National Dairy Month is upon us and as May flips over to June, with it comes free cheese, ice cream and tours of the tri-state area’s many dairy farms. Here are just a few to key your eyes on:
Dairy Fest set for June 1
South Dakota’s dairy festivities kick off with South Dakota State University’s Dairy Fest. June 1 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, South Dakota, SDSU will put on a kids carnival, several farm tours, and will serve free cheese and ice cream. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1. The kids’ carnival runs the entirety of the event.
The first tour available to guests is of SDSU’s very own Davis Dairy Plant which will run from 10-11 a.m. The Davis Dairy Plant makes its name teaching students about the dairy industry, as well as producing the famous SDSU ice cream.
The second tour will be at Crosswind Jerseys Farm. Located in Elkon, South Dakota, the tour will feature a free grilled cheese lunch along with tours of their modern-day dairy farm.
Buses for the Davis tour will run every 20 minutes from the Swiftel Center and buses for the Crosswind Jerseys tour will run every half hour starting at 11 a.m.
For more information visit: www.swiftelcenter.com/events/2019/dairyfest.
Dairy farm, cheese shop hold events June 8
On June 8, one prominent South Dakota dairy and a cheese processor will hold open house events. MoDak Dairy in Goodwin, South Dakota holds a dairy day every year and will feature a tour of their 2,000-cow dairy operation run by the Moes family.
A free grilled cheese lunch will be served. For the kids, baby calves will also be in attendance. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information visit: www.evensi.us/modak-dairy-open-house-46516-171st-st-goodwin-sd-57238-united-states/303620272.
Dimock Dairy, in Dimock, South Dakota, will also open its doors June 8. Dimock will feature live music by Mogen Hero’s. Open from noon to 6 p.m.
From noon until 3 p.m., the Knights of Columbus will serve hamburgers, hotdogs and fried cheese balls from Dimock. Along with their open house, Dimock will also have a sale at their recently completed store. For more information, visit their Facebook events page.
Cheeseburger Day is June 13
Next up is Valley Queen Cheese Factory’s 29th annual Cheeseburger Day on Thursday, June 13.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Valley Queen invites folks to come out to Lake Farley Park in Milbank, South Dakota to get a free cheeseburger, chips, and milk to celebrate dairy’s impact on South Dakota. For more information visit: www.vqcheese.com/community/cheeseburger-day/.
Have breakfast on the Farm
In keeping with tradition, Ag United will play sponsor to the 12th annual Breakfast on the Farm June 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Brandon, South Dakota.
Folks can visit the Ode family’s Royalwood Dairy to watch cows get milked, make arts and crafts, listen to music by Phil Baker and eat pancakes and ice cream for breakfast.
Along with the festivities, Royalwood will be collecting donations for Feeding South Dakota, a non-profit food bank. For more information, visit Ag United’s page at: agunited.org/2019farmtours/.
Know your milk
Last on South Dakota’s list is the Know Your Milk Tour June 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Boadwine Farms in Baltic, South Dakota.
Visitors can tour the barns and milking parlor and experience what it’s like to work in a modern-day dairy barn. Along with the tour, participants will get to enjoy a free supper at Broadwine.
Spots are limited; To apply, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/boadwine-farms/know-your-milk-tour/2428625653836781/ and fill out a brief survey. Applications close June 5.
Iowa activities include tours, breakfast
Along with their South Dakota neighbors, Iowans will also take part in the Dairy Month festivities.
The Western Iowa Dairy Alliance will be putting on a few events starting June 12 in Maurice with the 12th annual dairy open house.
J&S Dairy will host this year’s event and on-lookers will get a chance to tour a robotic dairy facility. The event will be held 4-8 p.m. More information can be found at: www.wiadairy.com/june-open-house.
In keeping with the dairy tradition, Iowans can also visit Jones Dairy for a Breakfast on the Farm in Spencer, Iowa which will run from 8-11 a.m.
The last of the WIDA events will be June 26 for Dairy Day at the LaunchPAD.
The LaunchPAD, or more commonly referred to as the Children’s Museum in Sioux City, Iowa, will host Dairy Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parents can bring their kids to learn about the dairy industry and the products that are created from it, with samples of those products of course.
Along with the dairy-focused activities, kids can explore LaunchPADs interactive exhibits that feature a variety of learning experiences for kids focused on STEM principles.
Minnesota events coming soon
Our friends in Minnesota have also joined the fun, as the University of Minnesota’s Extension office will host their annual dairy days over the course of the summer. While there are no official dates or locations posted yet, the extension office said to keep eyes on extension.umn.edu/ where the dates and times will be posted as they come up. Last year, Dairy Field Days actually began in July, according to their calendar, so it may skip dairy month.