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Around our Town: PrairieLand Dairy Day!

This past weekend we were (finally! After 3 years!) able to participate in Prairieland Dairy's Dairy Day. We all had a blast and it was definitely worth the drive.
The last couple of years it's been rainy and with very small children, it's just not worth it if someone is near-meltdown. Myself included. Ahem.
Prairieland Dairy is a local diary farm that is owned/run by 9 families who have joined together to make a great local company flourish. Their dairy products are ones that I buy because it's local, there are no artificial hormones, and it's a competitive price. I love their cream for our home-made ice cream.

While we were on the farm, we got to take a tour of the entire farm, see the cows and what they eat, ride a tractor (Lukka's favorite), pet the farm animals, eat a free lunch, and see how they are milked. The day events run from 10AM-4 but goodness GO EARLY. When we were on our bus shuttle back to our parking area at around 12, there were no less than 300 people in line waiting to get on the bus to go out there. I can't imagine most of those people were able to get the free lunch, free ice cream, and free white/chocolate milk. We ate right when the outdoor cafeteria opened, at 11, and we had done the tour and seen other things before then.

Here is a Hostein, which is a high production cow. I believe each cow gives about 9 gallons a day, and they are all milked (all 1500!) 3 times a day. Yes, they are standing in their poop, but the neat thing about Prairieland is that they aren't wasting that...waste. They drain it out a couple times a day with high-powered water spray that cleans it completely and then they use the manure from the cows to mix with different soils to create their own premium compost! Very cool. They also grow most of the feed for the cows right on their own farm, the rest comes from near neighbors.

A couple ducks that Ankka just loved to pet, the Prairie Day even had a free petting zoo with goats, geese, a pony, dogs, barn kittens, a cow, and an exhibit on bees. My kids could have stayed here for easily a half hour.
The only thing we didn't get to see, unfortunately, was their huge kids tent. We had only planned to go out until about noon, since we had a long drive home for nap times, but next year we'll try to see that, too. Since the kids didn't even know about it, they didn't mind, but there was face painting, corn boxes, and tons of fun games to play.
If you're local, this is such a fun family outing. It's a similar experience to a local carnival or county fair, only with free food (pork sandwiches, chips, carrots, milk), and free ice cream. Mark your calendars for next year's event and GO EARLY!

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