Check out my experience on a family owned dairy farm, dairy distribution plant and a delicious dairy dessert for you to enjoy!
Over two days, I had the fantastic experience of visiting Prairie Farms, a farmer-owned company, and another family owned dairy farm owned by the Crandell Family (the first time was at the Pyle Dairy Farm near Hudsonville, Michigan). Two brothers along with their families now own this farm and are the fifth generation farmers. They own and care for 330 cows and also grow their own feed for the cows including corn, wheat, alfalfa and soybeans.
In addition to touring the farm we also had the opportunity to have dinner on the farm with the family. It was quite enlightening to hear from and learn from a farmer first-hand of the concerns, issues and joys of being a farmer.
We also visited Prairie Farms, a farmer owned company that distributes milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream and more! We were given a behind the scenes tour starting from when the milk is delivered in large semi trucks all the way to the milk being bottled and labeled for distribution.
One issue that consumers have is the concern of antibiotics being found in milk. Well not only do the farmers themselves check the milk before it leaves the farm, but the driver and the dairy plant also check the milk once it arrives. Some cows do receive antibiotics if they get sick, this is not something farmers hide (just like humans who take antibiotics when necessary). However, when milk is delivered to the distribution plant it is checked several times for any antibiotics and if any are found, the farmer is given a SUBSTANTIAL fine. Besides farmers wanting to keep the public safe (along with themselves since they also drink the same milk), it would not be financially smart at all to not test their own milk and keep antibiotics out of the food chain.
We ended our tour cooking at an amazing restaurant in Grand Rapids called Zazio’s. Their chef was an awesome assistant in helping us all cook a Mexican-themed meal together. Our team was in charge of a beverage, appetizer and dessert. This peanut butter cookie skillet below was inspired by the chocolate chip cookie skillet we made for our dessert.
Want to learn more about the dairy industry in addition to more delicious recipes and nutrition tidbits? Check out the Milk Means More website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, however lodging and meals were provided for this tour. And as always, all the opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.
This Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet + A Family-Owned Dairy Tour post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.