Lely, the world leader in robotic milking systems, has announced it has entered into a marketing agreement with Fitzgerald, a leading milking equipment company headquartered in Elkader, Iowa. As part of the agreement, Fitzgerald, will have exclusive rights to sell and service Lely robotic milking equipment in Northeast Iowa.

"Many areas of Iowa are a key dairy farming markets for Lely, and we're extremely excited to be partnering with Fitzgerald to bring our state-of-the-art Astronaut A3 Next robotic milking systems to dairy producers in this region," said Peter Langebeeke, president of Lely USA "Fitzgerald is dedicated to providing dairy producers with high quality innovations and first class customer service. These qualities make Fitzgerald Inc. a perfect fit for our Lely Center Dealer network."

As a Lely Center Dealer, Fitzgerald will sell the Astronaut A3 Next robotic milking system, as well as handle installation, maintenance and service calls with Lely-certified technicians.

Mike Fitzgerald, owner of Fitzgerald, said, "We believe Iowa is an ideal market for robotic milking. The Lely company gives us great confidence in experience, quality, and technology and we are excited to be a part of a dairymen's dream of cows milking themselves!"

The Astronaut A3 Next is the most recent automatic milking innovation from Lely, entering the market just three years after the Lely Astronaut, which to today's date has remained one of the most advanced milking systems in the marketplace.

"At Lely, we are continually striving to improve our state-of-the-art technology to improve dairy producers' financial and social wellbeing," said Lely USA's president, Peter Langebeeke. "We are proud that the Astronaut A3 Next does both. The A3 Next consumes significantly less energy and water than competitive brands. The use of first-class materials, combined with a limited number of moving parts, ensures a long lifetime and a significantly higher trade-in value. By paying attention to energy costs, Lely is also introducing an outstandingly sustainable product."

Since first introducing the Astronaut robotic milking system 17 years ago, Lely has installed more than 9,000 Astronaut robotic milking units worldwide and secured its position as the world leader in robotic milking systems.

"Each day, over 1.2 million milkings are done by Lely robotic milking systems," Langebeeke said. "That's important for a number of reasons, but the most important in our mind, is that on each operation where those automatic milkings are taking place, a dairy producer has the freedom to focus on other aspects of his/her farming operation, to spend time with family, to rest with the knowledge their cows are in good hands. We're proud to partner with Fitzgerald to offer more producers the freedom they've earned."

More information about the Astronaut A3 Next robotic milking system is available at www.lely.com or by calling 1-866-LELYUSA.