Dakin Dairy Farm

Dakin Dairy Farm
30771 Betts Rd.
Myakka City, FL 34251
(941) 322-2802

Our “Trip on a Tank” this month took us down to Myakka City to visit the Dakin Dairy Farm.

This locally-owned, fully operational dairy farm is a great place to spend a fun and educational day with the family. Kids of all ages will enjoy the interactive activities, and they will learn something in the process!

Our day began with an old fashioned hayride through the farm. The kids loved seeing the birthing area and the “nursery” area for the newborn calves. We also enjoyed seeing the fields of fresh grass and the huge mounds of pickled grass and other food sources that make up a nutritious diet for the farm’s 1,400 cows.

At the end of the hayride, Farmer Dwayne took us down to the barn where the goats, pigs, turkeys, and guinea hens are housed. It was here that we had the unique pleasure of watching the piglets race. Three-year-old Haylee picked the green pig (of course the pig was actually pink, but he had a big green spot on his back to identify him), and was thrilled when he pulled out the win.

After the pig race, we pulled out the giant milk bottles and the kids got to feed some of the baby calves. Fourteen-year-old David was allowed to go into the pen and lead the calves over to the fence to be fed. He thought that was really great until they emptied the bottles and started looking to him to give them more milk. One of the calves gave his arm a big, slobbery “kiss” which didn’t impress him very much!

Next, we enjoyed a walking tour of the barns and the milk bottling facility. The freestyle barns house hundreds of cows, several of whom came over to the fence to greet us as we arrived. Just around the corner from the freestyle barn is the milking barn, where each cow is milked by machine three times a day after being cleaned with high-pressure revolving shower heads. Once the milking is complete (it takes about 5 minutes), the cows are weighed and returned to the barn or the pasture.

Just inside the building next to the milking area, we watched the pasteurization, homogenization, and bottling process through large picture windows. Then a short video about the pasteurization process completed the tour.

A picnic lunch of hot dogs and s’mores cooked over a fire pit followed. Then the kids spent some time playing in the hay mazes, playground, and sand pile while mom and dad relaxed in the shaded courtyard area. The ten-foot-high sand pile was a hit with nine-year-old Daniel who filled his hair and clothes with sand by repeatedly rolling down the hill as fast as he could!

Finally, a trip to the Farm Market for some farm-fresh chocolate milk and ice cream concluded our fun and exciting day on the farm. Everyone knows that milk comes from cows. But if you’ve ever wondered how exactly the milk gets from the cows to your refrigerator, you’ll love finding out first-hand at the Dakin Dairy Farm.

Come “support your local farmer” and enjoy a 45 minute most informative tour of our dairy. Watch the cows being milked, and follow the milk trail into the Milk Plant where you will see the process of pasteurization and the bottling of our own “Farm Fresh” milk. You may also take a hayride a little deeper into the farm to complete your “farm experience”. It’s a really awesome tour with top shelf tour guides. Visit www.dakindairyfarms.com for more information.

Did you know...

  • By 1973, only 10% of Americans still received home milk delivery. By 1995, only 1% of American homes were still visited by the milkman.
  • A cow’s udder can hold 25 - 50 pounds of milk.
  • Cows were first brought to Plymouth Colony in 1624.
  • American dairy farmers produced 156.6 billion pounds of milk in 1997.
  • All cows are females. Males are called bulls.
  • Home delivery of milk (i.e. the milkman) started in 1942 as a war conservation measure.
  • A cow can’t give milk until she has given birth to a calf.
  • Homogenized milk was introduced in 1919 on the East Coast.
  • The average cow produces 90 glasses of milk each day or about 200,000 glasses of milk throughout her life.

Dairy Fun Facts and Trivia

  1. The average cow produces enough milk each day to fill six one-gallon jugs, about 55 pounds of milk.
  2. It takes more than 21 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.
  3. The natural yellow color of butter comes mainly from the beta-carotene found in the grass cows eat.
  4. A typical dairy cow weighs 1400 pounds and consumes about 50 pounds of dry matte each day.
  5. It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  6. The average cow drinks from 30-50 gallons of water each day—about a bathtub’s worth.
  7. Cows have an acute sense of smell, and can smell something up to six miles away.
  8. McDonald’s uses approximately four million gallons of low-fat vanilla yogurt each year in its Fruit ‘n’ Yogurt Parfait.
  9. More than 1000 new dairy products are introduced every year.
  10. A cow has four stomachs and 32 teeth.

Things to do while at the farm

  • Hay Ride: Take an “old fashioned” hayride a little deeper into the farm to complete your “farm experience.”
  • Cow Train: Little farmers will be thrilled to ride the cow train.
  • The Dakin Farm Market features local homemade ICE CREAM, HONEY from local bees, plus assorted items for gift baskets.
  • Feed the goats & watch them race up the “goat walk.”
  • Visit our Animal Barn and Hen House.
  • Relax in our Courtyard Area under the oak hammock.
  • Squeal at the pigs as they race at Squealer Field.
  • Bon Fire Area: You can purchase Marshmallows and Hotdogs to roast at the campfire.
  • Hay Tunnels: Crawl your way through the hay tunnels.
  • Mooternity: If your timing is just right you might see a calf being born.
  • Fossil Dig: Kids - dig around and look for fossil shells & sharks teeth. See what’s been excavated 20 miles from our farm.

Did you know...

that milk from a fresh grass diet contains CLA’s - nature’s own cancer inhibitor, enhanced levels of “healthy fats,” natural digestive benefits, the best source of natural beta-carotene AND a naturally fresh sweet taste?

The Dakin family has been milking cows in Manatee County, Florida since 1973. Cameron, Farren and Jerry Dakin own the three remaining dairy farms in the County, and are amongst the fewer than 150 dairies remaining in Florida.

In 2008 the Dakins designed and added a farm tour path, a farm fun play area under our incredibly gorgeous oak hammock, and a milk bottling facility which opened in March of 2009. Dakin Dairy Farms is the only milk bottler in Florida that can offer the rare treat of experiencing fresh milk 100% produced and bottled right on the farm.

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