Sunday, June 17, 2018

Harvest Moon Dairy Farm Tour

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There's no shortage of horse farms in Oldham County, but did you know there is also a great dairy farm to explore?  Tours are given 7 days a week at Harvest Moon Dairy Farm, but need to be arranged ahead of time. I emailed farm owner, Bob Klingenfus and gathered general information about the tour.  Bob asked about our group size and ages of the children. Several of the tour activities are the same with each group, but others can be customized to fit the group members. The farm prefers to give tours in the late afternoon during feeding and milking times.

Directions were emailed to us along with general instructions on how to prepare for the tour.  We advise wearing old shoes, maybe even ones that can be hosed off at the end of the day.  Old clothing and bug spray are also ideal for the tour.  The farm tour is $10 per person and there is a $60 minimum charge for groups less than six members.  Cash and check are accepted.

Our tour began at the large barn where most of the cows stay.  We were able to feed some of the cows that came close to us as we learned about the type of dairy cow they have, the different parts of the barn, how the barn is maintained and other interesting facts about caring for cows.  During our tour we also learned about the feed cows eat, how it's harvested, how much the cows eat and even saw the tractor mix all of the feed and bring it to the cows.

As the adult cows were eating, our group met inside a small room where Bob taught us about feeding the calves.  We prepared 8 bottles for the babies that were waiting for us.  Each child in our group was given the opportunity to bottle feed a baby calf.  Angie Klingenfus told us a little about the babies and their needs as we fed them.  This was probably the highlight of the tour for many of us.  The babies are very cute, along with the several cats and dogs looking for a drop of milk to steal during the feeding.

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The second milking of the day was beginning so we made our way back to the barn where we took turns milking one of the cows.  We saw the machines used and learned how much milk cows produce each day and how the milk is pasteurized and used on this particular farm.  Most of the milk goes to a milk distributor while other milk goes toward cheese production.  There is a cheese factory on site at the dairy farm that we got to see also.

We ended our tour outside where the children were able to mill wheat and learn how wheat is used in several food items in our daily lives.  We stood outside the barn for a few minutes and asked some more questions, let Bob tell us some farming history, the regulations placed on farmers today and how farming has changed over the years.

 photo baby cows_zpshnawgrlu.jpgWhen you inquire about a tour, ask for details about what your tour will entail.  Tours are developed based on the tour group size, ages in the group, overall objective of the group and farm herd size.  This is a working farm, so although the tour is very laid back, adults do need to make sure they are watching children at all times.  There is machinery and other places where visitors need to use caution.  Another option for groups is to rent out the meeting/party room available above the barn.  It is a nice size, air-conditioned room with a large deck overlooking the cow barn below.

The Harvest Moon Dairy Farm tour lasted about 90 minutes and included educational, hands-on lessons for all ages in our group. We left knowing more about the importance of dairy farms, the hardworking farmers, the math and science involved in farming and more. Bob and Angie Klingenfus were great tour guides and incredibly wise and welcoming. If you have a few minutes, stick around and listen to Bob's stories about farming and Oldham County history.

Harvest Moon Farm is located at 7401 Hanna Road Crestwood, KY 40014

Love to learn about farms?  Check out the Bluebonnets and Bluegrass Alpaca Farm tour in Crestwood also.

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