Near Gilmore City, kids take part in Dairy Day

GILMORE CITY – A 110-year-old dairy became a classroom Friday during the farm’s annual Dairy Day.

Glenn Davis said he has been milking cattle on his family’s farm located near Gilmore City for 34 years – and he is honored to help keep his family’s dairy heritage alive.

“We are the last dairy in Humboldt County,” he said, “and I am proud of that.”

Davis said they are currently milking about 70 head of cattle a day. The milk goes to AMPI in Sanborn where it is eventually made into cheese that is sold worldwide, he said.

Dairy Day brought approximately 375 students ranging in ages from four to 10 years from surrounding schools to the farm.

“I hope it is a learning experience for them,” Davis said. “The main key I want them to learn this year is that everything comes from a farm. Everything people use at their jobs is created from a farm.”

In addition to the chance to get up close and personal with dairy cattle and calves, the children had the opportunity to learn about sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs, miniature horses and a miniature donkey. A magician, horse and carriage rides also entertained the students.

They also had the opportunity to learn about feed from Tim Fakler, director of nutrition at Kerber Milling in Emmetsburg.

Fakler explained to the young children that dairy cattle require many different vitamins and minerals along with their feed. He taught the children that a dairy cow can drink an entire bathtub of water every day in order to produce milk.

Sandi Lee, with Lee’s Mini-Whinnies of Dakota City, brought along a few of her miniature horses to show, providing the students with some background about miniature horses and how they were once used in the mining industry.

One of the many stops along the way was with Davis’ daughter, Amanda Davis, who brought some young piglets to the farm to show the children.

“I am explaining to them all about pigs and how they are similar to humans,” she said. “Pigs can sunburn just like we do and they roll and lay in the mud to use as sunscreen.”

For many of the students, it was their first time seeing animals up close.

Logan Wilkinson, 8, a third grader at West Bend-Mallard, said this was his first visit to a farm. His favorite part of the day was seeing the baby pigs.

Cael Donahe, 5, a student at Mease preschool in Humboldt, liked the pigs too.

“They roll around in the mud,” Donahe said.

Chris Fisher, an employee of Davis Dairy. said the cows are milked twice a day, every single day. Ten cows can be milked at a time; each cow can produce more than 50 pounds of milk a day.

Laney Montag, 9, a third-grader at West Bend-Mallard, enjoyed the baby calves the most.

“The baby cows were my favorite because they were so cute and fun to play with,” Montag said.

McKenna Grebner, 4, a student at Mease Preschool in Humboldt, liked the baby calves so much she even wanted to name one.

“I want to name her Sarah,” she said.