Today’s consumers want to know more about where their food comes from, but in reality, fewer people live on or near farms. That’s why veterinarian Dr. Dawn Entzminger, who is also a dairy farmer from near Jamestown, North Dakota, has come up with a creative way to share her dairy farm experience with “city” kids and adults looking to learn more.
Dairy Day at Dr. Dawn’s Pet Stop in Jamestown is an annual summer event that has been taking place for the past eight years in June, National Dairy Month. Dr. Dawn’s Pet Stop is a one-stop-shop that provides veterinary care to cats, dogs and pocket pets and the surrounding areas. Dr. Dawn has worked in the Jamestown community since 1998 and started her own clinic in 2010. In addition to taking great care of the smaller animals at the Pet Stop, she shows her love for dairy by caring for the herds of several nearby dairy farms. She is well-known throughout North Dakota’s dairy community, and her event is a ‘must see!” according to those who have attended the event over the years.
More than 1,000 people attend the one-day event to learn more about dairy foods and farming and to have an Undeniably Dairy experience. “Not many people have the opportunity to visit a dairy farm, so we bring the farm to them as an opportunity to bridge the knowledge gap between life on the farm and life in the city,” says Dr. Dawn.
Dr. Dawn’s Dairy Day offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy dairy-related activities and games, interact with newborn baby calves, try out their skills at a cow milking station, and participate in a virtual farm tour. A variety of partners are involved with the event including the Jamestown Arts Center who provided a dairy-themed art project and the Stutsman County Book Mobile, who offered books and story-time session about agriculture.
Dr. Dawn and her family host this event to help clear up misconceptions about dairy farms and to allow people to feel good about the dairy products they consume. “This event is important to me because I’m passionate about the farm way of life and I’m proud of the products farmers provide us,” she says. “Each new generation is getting farther away from that experience and often are misinformed about the industry. This is my effort to change that.”
*Photos featured in this article were taken prior to March 2020 before mandatory mask/social distancing mandates were implemented.