June 28, 2012

Prairieland Dairy Day 2012


Did you know Nebraska has 230 dairy farms in the state, making it the 5th largest agribusiness?

We were thankful for the rain but the corn van wasn't! Had
to get this washed before any of the staff saw this mess!
In terms of some other dairy producing states, that’s not a very big number so that usually means that dairy is kind of overlooked, especially because we are the Cornhusker state and a beef connoisseur (which is great!). But this last Saturday, dairy took center stage! The Nebraska Corn Board sent me out to set up a booth at Prairielands' Dairy Day 2012 to share positive messages about Nebraska agriculture, corn production, and get consumers excited about using social media in agriculture!

Prairieland Dairy is located about 20 minutes south of Lincoln, and has been a leader in sustainability and new dairy practices for some time now. The dairy itself is owned by 4 four different families who decided to coop together. They have grown their farm to about 1,500 cows and have started processing and marketing their own dairy products locally and have found success! You can find 2%, 1%, skim, and chocolate milk in stores across of most of Lincoln and Eastern Nebraska. They also have seasonal milk flavors including strawberry, cotton candy, and root beer for the summer months! But that is not the only cool thing that they are doing. They recycle almost everything:; the sand for bedding, the lagoon water is treated so that it can be used again, and they also make compost from the manure solid and sell it to whoever wants it. Now if that isn’t innovation I don’t know what is!

So it’s not only great that this dairy is doing all of theose thing for the industry and the environment, but they also completely open themselves up to the public for visits, they want to be completely transparent for consumers! So every year in June they have Prairieland Dairy Day, a day in which people can bring their families and just enjoy a day out at the farm. The really awesome thing about it is that it’s completely free! The food, milk, ice cream and activities are all free, that is so awesome! This is the 9th year that they have hosted the event in which they were expecting around 6,000 people to attend, each year keeps getting better than the last!

This year’s activities included:

Enjoying their free lunch!

The straw castle which  was popular with
those under the age of 15

Training some future Dairy Farmers!

Corn was flying everywhere over in Corn pit was a definate success

The petting zoo allowed kids to get up close and
personal with lots of farm anmals

Prairieland Gold (compost) tent was popular with all ages

The kids got to play in the compost, they
could even take a bag home with them!

Social Media was the big push this year at Dairy Day. They encouraged all to tweet often while using the hashtage #DairyDay2012 or post to facebook what they were doing or seeing. And from all of the people that visited our tent, a fair number were doing just that! It was really great to see non-agriculture people get involved in Ag social media conversations about farming, dairy and food.

Check out pictures on our Flickr online photo album!

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