Dairy Education Center
Davis Family Dairies
In 2003, the Davis Family opened Northern Plains Dairy, a modern free-stall dairy milking 3,000 Jersey cows just southwest of St. Peter, Minnesota. Davis Family Dairies expanded in 2008 with the construction of New Sweden Dairy, which houses another 3,200 Jersey cows in addition to the academic facilities of the Dairy Education Center. At New Sweden Dairy, cows are milked in a 72-stall rotary parlor and housed in a sand-bedded, cross-ventilated free-stall barn. New Sweden Dairy serves as the transition facility for Davis Family Dairies, housing all the cows that have recently calved, as well as those waiting to calve and any other cows needing special attention. Over 9,000 calves are born at New Sweden every year.
Calves are cared for in the nursery at New Sweden until they are 2 weeks old, and then they are moved to the nearby calf-raising facility. This facility, Granby Calf Ranch, was built in 2012 and will house over 4,000 calves in group pens with automatic feeders for the pre-weaned age groups. A third dairy, High Island Dairy broke ground in fall of 2012, and houses an additional 3,000 lactating cows.
Davis Family Dairies employ around 135 employees and provide a major source of business for local suppliers of feed, forage, dairy equipment, and services. The dairies also supply an important source of manure nutrients to neighboring crop farms. Over 500,000 pounds of milk are produced daily and then processed into cheese at the nearby Le Sueur Cheese Company.