Dairy Day brings the farm to the city
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Taylin Zimprich, 7, hasn't been on a farm before. The animals she's most familiar with are her baby rabbits.
But on June 15, she got a little taste of farm life, right in Jamestown at Dr. Dawn's Dairy Day, an annual event at Dawn Entzminger's small animal veterinary clinic, Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop.
Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop now has hosted six Dairy Days, and this year's coincided with June's Dairy Month.
"Once upon a time there was a dairy cow on every farm and there were lots and lots of farms and now there's fewer and fewer farms and much fewer and fewer dairy cows on those farms," Dawn Entzminger said. "So this is my way to bring dairy cows to the public."
Taylin, like many of the kids at the event, enjoyed getting up close to the baby calves brought to the event by Dawn Entzminger's brother-in-law, dairy farmer Terry Entzminger. But Taylin also got to learn how to milk a cow on a cow model, a chore she called "hard," though she said she'd be interested in doing it again.
Terry Entzminger said it's important to show people where their food comes from so they can trust that it's safe. Events like Dairy Day also provide an opportunity to educate. Terry Entzminger was handing out ice cream, which gave him a chance to explain how many products, like cheese, ice cream and butter, come from milk.
Dawn Entzminger called the response to Dairy Day "overwhelming." Her clinic and the area outside it were packed full of families, daycares and other groups from the communities.
"Summer is perfect for this event," she said.
"I didn't know there were this many kids in Jamestown, but they just keep coming," Terry Entzminger said.
"We try to get bigger and better and have a different experience every year so that if you've come before there's something new if you come again," Dawn Entzminger said.
In addition to dairy treats, baby calves and cow milking, attendees got to play dairy-themed games for prizes, learn about what dairy cows eat, meet a "cow" mascot and take photos at a dairy-themed photo booth.
A number of agriculture groups participated in Dairy Day, with dairy groups and local FFA chapters and 4-H clubs helping out. The library put up a "farm library" in one of the clinic's rooms, and volunteers from Common Ground North Dakota were on hand to educate people about modern agriculture.
The Entzmingers hope reaching out to the public clears up some misconceptions about modern agriculture and dairy farms and allow people to feel good about the products they eat and drink.
"There's less than 100 dairy farms in the whole state, and yet your grocer's freezer is always full of milk and cheese and butter and all of those good things," Dawn Entzminger said. "So we work hard to bring you good food."