Knollbrook Farm: A Day with the “Girls”

By Lindsay Martin, Ball State Dietetic Intern

Prior to this week, I had never been to a dairy farm.  I am 25 years old and it was finally time to make my first visit!  My wonderful colleague and I took a road trip to visit “the girls”, also known as dairy cows, in Goshen, Indiana.  Knollbrook Farm, owned by the hard-working Adam family, kindly welcomed and showed us all the effort and care going into producing milk.

As I made my way to the cow’s parlor to visit some of the cows, I noticed other cows were enjoying grazing on grass in the pasture.  I went to the farm at the perfect time; the local veterinarian was performing health check-ups  that same morning.  The veterinarian comes every 6 weeks to ensure the health of every cow and calf.  I must say, the cows are extremely friendly and cute—they loved to “kiss” our salty hands.  I now understand why people have antique cow collectibles as home décor; the girls have a way stealing your heart. 

After getting to know Tara and her cow pals, we made our way to the building where milking occurs.  As Cynthia Adam was explaining the twice-a-day milking process, a tanker truck came to the farm.  We were able to watch the milk hauler collect  samples to ensure the farm’s milk safety. The milk was then transported from Adam’s bulk tank directly to his truck.  It was pretty amazing he did this without touching the milk with his hands!  The milk sample is then tested at the plant, prior to processing, to guarantee quality and safety standards.  If the sample is contaminated, the Adams would be responsible to pay for the entire truck load of discarded milk; this could cost their family $10,000+ for total product loss.  The care and effort producing safe and nutrient-rich milk was eye-opening.  It is no wonder our dairy farmers strive to meet every safety and quality measure; the cows are healthy and the milk is safely transported before it reaches the processing plant.

Later that evening, I had to call my mother and tell her about my adventurous day.  She grew up on a farm, specializing in growing tomatoes, so she was not surprised to hear my praises about hard-working dairy farmers.   While on the phone my mother said, “I have and will continue to drink milk because I know it is safe.” I couldn’t agree more!  I would recommend seeing milk production with your own eyes so check out a dairy farm in your area.  You will feel confident the 3 daily servings of milk or dairy you consume are coming from family farmers producing a safe, healthful and nutritious product.   For more information about Knollbrook Farm and the Adam family go to knollbrookfarm.com.

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