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A couple of weeks ago we had an incredible opportunity to visit a local dairy farm! The boys had a ton of fun, but so did BTR and I learning about where our dairy products come from. We got to visit the Henrichs Dairy Farm which is about 30 minutes east of our house. They are a Prairie Farms Dairy Farm that is owned by Bryan Henrichs and his family. Bryan and his wife Emily have five little girls and live right there on the farm! And Bryan is a third-generation dairy farmer!
Bryan and Emily were the most amazing hosts for our visit! As soon as we pulled up we were greeted by their family dog and their daughters immediately started playing with Jude and Ezra and brought out their bunnies to pet! We got there around 10 am and Bryan and some family members had just finished the morning milking and a truck was pulling out full of milk and heading to a Prairie Farms processing facility. Bryan told us that the milk on that truck would be on shelves in the store in less than 48 hours! Can you believe that?!?
The Henrichs cows (and there are about 250 of them) are part of their family, and you can completely see that when visiting. Their girls have named many of them and even show them in the county fair with their 4-H club. The cows are their livelihood and the happier they are the better they produce for the family.
The entire process is so fascinating and I loved seeing how sustainable everything is on the farm. Bryan plants and then harvests grain to feed his cows. Every detail has been thought of to keep the cows happy and healthy. In the summer the cows are in a giant open barn with fans, water misters, and cool sand to rest in.
They even have a robot that pushes the hay closer to them! The Henrichs girls jumped on top for a ride and of course, Jude and Ezra joined them.
The cows are milked twice a day by Bryan and his family. I couldn’t believe some of the technology that goes into the process. Each cow’s milk production and their temperature are recorded daily and charted, this way if something is off Bryan can go check that cow and make sure it doesn’t have a fever or if something else is wrong. Bryan and all the Prairie Farms owners have very high and strict quality controls put in place. They want the best and highest quality product hitting the store shelves as soon as possible.
Of course one of our favorite parts of our farm tour was seeing the baby cows! The boys even got to feed a few of them bottles.
The boys had a blast seeing the farm, feeding the cows, and running around and climbing hay and rock piles with the girls. To end our visit, Bryan offered the boys a ride on the big chopper. Without hesitation, the boys jumped up with Bryan and they each got to drive around and even steer! This totally made their summer and they are still talking about it!
I never realized how truly farmer owned Prairie Farms was when I saw the label in stores. It’s a group of more than 800 farm families just like the Henrichs that care deeply about their communities and the product they are creating. They aren’t huge corporations like other brands that are just about the bottom line, and they aren’t a co-op buying from just anyone.
They are multigenerational dairy farms (meaning you’ll likely see kids, parents, grandparents, and maybe even great grandparents all working together milking) who are committed to creating the highest quality product they can on their farms. They care about their cows and having safe and clean facilities.
The Henrichs family is a lot like ours as business owners, parents, and being involved in their community. Emily is a full-time nurse in addition to being a mom (hello, full-time job in itself) and helping around the farm. Bryan also runs a second business of chopping feed for other farmers. Like our family, they are working hard for their kids future. I have a whole new perspective on Prairie Farms and truly believe when I choose to purchase their products at the story I’m supporting a small locally owned business just like our own.
Thank you to Prairie Farms and the Henrichs family for inviting us to their farm and learning more about the entire dairy process. We had so much fun!
So next time you head to the grocery store make sure to look for the Prairie Farms milk in the cooler in addition to all their other amazing products! Jude and Ezra would highly recommend their new small batch ice cream! ;)
Learn more about Prairie Farms here and see all the product they make here.
To sign up for the Prairie Farms MOOvement and enter to win ice cream for a year, click here.
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