Got Milk ?
We sure do! 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 with a double 37 parallel milking parlor, houses all adult animals.
Owner Fred Ritsema, a native of the Netherlands and from a family that has made a living by dairying for generations, immigrated to the United States. He bought his first milking cows in the early ’90’s in central Texas, to pursue his dreams in a country where the sky is the limit.
In 1997 the herd was moved to this Southwest Kansas facility to expand the 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 within 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.
But that has changed some what, nowadays we say “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.
The dairy produces an average of 200,000 pounds of milk every day, 365 days a year. Which is about 9 million gallons per year.
To put that into perspective, everybody needs three eight-ounce glasses of milk a day to provide the necessary calcium in his/her diet according to the American Medical Association.
Lakin Dairy supplies 130,000 people with this requirement each and every day.
Or, let’s look at pizza. It takes one gallon of milk to make a pound of cheese. A typical pizza contains eight ounces of cheese. Our dairy produces enough milk for the cheese in 50,000 pizzas – and, again, we do this every day.
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 had the best possible care 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 35 employees, there is a strong team spirit. Short lines in communication between management and production workers is typical for this owner-operated large commercial dairy farm, which gives it the old-fashioned feel of the friendly family farm as people have known dairy-farming for generations.
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, Lakin Dairy would not be what it is today.