go in there. Through the last five years of research, we just ended up going ‘Let’s just put the robots in.’”
Those updates gave Demerath Farms the unique distinction of being the only fully robotic dairy in the State of Nebraska. They showed off their new upgrades on Saturday when they hosted an open house for several thousand people.
“I tell people to come see for themselves and they’ll find out it’s not little robots chasing cows around,” Demerath joked.
Visitors were given tours of the facilities and a meal was provided for everyone by Tiger Tavern of Osmond. Demerath noted that it was an exciting day for he and his family, a day that was a long time coming.
“Getting all the permits was fun,” he joked. “From day one of construction, we started in April of 2016. Our first day of milking was this February 21. So it took roughly just under a year to get everything up and going.”
Before the robotics came along, the Demeraths spent much of their day just milking cows, making it difficult to get much else done around the far. However, now they are able to track everything from computer monitors thanks to what Demerath describes as “Fitbit”-style trackers on each cow. The trackers communicate with the milking robots and the computer program to give a variety of readouts on each animal.
Those programs simplify the process for the family and frees them up to do all their other tasks around the farm.
“We still have our chores,” Demerath explained. “We come in morning and night and catch our fetch cows, the ones that don’t come to the robots. It gives us flexibility. We can do that anytime now. We aren’t set on a certain schedule like we were in our old barn. If something comes up, we can go do something and come back and finish what we were doing.”
Another added bonus is the increased production. Besides more output, it allows the Demeraths more time to focus on the cows to keep them healthier and take better care of them.
With the designation of becoming the first of its kind in Nebraska has come lots of intrigue. Demerath said they have had people from all over come in and ask his family for guidance in starting their own robotic dairies.
“They come in interested,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people talking about putting these in. There’s one breaking now and another guy talking about it. We’re starting to see if we can’t get this thing rolling down here and get the dairy industry up and going around Nebraska.”
One person was transported to the hospital after a one-vehicle rollover on Friday afternoon in northeastern Antelope County.
According to Antelope County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Dan Hallock, the accident occurred at 12:10 p.m. near the intersection of 865th Rd and 533rd Ave.
Caitlin Barney, 23 of Plainview, was driving a 2000 Chevy Blazer turning onto 533 when she lost control and entered the east ditch and rolled over. Hallock said Barney received minor injuries and was transported to CHI Health Plainview Hospital by family members.
Barney was wearing a seatbelt. Airbags did not deploy, according to Hallock.
A new face will be making an appearance at St. Ignatius Parish in Brunswick after the Archdiocese of Omaha announced this year's clergy assignments.
Father Jeremy Hans will take over as pastor of St. Ludger Parish in Creighton and St. Ignatius Parish in Brunswick. Hans is currently serving as associate pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha.
Father Jeffrey Lorig, the current pastor of St. Ludger Parish and St. Ignatius Parish, will take over Director of Pastoral Services at the Archdiocese of Omaha. He will reside at St. Cecilia Cathedral rectory in Omaha.
The clergy assignments will go into effect July 1st.
Firefighters responded to a grassfire along the Pierce-Neligh Road early Easter Sunday evening.
The fire was located in a pasture just north of the Pierce-Neligh Road near the intersection of 535 Avenue and 854 Road. Nearly a dozen firefighters from the Plainview Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire, which was reported at about 5:30 p.m.
Wet conditions and terrain helped keep the fire contained until firefighters arrived and extinguished the blaze quickly.
The Plainview Fire and Rescue Department responded to the call.
From news partner News Channel Nebraska.
A Brunswick man will be able to appeal his prison sentence after being found guilty of assaulting an officer and other charges.
Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke granted 43-year old Aaron White’s request for an appeal earlier this month.
White was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison in January of 2014, after his convictions of felony assault on an officer and criminal mischief in Antelope County.
White was arrested in 2012 by authorities after going on a rampage with a tractor, ramming buildings and vehicles and eventually crashing into a Nebraska State Patrol trooper’s car.
White’s appeal claims that his sentence was too lengthy and that he had ineffective counsel.
District judges James Kube and Mark Johnson have recused themselves from the case, and Judge Steinke was appointed to handle it last fall.
White’s evidentiary hearing will be held in Platte County District Court in Columbus on July 11th.
Everyone is invited to the Brunswick auditorium this weekend for a delicious breakfast.
The Brunswick Public Library will host a sausage and biscuit breakfast on Sunday. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and breakfast will be served until 1 p.m.
Besides sausage and biscuits, there will also be eggs, fruit cups and various muffins and bread as well.
The Antelope County News has learned of a Facebook page and website that is not authentic and creating confusion as to the authenticity of the real Antelope County News.
The Antelope County News is a registered trade name with the State of Nebraska and owned by Pitzer Digital LLC. Any other organization and/or person claiming to be the Antelope County News, in person or online, is not the authentic Antelope County News (ACN).
