Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dairy Dream Day

When Melissa and I are together it's
usually something else!

Did you know Nebraska has 230 dairy farms in the state, making it the 5th largest agribusiness?

That’s not a very big number so that usually means that dairy is kind of overlooked, especially because we are the Cornhusker state and a beef connoisseur (which I love of course!). That was not the case this past Saturday, Melissa Keyes and myself attended one of the biggest event ag promotion events in the state; Prairieland Dairy Day. And what a great day it was.

Prairieland is located about 20 minutes south of Lincoln, and has been a leader for sustainability and new dairy practices for some time now. The dairy itself is owned by 4 different families who decided to coop together. They have grown their farm to about 1,500 cows and have started marketing their own dairy products locally and have found success! You can find 2%, 1%, skim, and chocolate milk in stores across of most Lincoln and Eastern Nebraska. They also have season milk flavors including strawberry, cotton candy, and root beer for the summer months! But that is not the only cool thing that they are doing. They recycle almost everything; the sand for bedding, the lagoon water is treated so that it can be used again, and they also make compost from the manure solid and sell it to whoever wants it. Now if that isn’t innovation I don’t know what is!
So it’s not only great that this dairy is doing all those thing for the industry and the environment but they also completely open themselves up to the public for visits, they want to be completely transparent for consumers! So every year in June they have Prairieland Dairy Day, a day people can bring their families and just enjoy a day out at the farm. The really awesome thing about it is that it’s completely free! The food, milk, ice cream and activities are all free, that is so awesome! This is the 9th year that they have hosted the event, each year better than the last! They were expected to have 6,000 people attend this year but I think they were a little under that number, but not much! This year’s activities included:
People enjoying their free lunch farmer style (dirt and straw included)
The straw castle which was a hit!
The Nebraska Dairy Princess's were even present to
take pictures with kids and cows!
Annabelle is one tricky bovine to milk, but an extra set of hands never hurt!
The corn pit was a huge success, corn was flying EVERYWHERE!
The petting zoo was popular. Kids and parents were able to pet
a calf and milking cow.
The Prairieland Gold (compost) tent. I don't know
if people realized what they were playing with but
they didn't seem to care. You could even take a
bag homewith you!
Just a few of the people that were visting Dairy Day 2012!

Prairieland is a leader in Nebraska Dairy industry for sure and are a great model for a successful business! Midwest Dairy has done a great job though with really promoting Nebraska Dairy’s. There were 2 other farms; Temme Dairy near Wayne and Wolfden Dairy near Kearney that both had open houses in the month of June! And to wrap up Dairy Month there will be a huge event at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo this Saturday called Moo at the Zoo. I’ll be attending so sure enough there will be a blog to follow!

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