The Minnesota Holstein Association is excited to showcase an exceptional group of dairy farms, processing plants and companies during our host day farm tours Wednesday, June 29, 2022. The Host Farm Tours is one of the highlights of the National Holstein Convention every year. The event allows people from around the country to get a first-hand look at dairy farms in the host area. It also provides an opportunity for the host farms to highlight their operations and unique marketing strategies. 
    The 2022 National Convention is no different. Three different tour options are available with many unique farms and businesses. Highlights include a processing plant and mini golf course, robotic dairies with a tremendous amount of automation and world leading cow families. A couple businesses are included which emphasize the future and sustainability.
    Thank you to these host farms for opening their doors to showcase the great dairy industry of the Midwest. 

Royalwood Farms
    The fifth- and sixth-generation of Ode family members operate the over 1,000 tillable acres and manage the 475 cows that call Royalwood Farms home. Located just 12 miles from the convention center, the dairy features a double-8 Blue Diamond parallel parlor and a 6-row sand-bedded freestall barn with misters and fans for cow comfort. Exciting cow families at Royalwood include: Royalwood Supersire 1957 EX 90, Royalwood Bradnick 2298 EX 91, Iland-Acre Hitest Bretta VG 86 and Royalwood Monterey 2137-ET GP 80. For the past 15 years, Royalwood has hosted Breakfast on the Farm during June Dairy Month, an event that draws between 1,200-1,400 guests and provides an opportunity to educate their Sioux Falls, South Dakota, area neighbors and consumers.  

Farm Life Creamery
    As the value-added product producer for Gee-Aye Registered Holsteins, Farm Life Creamery produces cheese, bottled milk, yogurt and ice cream on-site in Ethan, South Dakota. Operated by Chad Blase and Laura Klock, the creamery is supplied milk by the 100 cows at Gee-Aye that are milked in two Lely robots. Cheese, bottled milk, yogurt and ice cream are made on-site; which also features an 18-hole miniature golf course, petting zoo and playground. Farm Life Creamery hosts many tours and teaches guests about their production practices and how their milk travels just 3 miles from the family’s Holstein herd to the processing facility.

SDSU Davis Dairy Plant
    The South Dakota State University Dairy Farm and Dairy Plant are primarily operated by SDSU undergraduate students in dairy production and dairy manufacturing/food science. Research at the farm focuses on dairy nutrition, genetics and sustainability; while the research at the plant focuses on ingredient creation, ingredient utilization and microbial safety of dairy products. The SDSU Dairy Plant is state-inspected and produces ice cream and cheese for sale on campus and local retail locations. Fun fact: Two students and a supervisor of the SDSU Dairy Plant invented cookies and cream ice cream in 1979.

Ash Grove Dairy LLP
    Situated on a 55-acre site, 1,300 milking and dry cows call Ash Grove Dairy home. Featuring a cross-ventilated freestall barn and double-20 GEA parlor, the main barn was built with opportunities for additions on the east and west sides. Calves are raised on-site and go to a custom grower at 4 months of age, returning to the dairy at six to seven months pregnant. The farm features automatic calf feeders, a methane digester, and members of the Dabble, Paradise, Sheen, Shot Mindy and many more cow families. Ash Grove Dairy is owned by Emerlan LLC, which consists of Randy K. and Jennifer Gross, and Randy E. and Susan Gross, and Lansdowne LLC, which is the Michael and Patricia Crinion family. While all the owners reside in South Dakota, the dairy is located just across the state line in Lake Benton, Minnesota.

Boadwine Farms
    Homesteaded in 1874 and grown generation by generation into the modern dairy it is today, Boadwine Farms is home to over 2,700 cows. Located in Baltic, South Dakota, cows are milked in a double-30 parallel parlor and reside in state-of-the-art tunnel-ventilated barns. Functioning methane digesters can also be found on-site at Boadwine Farms.

Dabru Dairy
    The Haase family raises 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat and milks a herd of 550 cows at Dabru Dairy in southeast South Dakota. Embryo technology is utilized in their breeding program, where they focus on high genomic cow families. Cows are milked in a double-7 herringbone parlor with automatic identification and milk meters, and the dairy is a several-time recipient of the low somatic cell count award from Dairy Farmers of America.

Mat-Ar-Dor Holsteins
    The Timmer family operates Mat-Ar-Dor Holsteins in southwest Minnesota, where their 135 cows are milked in a double-8 herringbone parlor. Home of over 30 Excellent cows, Mat-Ar-Dor Holsteins has a Breed Age Average of 109.5 and heavily focuses on type while working with the Lila Z, Donna, Finesse, Mandy, Talley-Red and Grace-Red cow families, to name a few. The dairy also features recent upgrades to the parlor and a lean-to and pack pen addition.

Newalta Dairy LLC
    Owned by the VanderWal and Ekkel families, Newalta Dairy has 4,000 milking and dry cows, farms over 1,200 acres of commodities, and milks three times a day in double-40 and double-12 parallel milking parlors. Commodities include alfalfa, sorghum, rye, corn, soybean meal, distillers, beet pulp, corn silage and cotton seed. The dairy is currently working with MS Lockets Crshabl Lauri, a VG 87 2-year-old.

Shannon Dairy
    Owned by the Shannon Hutterite Colony in Winfred, South Dakota, the Shannon Dairy features a robotic milking facility for 240 cows and a robotic calf barn along with 5,000 acres of crop land, where corn, soybean, wheat and alfalfa are raised. The dairy works hard to market top-end animals and flushes two-three heifers every four weeks.

Trans Ova Genetics
    Founded in 1980, Trans Ova Genetics offers advanced reproductive technologies to help breeders multiply the success of their elite cattle. These technologies include embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, sex-sorted semen, genetic preservation and cloning. Headquartered in Sioux Center, Iowa, Trans Ova Genetics has regional centers in Missouri, Maryland, California, Washington, Wisconsin and Texas and several satellite stations throughout the United States. Tour attendees will see Trans Ova headquarters which includes beef and dairy housing, young dairy calf housing and housing of the recipient herd on-site. They will also get to see Trans Ova’s first IVF lab and cloning lab.

    Tour attendees will learn about hydroponic technology for sustainably growing livestock feed when they visit HydroGreen in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. High-yielding forage is produced in vertically stacked shelves without the need for cultivated land in this sustainable production system.

Stensland Family Farm
    This family-owned farm and creamery utilizes milk from their 200-cow dairy to produce freshly-bottled milk, ice cream, aged cheese and cheese curds. Located just outside of Larchwood, Iowa, farm-fresh products are available at the Stensland Family Farm store as well as their Sioux Falls, South Dakota, location and other local grocers. The store in Sioux Falls sells all of their products in addition to freshly hand-dipped ice cream and ice cream treats.