Who was Norman John Daysh?
I didn’t know until I read this – Kiwi innovator an inspiration to all farmers:
New Zealand farmers are saluting Norman John Daysh today – the godfather of the modern milking machine.
Mr Daysh is globally acknowledged for inventing a mechanism that effectively liberated dairy farmers from their milking stools.
His ingenuity is being celebrated at an anniversary event today at Hamilton to mark the commercial launch, 100 years ago.
Federated Farmers’ Dairy Industry Chair Chris Lewis says all kiwi farmers should feel a sense of pride and be inspired by Mr Daysh’s feat, which was the first notable disruption in the modern farming era.
“Cockies throughout the land should afford a smile today remembering Mr Daysh. He was truly ahead of his time-a true kiwi innovator. Apparently he started making milking machines from 18 years-old and was selling them to neighbouring families.
“His legacy has become part of farmer folklore. He had great compassion for his animals, and legend has it, he was the first milk machine designer to consider the effect on cows.
“The milkers back in the day would have appreciated him too, as the earliest milking machines were cumbersome, unreliable and actually painful to use.
“Mr Daysh had the foresight to go overseas to America to refine his prototype and gain globally acknowledged patents, this in itself was quite an undertaking for a humble kiwi farmer in 1913,” says Chris.
The DeLaval Milker was launched in 1917. A testament to its success and innovation was the fact none of the original 100 machines were returned.
You can listen to Kim HIll interview the inventor’s grandson, John Daysh here.
The milking machine didn’t just liberate farmers from their milking stools it enabled them to milk more cows which has provided massive economic, nutritional and social benefits to New Zealand and many other countries.
Recent conversion to dairying and intensification of farming has come at an environmental cost but the same ingenuity which led Daysh to develop his milking machines is being applied by scientists and farmers to repair the damage and ensure that dairy’s future environmental footprint is much smaller.