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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Visit To Fair Oaks Dairy

I had such a treat on Tuesday to travel with Tink's second grade class and the third grade class to visit Fair Oaks Dairy.  It wasn't my first trip to Fair Oaks, but I love to watch the kids see it all for the first time!  One of Tink's classmates said this was her SEVENTH time to visit, and I think that is great.  The more often kids see how farmers work and produce their food, the better they will be able to trust farmers and what we do as they grow older.

For those of you who have not been to Fair Oaks, it is just off of I-65 at the 220 exit, north of Rensselaer.  That makes it 45 miles north of Lafayette, and about 25-20 miles north of us as the crow flies.  I hope you are able to visit this farm if you are in the area.  It is well worth your time, and don't forget to go to the ice cream and cheese shop!  That is a little piece of heaven on earth!

Here are some shots from the day:  (and Yes!  Bear was able to come along and enjoy the fun too!)

 The cow's tongue is one of Tall Guy's favorite parts of the cow to eat....SERIOUSLY!  I need to get out my pressure cooker and fix one to share on Miss Leah's Hunk of Meat Monday!  I haven't seen anyone post about that main ingredient! 

This is one of the huge mounds of silage used to make feed for the cows.

All the newbies out enjoying the Indiana sunshine.

A picture from the back of our tour bus in the free stall barn.  It was a warm day so the fans....

and the misters were going full force!

I believe this a 72 cow carousel.  They all put themselves on and take themselves off in a matter of 8 minutes and leave about 3-4 gallons of milk behind each time they visit.  They visit three times a day!

A pic of our lovely bus.

We were going to head over for lunch, but the bus driver told us if we hot-footed it to the delivery barn, we could see a calf being born.  So off we went.  

Here she goes.  The technician in the pen with the cow has two straps, each one tied to a front hoof, and you can kind of see the calf's nose peeking out.  When the cow contracted, the technician tugged while she pushed.  Not too much unlike our own birthing process when all goes well, ok minus the straps, but I do remember the doctor saying he was going to have to go get Tink if I didn't get her out ASAP.  We all need a little help in a pinch.

Almost there!

Ta da!  Momma cow and her new baby girl are doing just fine. 

The gang from Sacred Heart:

My crew getting ready for the 3D and 4D film about the dairy!  It has some surprising moments!  I might suggest a towel! ;-)

Ah the bouncing thingy.  Can you find Tink and Bear?  ....They are both on their rumps roasts!

YES! Now they are both up!

I came home with some yummy goodies from the cheese department.  The only bad news is that I forgot the garlic butter that everyone has been raving about.  The good news is I am pretty sure I will find myself back up there this summer!

Have a great day.  It was good to see planters and side-dressing rigs going up and down the road today.  We were cutting grass hay and mowing pastures.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow.  For an idea as to how other dairies do this, Click on over to Real FarmWives of America and Friends to see how two of our dairy families are working on alfalfa cutting to feed their hungry moos and help them to produce healthy milk products for us!

Also send all your friends, family, co-workers on over to our Real Farmwives of America and Friends to help choose a Gooseberry Patch cookbook for me to cook from.  It's very close between two books!


  1. Love love love Fair Oaks! they do an awesome job! I'm glad you and all the little ladies & boys had a good time!

    Thanks for sharing

  2. What a wonderful place for kids to visit, Lana. There's a similar dairy in Texas --where kids would go to on field trips... Such a great education... The kids seemed to have a wonderful time.

    Thanks for sharing. I would LOVE all of that cheese. YUM.

  3. Hmm, your cheese pile looks like mine after a pit stop to the Fair Oaks exit. Loved your pictures.

  4. Wow, those are some spoiled cows! I thought we were gettin' something when we put an old window a/c unit in the barn! Haha. I am glad that we have Jerseys, we rarely have to assist deliveries - sometimes we get up to milk in the morning and find a calf or two toddling around with the dry cows. One day I'll make it up to Fair Oaks. . .

  5. What a great tour on a gorgeous farm! The kids looked like they were totally enjoying themselves:)

  6. Fair Oaks is amazing! I miss it. Those cows are living in a cow mansion. So glad you all had such a good time.

  7. Awesome photos, Lana! Looks like a spectacular time had by all - except maybe the cow giving birth. We have several 'super dairies' around here and very few smaller family dairy operations anymore. But it always makes me happy to see a small herd of cows that actually still gets to go outside and wander a pasture and woodland.

  8. What a great field trip for the kids! Amazing that they were able to see the calf come into the world! I bet that will be a field trip they will remember forever! I wish we lived closer so we could visit that farm, it looked amazing. ( I think I may have used the word amazing a lot :)

  9. What a great field trip for the girls. I wish they would take city slicker kids there too......

  10. What a fantastic day Lana! Thanks for all of the photos. I can easily say I've never seen a calf being born. How neat for the kids to get to see that. And I am quite envious of your cheese collection as well! :)

  11. I have to tell you: I LOVE cow tongue, too! Especially the cold left-overs, with a little salt.
    Don't get it very often... grosses my family out. But, hey, more for me!

    I loved going to FOF with my daughter's class a couple of years ago.
    I enjoyed hearing the amazement of the adults even more than listening to the kids. Most of them didn't have the slightest idea of where milk comes from (but my daughter goes to a suburbanite school).

  12. What a great time! and I must say that I Love the photos of the fans and misters! It's the little things that we do to help keep our cows comfortable that people often don't see.
    My husband loved hearing about your 16 row planter! We could probably plant our entire crop in a day with one! :)



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