I was invited along with other some other fabulous Michigan bloggers to tour the Reid Dairy Farm in Jeddo, St. Clair County, Michigan owned by Jim and Pam Reid.
I love touring this great state and sharing with you what a great state we have and how our local farmers help feed us.
We started out our trip in Brighton and got on a bus with dietitians, veterinarians and a very helpful dairy farmer. They answered our questions on the way to the Reid’s farm and back.
Jim and Pam were preparing for the Breakfast on the Farm they were hosting the next day, so they were quite busy preparing their farm for the visitors (about 1,000) people to visit. We got a VIP tour, which was very nice of them to do, since they were in the midst of preparing for their big day.
The Reid’s have been farmers for 35 years and started out with their own dairy farm in 1978 with just 50 cows. They have expanded their farm to 220 cows and 190 calves and young cows. Their son Jeff also farms with them along with four full time employees and four part-time employees.
They also reuse the manure the cows produce to spread on their 1,100 acres they farm (including hay, corn, wheat and soybeans).
The Reid’s also reuse their water for watering their soil as well as in their milk parlor to cool the milk down.
They are also installing an outdoor wood furnace to heat their home, milk parlor and water needed on the farm. (we have one of these and it greatly reduced our gas heat consumption too).
The milk that we get at the store is tested 12 times for chemicals, hormones and contaminates to ensure it meets very strict standards and is safe to drink.
Each of the Reid’s cows are milked three times a day, with each cow producing on average 10 gallons of milk a day.
When not being milked, the cows are in the barn (shown above) that has walls that can be put up or down. There is air flowing in the barn, either natural or from a fan. The air flow keeps the flies off the cows (flies don’t like moving air). The cows are separated by age to keep harmony on the farm.
It is like a spa really, they have a nutritionist who works to ensure they are eating healthy, the have nice cool Michigan sand they lay in when they want and they get great care from the Reid’s. And they have a veterinarian who visits and ensures the cows are healthy.
We were able to see the yearling cows who were a bit timid, but friendly.
The cows were very curious to (more than the older cows). I believe they thought I had food to feed them. They sucked on my fingers and got my hand all slimy eating my fingers (something you need to experience).
A tour would not be complete, without seeing the baby cows too. They get tags on their ears with their date of birth and are given a number for tracking.
There were a few babies who were only a couple days old.
I think this one looks like she was smiling.
I appreciate the Reid’s taking their time to visit with us and share what it like to be on their farm.
You can follow the Reid Dairy Farm on Facebook too.
Check out the schedule for the upcoming Breakfast on the Farm events and experience this for yourself!