Postma Dairy – Modesto, CA

Postma Dairy, Modesto, CA. Picture of Jon Postma in front of cow barn.

Enhancing Comfort and Productivity at Postma Dairy

Located in Modesto, California, Postma Dairy is a prime example of innovation in dairy farming. With a legacy that spans over five decades, the Postma family, led by Jon and Jack Postma, have progressively adapted their farm to meet the evolving demands of the industry. This commitment to progress is underscored by their recent integration of robotic milking systems and Agromatic's RELAX stalls, which have significantly enhanced cow comfort and overall farm productivity.

Postma Dairy stands as a testament to the universal principle that prioritizing cow comfort leads directly to increased productivity and improved health within dairy herds. Featuring a solitary palm tree that emblematically highlights its location in California, the farm showcases the adaptability of Agromatic's innovations to various agricultural environments across America, transcending regional boundaries.

Palm tree on a dairy farm in Modesto, California.
Photo: Nick Sarbacker of | Photo edit: vPaulTech LLC

Legacy and Innovation at Postma Dairy

Real California Milk, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Pete Postma & Sons Dairies signs.
Photo: Nick Sarbacker of | Photo edit: vPaulTech LLC

The origins of Postma Dairy can be traced back to the 1940s when ancestors of Norwegian and Portuguese descent immigrated to the United States, seeking a peaceful existence away from the turmoil of World War II. They established their new life in Modesto, laying the foundation for what would grow into a flourishing dairy business.

Today, under the stewardship of Jon Postma, a passionate third-generation dairy farmer, and his brother Jack, Postma Dairy stands as a beacon of modern dairy operations, seamlessly merging traditional values with contemporary technological advancements. Jon, who staunchly believes that cow welfare should be at the forefront of the dairy business, brings a profound commitment to the health and sustainability of dairy cows in California’s San Joaquin Valley. This dedication is deeply rooted in the family’s traditional values, enabling a forward-thinking yet mindful approach to dairy farming that continues to thrive.

With these stalls, maintenance and repairs have drastically reduced compared to traditional metal freestall loops. They’re just easier to manage and the cows definitely prefer them.

Jon Postma about Agromatic's RELAX flexible freestalls
Cow sleeping in flexible freestall in California dairy barn.
Photo: Nick Sarbacker of | Photo edit: vPaulTech LLC

The Role of Agromatic RELAX Stalls


In recent developments, Postma Dairy expanded its herd from 480 to 700 cows by incorporating Agromatic’s RELAX stalls into their barn configurations. These stalls are designed with a focus on cow comfort, offering a more natural and restful environment for the cattle. Jon Postma remarks, "The cows love to lay in them, and we've seen a huge increase in laying time, which is vital for their health and milk production."

Marc Sanders of TDR, Inc. in Turlock, California 95380. Design and Implementation

With the specific needs of their facility in mind, Postma Dairy strategically chose RELAX stalls to ensure optimum comfort for resting cows. Complementing these are basket fans, ideally suited for the low ceilings of their barns. Positioned every 20 feet, these fans effectively enhance air circulation, keeping the cows cool during periods of high temperature. This thoughtful combination of RELAX stalls and basket fans demonstrates the farm’s commitment to maintaining a comfortable and productive environment for their cattle.

Postma Dairy worked closely with Marc Sanders of TDR, Inc. for the implementation of the Lely dairy robots and RELAX flexible freestalls. Marc has over 40 years of experience helping dairy farmers in Stanislaus County, California and it's surrounding areas.

TDR Inc, (Turlock Dairy and Refrigeration, Inc.) is an Agromatic dealer out of Turlock, California 95381.

Click here to visit the TDR, Inc. website.

Impact on Productivity and Cow Health

The shift to RELAX stalls has brought about a marked improvement in cow comfort at Postma Dairy, correlating directly with increased milk production and better overall herd health. Jon Postma highlights the benefits, noting, "With these stalls, maintenance and repairs have drastically reduced compared to traditional metal freestall loops. They’re just easier to manage and the cows definitely prefer them."

When showing us the implementation of the RELAX Stalls on the outside row of the cow barn, Jon noted, "Even in the summertime, when it's hot, they'll still come and lay here. This row is always full. It's always full of cows. They like 'em!"

I think these things are a lot easier to maintain. It boils down to cow comfort.

Jon Postma about Agromatic's RELAX flexible freestalls

Technological Advancements in Dairy Farming

Lely robotic milkers at a a California dairy farm.

A significant component of the farm's modernization includes the adoption of robotic milking machines from Lely. Since their initial robotic milking barn was established in 2017, the Postma family has observed significant gains in efficiency and a decrease in the physical strain on their workforce. Jon reflects on the adoption of robotic technology, saying, "Robots have changed the game for us," indicating the shift towards more automated, flexible, and less labor-intensive milking processes.

Click here to read about the Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milking systems on Lely's website.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, Postma Dairy plans to construct additional robotic barns fully outfitted with RELAX stalls. This expansion is driven by the positive impacts observed—enhanced cow comfort, reduced labor costs, and increased milk yield. Jon Postma is focused on sustainability, asserting, "Our goal is to ensure that our operations are sustainable for future generations while continuing to improve the welfare of our cows."

Community and Industry Impact

The innovative practices at Postma Dairy serve as a model for both Western and Midwestern dairy farms, showcasing the advantages of adopting flexible freestall systems and advanced milking technologies. The farm’s dedication to community, animal welfare, and sustainability resonates within the industry, inspiring other farms to consider adopting similar advancements.

Looking Forward: Postma Dairy at the Forefront of Agricultural Progress

The collaboration between Postma Dairy and Agromatic serves as a standout example of how traditional farming can embrace modern technology to achieve significant advancements. The installation of RELAX stalls has established new benchmarks in cow comfort and efficiency, proving that strategic innovations can lead to substantial benefits in the dairy industry. As Postma Dairy continues to grow and refine its practices, it remains at the forefront of agricultural progress. This enduring commitment not only secures a brighter future for the Postma family but also inspires a new generation of farmers to pursue sustainability and innovation, cultivating hope for a more prosperous and responsible agricultural landscape.

Cow relaxing in a flexible freestall at a California dairy.
Photo: Nick Sarbacker of | Photo edit: vPaulTech LLC

The cows love to lay in them, and we've seen a huge increase in laying time, which is vital for their health and milk production.

Jon Postma about Agromatic's RELAX flexible freestalls

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Kurt Loehr: Agromatic Sales Representative for California

Jon Postma with Kurt Loehr, Agromatic sales representative for California.

Kurt Loehr is an experienced Cow Comfort Consultant. In his role at Agromatic, Kurt applies his firsthand experience with cow comfort solutions for the benefit of other dairymen, aiming to enhance dairy profitability through improved cow welfare. Additionally, he services Postma Dairy and California, bringing his deep passion for dairy farming to the forefront of his sales and consultancy work.


If you've enjoyed this article, click here to see our full online portfolio of cow comfort projects.

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