If you plan it, they will come. At least that’s what we hoped heading into our Dairy Farm Open House this past Saturday. The event took place at the Haynes Family Dairy Farm in Garrett, Indiana. We hosted about 1,000 guests at the farm for the open house. People traveled from all over the Fort Wayne area to come and visit the Haynes’ dairy farm.
We were supposed to open for tours and activities at 11:00 a.m., but folks were so excited for the opportunity to see the dairy farm in person, that they started showing up to the farm at 10:30 a.m.! Eventually there were so many people arriving before 11:00 a.m. that we began tours early. The tours were given by the wonderful members of the Haynes family. Each of them would take a group of about 20 people, and pass through the various stops along the tour. The first stop was to the dietitian who helps create a nutritious mix of feed that the cows eat each day. Following the nutritionist, the tour continued on into the free stall barn where all the cows were hanging out. Most guests had mentioned on the post-tour survey that this was their favorite part because the cows were so friendly. As guests walked through the free stall barn with their tour guide, they were able to see all the wonderful features that the cows have throughout their living area. From back-scratchers to individual beds, the cows live a life filled with comfort.
Once the tour group reached the end of the free stall barn, the farm veterinarian was there to discuss his duties each week, and how he goes about keeping all of the cows happy and healthy. Upon finishing at the veterinarian’s station, the group continued on to the robot room. There, guests were able to see the cows being milked, by robots. This was another highlight of many visitors because of the advanced technology that was being used to make milking more efficient. The last stop of the tour was the viewing deck, where guests were able to view the entire free stall barn area from above. Being able to take in the enormity of the barn, and the amount of cows that the Haynes family owns was quite a spectacle for many people. After ending the tour, our guests were able to enjoy a slice of pizza and various dairy snacks that we provided.
The whole day was a great success. Many visiting patrons were able to leave with more knowledge about dairy farming and with delicious dairy food in their bellies. We could not have had such a great and successful event without the help of Domino’s pizza and Prairie Farms delicious dairy products. In the end, we were elated by the turn out and support from the community, and we cannot wait to host next year’s Dairy Farm Open House in a city near you!