Online Farm Experience
We know you’re interested in seeing where milk comes from, but not everyone can visit a dairy farm in person. Now, you can take this 10-stop video tour to experience how milk from real cows, on a real Midwest farm, becomes the fresh, naturally nutrient-rich dairy foods you love.
Areas of the Farm
Dairy farm families are dedicated and passionate about producing safe, wholesome, high quality milk for their families and yours. You can feel assured every glass of milk is produced with care and provides you with the nutrition you need as part of a healthy diet.
Animal nutritionists work with the farmer to determine the right recipe for their cows’ feed. A dairy cow’s diet is a combination of corn (or small grains), hay, silage (fermented forage), vitamins and minerals. Cows will eat 90 pounds of feed and drink 35-40 gallons of fresh water each day.
Cows need a vacation too. Cows give milk for nine months and then rest for three while preparing to give birth.
Dairy farmers are the ultimate recyclers. Recycled water is used to wash the parlor and barn. The water, sand and manure are separated and used again. The sand is reused for bedding, and the manure and water to fertilize and irrigate their crops.
- Dairy Breeds
There are seven dairy breeds. Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn and Red and White Holstein.
Calves are given individual care so the farmer knows how much they eat and drink, and to ensure they are healthy and growing.
The cows live in open-sided “freestall” barns. They eat, drink, socialize, rest and sleep here in a comfortable, climate-controlled environment.
Milk is transported in insulated tankers to the processing plant. The milk will reach the dairy case in about 48 hours of leaving the farm. That’s fast, fresh and local!
Cows are milked 2 or 3 times per day and can give between 7 to 10 gallons of milk each day. It only takes 5 to 7 minutes for the cows to be milked. Then, it’s back to rest.
After the milk is collected from the cows, it’s quickly cooled to 45 degrees or below within two hours after milking. A sample from every tank of milk is taken and tested for antibiotics. It’s into the truck and off to the plant, where it is tested again.
Discussion Guides and Games
Visit the Dairy Resource Center for discussion guides and games.