As a blogger I’ve had some some interesting opportunities to visit local businesses. Recently I was invited to our Kerry Fairy Farm in Buckeye, Arizona. Now many of you know I follow dairy-free due to food allergies. But as a mom to a milk loving boy (and ice cream, and cheese,..) we have a fridge full of dairy products. And as a bakery owner I use a lot of dairy products especially butter, sour cream and milk.
When I moved to Arizona I was surprised to find so many dairy farms since this is the desert. On my visit I learned we have over 100 dairy farms in Arizona and 98% are family owned.
Upon arriving at the farm we were greeted by 3 generations of the Kerr family. Wes Jerr (on the left) is a 4th generation dairy farmer. Once moving to Arizona they started in Tempe, moved to Buckeye in the 70s and to their current location in Buckeye in 1990.
We started the tour heading to the maternity area – this baby calf that was born about 10 minutes earlier. So amazing to experience and we watched the baby try to take its first steps.
Next we headed over to the milking barn where we learned a lot about the milking process and the nutritional needs to cows. we learned that cows in Arizona are not treated with the rbst hormones. Any cows that are sick and being treated with antibiotics are removed from the milking area and their milk is not used while they are being treat. The farmer explained how important their health and well being is to the quality of the milk.
Next stop was the nursery – just look at that adorable face.
I really enjoyed my visit learning about locally produced food and enjoying a gorgeous day in Arizona. The farmer was so patient answering all our questions and was open to any topic we brought up. I was impressed learning about all the new technology, the genetics of the breeding and the milk processing co-op (United Dairymen of AZ) that picks up the milk daily. I was surprised to learn how that a lot of the dairy produced in Arizona is exported – 1 in 7 truckloads from the co-op goes over seas.
The Dairy Council of AZ sent us home with some local dairy goodies. My son always asks if I came home with anything after events – he proclaimed the dairy goodies to be the best goodies yet especially the Danzeisen Dairy Root Beer Milk from and the Arizona Farms Cheese Curds. I love that my son is becoming such a foodie, loves try new things and appreciates good food.