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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fair Oaks Farms

A little less than a year ago, someone sent me an email about Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. I watched the video and was absolutely amazed!

Here is this phenomenally beautiful dairy farm of 17,000 meticulously groomed acres that has 30,000 cows that are milked three times a day, that actually turns out to be about 80,000 milkings per day, and that turns out 4 million glasses of milk a day!

Immensely impressed, I called good friend, Arie de Jong, the highly successful dairy farmer who owned and operated Hollandia Dairies locally for years, before selling his business several years ago.

"Arie," I said, breathlessly, "you've just go to go to this website and read all about this dairy. It's right up your alley, Arie. With your years of dairy experience, you're gonna love this story, and this place."

"Lyle," Arie says, "I own that dairy."


I knew Arie was successful but this is beyond successful. This is like the Disneyland of Dairies (yes, they DO have a theme park there as well).

Good friend, long time client and columnist, occasional reviewer of restaurants and entertainment venues, Paul Van Middlesworth, is going back to Indiana on a business trip. I twisted his rather hefty arm and persuaded him to represent The Paper as a correspondent. His assignment? Visit Fair Oaks Dairy, capture the atmosphere, get the facts, get pictures, interview people, staff, visitors, the whole magilla - and then write a story about it. It will likely be a cover story in the near future.

Today I went back to the website and roamed around. As I read all about it and saw all the pictures I said to Evelyn, "Wow! I almost wish it was me going back there to do the story instead of Paul. Sounds like an exciting story to see and write about."

But Paul will have a wonderful time and write a crackerjack story about it.

One example of the many stories you'll find at Fair Oaks is this video of a cow giving birth. (The Birthing Barn is open to the public as part of the tour. About 80 calves are born every day). It appeared on the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs." Evelyn and I watched it and were were delighted with the learning session. (I come from farm country (Minnesota and Nebraska) and farm people and had never seen a calf being born).


Also, take the time to visit the website of Fair Oaks. It's brilliantly done (Arie never does anything halfway. He always does things first class). Here's the website address:

You are in for a treat! If you ever get a chance to get back to the midwest . . . this has become a "Must See!"


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