June Open House
2017 June Dairy Month Open House
To celebrate June Dairy Month, dairy farmers across western Iowa are inviting the public to a family-friendly event at Summit Dairy near Primghar. The 10th annual event will include a dairy farm tour, free food and kids’ activities from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28. Parking is available at the farm, located at 5564 390th St., Primghar (12 miles east of Hwy 60 on 390th St./B-40, or 3 miles west of Primghar on 390th St./B-40). The June Dairy Month Celebration is sponsored by Western Iowa Dairy Alliance and Midwest Dairy Association. To view the flyer, click here.
Visitors will tour Summit Dairy, including opportunities to see where cows are milked, where they are housed and fed, and learn about the role of milk and dairy products in a healthy diet. Veterinarians, dairy nutritionists, dairy farmers and other experts will be available to answer questions. There will also be information about crop production and conservation.
“We invite everyone to join us for a family-friendly evening on the farm to celebrate June Dairy Month and the role of dairy products in a healthy lifestyle,” said John Westra, owner of Summit Dairy. “Great-tasting dairy products start with healthy, comfortable cows, and we look forward to showing how we care for the animals and the land we farm.”
John Westra, and his wife, Rachelle, owners of Summit Dairy, both grew up on dairy farms in California. John’s father started dairying in 1976, and John and his seven siblings grew up working alongside him. In 2006, John and Rachelle started dairying on their own, but in 2012, they faced challenges in California with environmental regulations, so they sold their dairy and explored other opportunities to dairy elsewhere. The Westra family heard of a dairy for sale in northwest Iowa, so the family flew out to visit the dairy. “We had been interested in Iowa for quite some time, and felt the Lord was calling us here and decided to move,” said John. “Two weeks later, we left California and started our new adventure here.”
John, Rachelle, and their five children made the move to Iowa, and they began milking 400 cows at Summit Dairy in October 2012. In 2014, they expanded their dairy to milk 800 cows. Cows are housed in free-stall barns and have access to feed and water 24 hours a day. The stalls in the barn each have a special mattress bedded with soybean straw and sawdust, which help to provide a clean and comfortable place for cows to rest. The Westra family also grows corn to be used as silage for their cows and heifers.
Following the tour, guests will enjoy a free meal of Mr. Rib sandwiches or hot dogs, as well as cheese curds provided by AMPI, Blue Bunny ice cream treats provided by Wells and milk provided by Dean Foods.
The open house will feature a Kid’s Fun Zone with games, activities and the chance to meet dairy calves. In addition to dairy, kids will have the opportunity to learn about beef cattle, soybeans, corn, and other agricultural products from representatives of Iowa State Extension, 4-H, Iowa Food & Family Project, Iowa Corn and other groups. Katelyn Goldsmith, Iowa State Dairy Princess, will attend and kids can make their own crowns to be royalty for a day.
June Dairy Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the efforts of Iowa’s dairy farmers as they deliver a wholesome and nutritious supply of milk and dairy products and make a significant contribution to the state’s economy and rural communities. Dairy is the fifth largest agricultural business in Iowa, generating $4 billion a year in economic activity from farming to dairy processing. There are about 1,200 dairy farms in the state, and about 98 percent of the state’s farms are family-owned.
For more information about the open house, visit www.wiadairy.com or “Western Iowa Dairy Alliance” on Facebook, or contact 712-441-5308 or [email protected]. Please visit MidwestDairy.com for more stories from the farm, dairy nutrition information and dairy recipes.
Western Iowa Dairy Alliance is a non-profit organization working as an advocate for the dairy producer and all those who support this industry with commitment and integrity, allowing us to bring the very best, most nourishing products to market, every day. For more information, visit www.wiadairy.com.
Midwest Dairy Association® represents 8,000 dairy farm families to 38 million consumers across 10 Midwestern states. We work on behalf of dairy farmers to increase dairy sales, foster innovation and inspire consumer confidence in dairy products and practices. Midwest Dairy Council®, an affiliate of National Dairy Council, is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council is dedicated to dairy nutrition research and education. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.