Lakin Dairy is proud to produce high quality milk for human consumption. The business is located in Kearny County and is an owner-operated milking facility of 3,200 cows. The open lots with modified free stalls and a double 37 parallel milking parlor were built in 1996-1997. Only adult animals are at this facility. All young stock is being raised off-site.
In the early '90's the owner Fred Ritsema bought his first cows in Central Texas, to pursue his dreams in a country where the sky is the limit.
In 1997 the business was moved to this Southwest Kansas facility to expand their business in the 'Midwest Feed Shed' with its abundance of feed. A farming operation is part of the business, supplying forage to the dairy. All forage is grown withing a radius of just miles from the dairy.
“Bigger is better” might have been the thought when it comes to economies of scales and the profitability of the business. These days, that has changed somewhat: 'Better is big!'. The best possible care is given to the herd. Healthy and happy cows result in high quality milk and the best milk production. Lakin Dairy is a 'Verified Premium Plus' operation. This verification can be earned after careful review and inspection of the actual practices at the dairy by a herd veterinarian. Once life of the milk producing cow is over and the meat is processed, consumers and retail companies have confidence that the animals, environment and personnel have not been abused and the products they have purchased are safe for human consumption.
While producing high quality milk is the core of the business, the team of employees is the most important asset of the dairy. Among the 30 employees, there is a strong team spirit. With short lines in communication between management and production workers and little money tied up in overhead, great profitability of the operation is achieved.
Without the dedication, the hard work and input of the employees – many of them are with the dairy from the day the very first cow was milked, together with the professional services of veterinarian and nutritionist and AI breeding specialists, the business would not be what it is today.