Ag United is hosting farm tours this summer to show families where their food comes from. The tours include dairy, pig, and cattle farms in the Sioux Falls area.
Boarding a bus full of excited kids and families, the ‘Know Your Milk Tour’ departs from Sioux Falls to the dairy farm near Baltic. Arriving, kids are eager to get off and see the dairy calves waiting to be fed.
The dairy produces 17,000 gallons of milk each day. Lynn Boadwine is a fourth generation dairy farmer that has expanded the dairy from 40 cows to 1,500 since the 1980’s.
“On this farm we are transporting 2-3 semi loads of milk each day and each cow is milked 3 times a day, so that milk that comes right out of the cow within hours will be picked up and be delivered to a cheese plant,” Boadwine says.
After visiting the calves, the tour heads to the milking parlor. Kids are eager to know why some cows had different spots, while parents question how cows are treated, and the milking process.
Boadwine says one of the most common beliefs he finds among visitors is the perception that organic dairy products are better quality and healthier.
“I’m not going to change a consumer’s mind, but I know a lot about this business and the one thing that always alarms me is there’s a lot of moms that come through and think that they’re not getting a good product if they’re not buying something that’s organic or something that’s high cost. And I think that’s kind of sad because I know the industry, and a lot of it's just marketing,” Boadwine says.
Boadwine says he enjoys showing consumers what happens on the farm each day from the milk barn, to the store shelf. Boadwine dairy is one of 250 dairy farms in the state.
For more information about tours visit: http://agunited.org/2015farmtours