Azienda Agricola Artioli Walter – Iotti Mirella e Figli società agricola
Founded in the mid-1950s by his grandfather and uncle, the Artioli farm is run, with passion and dedication, by the third generation of farmers, Alex and Manuela, guided by the expert eye of their dad Walter. Today, the farm has 120 Friesian dairy cows, 50 of which are lactating, to produce milk for Parmigiano Reggiano. Moreover, the farm contains 40 hectares of land, with permanent grassland employed to feed the animals.
“This job requires a lot of commitment,” says Alex, “but it is certainly repaid by the satisfaction of carrying on my family’s business: it would have been a huge disappointment to close it down after so many years in the business and waste the sacrifices of our grandparents. Today we do everything ourselves and try to do the best we can.”
In recent years, many improvements have been brought in terms of animal welfare: a new barn, in which the space for each animal has been increased, fans for aeration, new stalls for calves, which are wider and more comfortable. Just as many are the plans for the future: first and foremost, the creation of a space where cows can be kept free during pregnancy, the so-called dry phase.
“The particularity of our barn is in the arrangement of the cows, placed rear to rear, in order to make the milking phase more efficient. We are also among the few farmers who still feed the animals with fresh grass: this is not only good for the animal but leads to improved milk quality and quantity.”
“What does this job teach me? It is an all-encompassing experience that allows you to learn so much in so many different areas, firstly learning how to solve daily problems. I’m not cut out for for a monotonous and repetitive job. This job is varied, challenging and gives you the opportunity to organize your time and resources. And of course, the daily satisfaction of seeing the animals I raise grow and be well is the greatest stimulus to always do better.”