Today’s June Dairy Month featured farm is E.J. Dairies Inc. located in Crown Point, IN. Don’t miss the Mile High Banana Cream Pie recipe at the end!
EJ Dairies is operated by EJ Hein and his family. Today, the dairy farm is managed by EJ’s youngest son, Stephen. He is a 4th generation dairyman. He and his wife Vanessa have two children, Hayden and Addyson (pictured below).
Like many family farms, EJ Dairies has grown over the years. It all began when George Hein, EJ’s grandfather, started farming in 1948 in Merrillville, IN with his first registered Holstein. In 1959, George retired and his son, Edward A., took over. In 1963, Edward A. moved the operation to its current location. Edward J. (EJ) started farming row crops in 1975. Upon his fathers death in 1980, EJ bought the dairy and began with 20 registered cows and 40 heifers.
Over the years with the help of his family the businesses have grown. In 2010 the dairy operation expanded to a second location in Francesville, IN. The Crown Point location is the birthing center. It houses all fresh cows (cows who have recently had a baby), calves, heifers (young females who haven’t had a baby yet), and dry cows (cows on their three month vacation when they are not producing milk). The Francesville location milks 1,000 cows three times daily with a double 16 parallel parlor.
EJ’s other son Michael manages the 5,000 acres of row crops. While his daughter Amy, runs the family trucking company. EJ also has two other daughters, Katie and Kelli, that work off the farm. The entire family is active with the Lake Co. Fair and the local 4-H program. Several 4-Her’s lease cattle from the Hein’s to exhibit at the fair. The Heins hope to expand the dairy in Francesville in the coming year.
The family hopes someday there will be a 5th generation at the helm.
It certainly looks like Hayden Hein has caught the dairy farming bug early, pictured above hugging one of his family’s show cows named Chabolis.