Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iowa Ice Cream Trip Second Stop at Hudson's Hansen Dairy

I'm so excited to update you on my family's "Iowa Ice Cream Trip" during the month of June to celebrate National Dairy Month today, by sharing about our trip to Hansen's Farm Fresh Dairy outside of Hudson last week.  It is fun to set out on a new ice cream adventure each week and we thought one of our ice cream destinations had to be Hansen's Dairy, so we could have a first-hand look at the process and story behind our ice cream.


Hansen's Farm has been located outside of Hudson, Iowa for around 150 years and currently the 6th generation owns and operates the farm, with the 7th generation growing up and living on the farm.  Twelve years ago when 5th generation owners and operators, Jay and Jeanne Hansen, saw that four of their children wanted to come back to the farm they knew they needed a way to add value to their family dairy farm, so the 6th generation that wanted to come back to the farm could, and that is how the on-farm creamery began.  In November of 2002 construction began on the creamery and in February of 2004 the creamery produced its first gallon of milk.

Blake and MP became good friends during our time at the farm
Here he is telling us about the dry cows
(a phase in the lactation cycle where the cows don't produce milk)
It was a lot of fun to go on a tour of Hansen's Dairy by 6th generation farmer, Blake Hansen.  Blake primarily works with the dairy production side of the farm.  His three brothers specialize in the creamery (milk processing and delivery) and crop production.  The farm currently has around 350 heifers and cows.  Most of their herd are Black and White Holsteins, with some Red and White Holsteins.  The cows are milked every day at 4am and 4pm.

One of the kids' favorite stops on the tour was at the calf huts, where calves live from the first day of their life to a few months old.  Calf huts are used to help reduce disease, stress and injury.  LP really enjoyed petting the calves.  One neat thing about Hansen's Dairy is that they give every calf a name that is associated with their family line.  In the photo, Skittles (whose Mom is Snickers) is licking LP's hand.

The kangaroos loved giving MP kisses
Another favorite stop was seeing the farm's Kangaroos and Wallabies.  Hansen's Dairy logo is a cartoon Wallaby (a miniature kangaroo) with a Dairy Calf in its pouch.  When Blake was in college he went on an international study abroad trip to Australia and he loved the wallabies and kangaroos, so when the creamery began, they incorporated the wallaby into the logo and Blake decided to purchase three wallabies as pets.  Today, one of the original wallabies is still at the farm, along with three kangaroos.

Our other favorite stop was the tour center, where they had a lot of fun kid and educational activities, as well as products for sell.  We had some ice cream at the center and brought home some milk, cheese curds and ice cream!  It was hard to choose what ice cream to eat after the tour, as well as what to bring home, since they have over 30 flavors!  What we love about their ice cream is that it is very rich and thick.  They also sell butter and ground beef.

You can buy Hansen's Dairy products (including their delicious ice cream) at many locations across the Northeast quadrant of Iowa, or if you are ever in the Waterloo area I recommend you going to their Moo Roo ice cream store or their Dairy Outlet store, or head out to the Dairy Farm outside of Hudson.  They have products available at their tour center.

Have you ever been to a Dairy Farm?  Check out all of their ice cream flavors - what would you like to try?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Be sure to check out our First Iowa Ice Cream Trip Stop and what other fun things we have planned on our Summer Bucket List.

13 comments:

  1. Looks like fun! I haven't been to a dairy farm, but I live in the country and know a few people who have diary cows. I'd love to have my own one day. I'm craving ice cream now! :) Thanks for sharing the adventure with us!

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    1. We did have a lot of fun. I admire dairy farmers. They have a hard job that literally gets them up before sunrise and keeps them out late every day. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. Looks like the boy really liked the ice cream! I like ice cream too!

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    1. Oh yes, our son loved his ice cream. In fact, our entire family enjoys ice cream!

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  3. Your ice cream field trips are making me hungry! Ice cream is my ultimate weakness!

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    1. It is mine too. You guys should pack your bags and go on a trip too!

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  4. Nice blogpost, Val. I LOVE Hansen's dairy. They are a stellar example of how to grow a family farm and contribute to their local economy. A win-win!

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    1. Thanks! I couldn't agree more! They are a wonderful asset for all of Northeast Iowa.

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  5. We don't have anything even similar out here in the capital city of Virginia, just chain stores. (Insert sad face). I am now offically jealous. Glad you share your adventures with us on the blog hop!

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    1. I'm happy we have so many non-chain/mom & pop stores in Iowa. We have fun on our Ice Cream Road Trip!

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