The Netherlands' Futuristic Floating Dairy Farm Is The World's First

The farm will hold about 40 cows and produce over 200 gallons of milk a day.

The world's first-ever floating dairy farm is expected to open sometime this fall, thanks to an entrepreneurial Dutch company.

The multilevel facility, which is expected to produce milk and yogurt, is located in Rotterdam, a port city about 50 miles away from Amsterdam. Built on a floating concrete platform near the mouth of the New Meuse River, the farm is about 89-by-89 feet. As seen in the artist renderings and photos above and below, it consists of three levels, each with a distinct purpose.

According to NBC, about 40 cows will be moved to second level of the farm in November. The level above them will house greenhouses that grow grass and crops needed to keep the cows fed. Meanwhile, the bottom level will hold any necessary machinery and packaging for the milk and yogurt. By December, the farm is expected to be producing over 200 gallons of milk per day.

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The farm is the brainchild of Minke van Wingerden, a partner in the property development company behind the project, Benedon. As Business Insider reports, she and her husband, Peter van Wingerden, came up with the idea after getting caught in the throes of Hurricane Sandy during a business trip to New York City in 2012. With the storm blocking food delivery trucks from getting on the road, residents were unable to find fresh produce in stores.

The event pushed van Wingerden and her colleagues at Beladon to seek a way to produce food closer to residents' locations in order to potentially avoid further disruption of supplies in the future. The company eventually came up with the idea of floating farms, which would utilize otherwise unused space in the water while still shortening the distance between grocery stores and farms from which they get their products.

"In addition to providing a valuable floating platform that can function as an alternative for the scarce availability of land both within our country and outside of it, Floating Farm produces and retails day-fresh food that runs through a closed cycle and ends up at the consumer," the farm's website reads. "This causes almost no waste streams, reduces the length of the logistics chain and enables the consumer to become familiar with healthy, day-fresh products."

Minke van Wingerden/Beladon
Minke van Wingerden/Beladon

Since the floating farms can be adapted for specific climates and be made hurricane resistant, there's also potential to create more of them in port cities around the world. Van Wingerden told Business Insider that Beladon is already looking to open similar farms in Singapore and China.

The company also hopes to extend its vision beyond dairy production and is working on designs for floating chicken farms and floating vertical farming greenhouses.

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