June is Dairy Month and Horning Farms in Manchester, Michigan is hosting an open house to celebrate. Their “Fun on the Farm” event is Saturday, June 19th from 11 AM — 3 PM. Horning Farms invites the community to join them for a free grilled cheese sandwich, walking farm tours, and family fun. There will be games to play, such as calf bottle bowling and a milk can ring toss using hula hoops. There will even be a small straw bale maze!
Horning Farms was established 1877. Today, they have over 400 Holstein cows. Katelyn Packard, sixth generation of Horning farmers, said, “We want to welcome our neighbors to thank them for all their support.”
Be sure to take the tour. It’s fascinating to learn about the milking process.
At Horning Farms, the cows are milked twice a day, every day, beginning at 4 AM and 4 PM. Each cow produces about 10 gallons of milk per day and it takes 5–7 minutes to milk each one. The Hornings milk the cows in four different groups, the two biggest groups are comprised of about 120 cows.
“Cows loved to be milked,” Katelyn said. “They love routine. When they enter the milking parlor, most of them have their favorite spot or veer toward a particular side. It’s kind of like how people have their favorite place on the couch. We make them as comfortable as possible.”
Horning Farms produces about 4,000 gallons a day. A semi-truck comes daily to haul the milk to a dairy processing plant. Katelyn told me from the time a cow on Horning Farms is milked to the time its milk reaches the grocery store is about 48 hours. “Most of our milk goes to Kroger,” Katelyn said.
Katelyn gave me a tip on how to find out where the milk I drink comes from. “There’s a five-digit code on each carton of milk. On a gallon jug, it is usually near the cap. The first two numbers correspond to the state the milk came from. Michigan is 26. Then, there’s a dash and three more numbers which indicates where the milk was processed. The dairy plant number for where our milk goes is 875, so the code on our milk is 26–875.”
Katelyn also suggested using whereismymilkfrom.com. Not only can you find out where your milk comes from, but also your yogurt, coffee creamer, cottage cheese, ice cream, and more!
The Horning Farm Shop will be open during the Fun on the Farm open house. There will be fresh cheese, butter, beef, and chicken for sale. Normally, the shop is open Thursdays from 4 PM — 7 PM. You can shop anytime at their online store. You can also call or text (734) 330–2635 to schedule another time to shop.
Horning Farms is located at 11834 E. Pleasant Lake Road, Manchester, Michigan 48158.
Tell me your favorite dairy product in the comments!