The ACN is asking all of its readers to be aware of this attempt to direct users to both a Facebook page and website that is not the authentic Antelope County News. Please note the authentic ACN Facebook page is www.Facebook/AntelopeCountyNews (beside the name is an official Facebook verified checkmark). If you are on a Facebook page with dashes in the name or one with the phone number that is NOT 402-887-4000, you are NOT on the authentic Antelope County News Facebook page.
The authentic ACN website is www.MyAntelopeCountyNews.com. Please note the use of "my" in the name, along with news content on the website from the ACN. If you are on a website that appears blank or lists another name on the tab near the domain, then you are not on the authentic Antelope County News website.
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Please take a moment to check the pages you like or follow on Facebook to make sure it is www.Facebook/AntelopeCountyNews and not a page simply calling itself the Antelope County News with a different phone number.
The Antelope County News does not take responsibility for these other pages or websites; however, Pitzer Digital LLC is exploring remedies to this issue.
Again, the Antelope County News is a registered trade name owned by Pitzer Digital, LLC.
Earlier this week on Tuesday the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) awarded Brunswick $25,000.
From the 2016 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) open cycle funding in the Planning Category has been offered to Brunswick, Ewing, Fairbury and Thurston.
Brunswick will use the $25,500 to complete a comprehensive plan, zoning regulations, blight and substandard study, general redevelopment plan and infrastructure mapping utilizing GIS. The plan will provide Brunswick with a “vision” for future development and identify goals and policies articulated through public input processes.
Applications for the open cycle, will be accepted until the CDBG Planning Category funds are either depleted, or the first cycle of the next program year commences, whichever comes first.
Up to $30,000 is available for communities and as much as $50,000 is available for multi-communities, counties, or regional applicants.
Planning activities considered for funding include community strategic planning, such as environmental assessments, citizen participation, downtown revitalization and fiscal management. Analyses of impediments and barriers to fair housing choices and neighborhood/comprehensive/strategic development plans may qualify.
Also considered are functional or special studies for housing, infrastructure, community economic development, land use/regulatory measure, main street improvement districts, downtown revitalization, energy conservation and transportation. In addition, environmental, heritage tourism and historic preservation studies may qualify.
Four different fire departments were called to a fire last night that kept them there until 4 a.m. and caused nearly $1 million in damage.
A call came in for a structure fire one mile west and two miles north of Highway 14/20 intersection at about 10:45 p.m., according to Brunswick Fire Chief Ed Wahrer. He said the structure was nearly fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
"We just had to contain it," explained Wahrer.
He said the 70 x 100 building, owned by Dean Smith, contained a semi-truck, a pickup and three tractors. All are considered a total loss and the price of the damage amounts to $900,000, according to Wahrer.
"A passerby saw it on the highway," Wahrer said. "And then they alerted him (Smith), and he called it in."
The fire marshal was present, but the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, Wahrer said.
There was assistance from the Brunswick, Royal, Orchard and Creighton Fire Departments.
By Natalie Bruzon
In 1916, Brunswick’s small local bank was granted its original Charter from the State of Nebraska.
Now, 100 years later, the bank and its customers gathered together to celebrate a century of excellence and growth.
“We did a pulled pork BBQ on Thursday night for the hundredth year celebration,” said Chris Twibell, the bank’s president. “We served over 220 people, roughly. We had some people from Plainview, some from Orchard, and really quite a few from surrounding communities.”
The meal was free for all attendees, and part of it was catered by Rhonda’s Bar in Brunswick.
“The meal was free to our customers,” said Twibell. “We sent out direct mailing to our Brunswick customers and did some email invitations as well.”
Chris Twibell, originally from Orchard, took on the role of president for Brunswick State Bank when new ownership took over in October of 2007.
In the nine years he has been a part of the bank, Twibell has seen growth, from $35 million in assets when he started out, to over $98 million.
The bank also emerged in the digital world with their mobile banking app, which launched in the spring.
“We’ve had online banking for a while,” explained Twibell, “but we launched our own mobile app that also has the ability to do remote deposit.”
Brunswick State Bank is not afraid of moving with the times, however, their focus is on providing quality services for the community.
“At the moment, we’re not trying to grow a lot,” said Twibell. “We’ve kidn of reached our peak as far as what we can handle, as far as staffing wise and capital restraints. We are focused on trying to maintain and keep services in the local community.”
Before the current ownership took the bank, it was purchased from the Jerry and Mary Lou Lueders family. Mary Lou’s parents, Dean and Yvonne Hales, were the prior owners and Leonard & Mary Hales owned it prior to Dean and Yvonne.
Currently, the bank has two locations, Brunswick and Winnetoon.
“We expanded and remodeled the Brunswick location in 2010,” Twibell said. “The Winnetoon location was purchased in 1984. It was a Credit Cooperative at that time run by Gary Vesely. Gary Vesely still manages the Winnetoon location as Exec. V.P. and has over 32 years of service with BSB.”
Brunswick State Bank offers ag/commercial lines, farm and commercial real estate lending and all types of consumer lending as well. We have a full range of deposit options along with debit cards, online banking and earlier this year we launched mobile banking with our own phone app that includes remote deposit capabilities.
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