One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new place is to do a quick check online to see what agritourism hot spots are in the area where you live or are traveling. From wineries to cheesemongers- chances are there is something to learn wherever you are.
Earlier this summer my family and I embarked on a 10 day adventure starting in Traverse City, Michigan and ending in Silver Lake, Michigan. It was fantastic and I am fairly certain we will be visiting again. We met so many great people who quickly became friends and spending 10 days in Michigan was really what we needed to relax and get away.
Towards the end of our trip we visited a dairy in Michigan, Country Dairy, that got it’s beginnings in the early 1880’s in western Michigan. A multi-generational dairy farm, Country Dairy has proven that hard work and innovation rears a healthy and prosperous business. Currently, Country Dairy milks about 1400 head cattle and processes milk, makes cheese, ice cream, and butter, employs about 125 people, and in 2004, opened its first retail store. The Farm Store and adjacent Moo School are the destination for tourists, school children, and guests from all over the world. It offers a restaurant menu, ice cream, Country Dairy products, gift items, tours, and information about Country Dairy.
Read about the history of Country Dairy HERE
Read about their products HERE
For more information on what to do in Oceana County, Michigan click HERE
We were lucky enough to get a tour (you can too) as well as sample many of their cheeses, milks and tour their facilities. I am partial to my Indiana dairies but this Country Dairy really provided an educational experience that was unlike any we have experienced before. If you are in the area I highly recommend a visit to Country Dairy not only for a tour but for lunch and to stock up on freezer beef and cheeses!
Our tour guide and general encyclopedia of Country Dairy, Will Hendrian, gave us an in depth tour of the milk processing facility and cheese cave. My son’s thought it was pretty neat to see the milk packaged into small “lunchroom sized” containers. We learned on the tour that they ‘may or may not’ be the official milk for a certain whole foods grocery store chain that specializes in local and sustainable food. Shh. It’s a secret.
Not to mention Country Dairy is THE milk supplier for many if not most of the school lunch programs in the state. That tells me a lot. Lucky kids- that chocolate milk is divine!
Here are a few of the many photo’s I took on our tour and while we enjoyed their terrific chocolate milk, grilled cheese and other tasty treats. If you go there don’t forget to get a few cheese curds. There are few things better than fresh ‘squeaky’ cheese curds. Thank me later.
Find Country Dairy on Facebook
Country Dairy is a MUST visit in my opinion. It is well run, impressive, clean, educational, fun for all ages (my sons are 11 and 15 and they enjoyed themselves) and OH so delicious. It is a full circle agritourism destination in Michigan.