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A Dutch company will soon introduce the world’s first floating dairy farm

Cows will soon be walking on water in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Yes, you read that correctly.

Dutch company Beladon, led by husband and wife team Minke and Peter van Wingerden, are bringing the world’s first floating dairy farm to the waters in the city of Rotterdam.

The farm will be a multilevel, high-tech facility that will keep 40 cows and produce 800 litres of milk per day, a volume typical of small dairy farms found in the Netherlands.

The idea was conceived after the couple witnessed the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012 while on a business trip.

Fresh produce was impossible to come by in the weeks following the storm due to food delivery trucks being unable to reach their destinations. The Van Wingerden’s believed that there must be a better way to produce food closer to “the heart of communities”.

Construction of world's first floating dairy farm.

Construction begins. (Beladon)

The self-sufficient floating farm will also do more than just house and milk cows.

“Although it’s strange and not very logical perhaps for some people, we think that on the water there is still space for growth and also space to look at new opportunities for technology,” van Wingerden told Business Insider.

The three-tiered facility will certainly boast some of this new technology. The cows, situated on the second level, will be milked by robots (cool, no?), and the bottom level will house machinery for processing and packaging. And the top? Beladon will grow its own clover and grass for the cows to eat.

The cows will also be fed using various waste products from the city like grains and by-products left over from mills and factories, and their manure will be sold as fertiliser. They are determined to recycle as much as possible.

Artist's impression of floating dairy farm.

An artist’s depiction of what the farm will look like once completed. (Beladon)

Not everyone will be on board with an idea that takes animals from their natural habitat, but even the most diehard of animal activists can’t dismiss that this is a far better alternative to factory-farming-butcher-houses. In fact, it even looks a little like a cow-cation.

Other concerns have been raised about the noise that will be made by the cows, but there is only so much Beladon can do about that.

“Some people are afraid what’s going on, but on the other hand there are also [those] who cannot wait until the first cows come in,” Van Wingerden says.

“They are very much looking forward to see a cow here in the harbour.”

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Een volgende stap op weg naar de eerste drijvende boerderij! Vandaag zijn wij begonnen met het dak🏗✅ #floatingfarm #rotterdam #workinprogress #makeithappen #stepbystep #urbanfarming #m4h #doneereenkoe

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Going forward, Beladon is looking at building floating chicken farms and floating vertical farming greenhouses. They hope to expand into Singapore and China as a natural extension of rooftop farms and other similar concepts that are already in place.

You can keep up with the progress of the floating farm by following Beladon on Instagram.

Lead image: Beladon

Via Business Insider

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