There’s more to a glass of milk than meets the eye. Taking a gulp one of the few healthy beverages that can be enjoyed warm or cold is the final step in distribution that begins at locations throughout Michigan. A fun, family activity this fall can give milk-lovers an up-close look at life on the states many dairy farms. Here is a list of scenic landscapes where farmers welcome visitors to show how they care for the cows that make tasty dairy foods possible.
New Era, Michigan
Tours: Saturdays at noon and 1:30 in October; after October, tours available by appointment.
On the Country Dairy farm tour, you can tour their bottling plant to see how milk their cows make is made ready for you to enjoy, see the cows, what they eat and how they are cared for. You can end your tour in their farm store and deli.
Tours: By appointment only, groups of 15 or more
Looking for a tour for a small group of people? Calder Farm can host school classes, church groups or even birthday parties! On this farm tour, you can see the cows being milked, learn all about cows, feed a calf with a bottle and more.
Shuler Dairy Farms
Tours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00 – 7:00 PM
This fifth-generation centennial farm embraces technology to care for their cows, including robotic milking machines. On the tour, you can also see calves and visit the barn where their cows live. Wrap up the tour with a delicious scoop of ice cream!
Weiss Centennial Farms
Tours: By appointment only
See all aspects of the dairy farm at Weiss Centennial Farms, where you can see their daily routine: Feeding calves, caring for the cows and using technology like a robotic milking machine. After you’re done at the farm, visit their corn maze.
Tours: Self-guided tours available Monday through Saturday, or larger groups available by appointment
Start on the farm where the cows are milked using robotic milking machines, and then head over to the creamery where the milk from the cows you just saw is bottled or made into ice cream, cheese or butter. Don’t forget your appetite so you can enjoy some homemade ice cream, milk, cheese and butter!
Tours: Available Monday through Friday, April – October.
About 25 minutes from Grand Rapids, Dairy Discovery opens their farm gates to show how a modern dairy farm takes care of their cows and the people around them. Custom school tours at Dairy Discovery align with State of Michigan benchmarks in social studies and life science. The farm also hosts various events throughout the year.
If you go on a Michigan farm tour this fall, post your photos on social media with #MilkMeansMore!