Weekend Planner: Dairy Day on the prairie

Weekend Planner: Dairy Day on the prairie

Dairy days are quite common in dairy-heavy Minnesota and Wisconsin, the home states of Amanda Zwilling and Lynn Doran, both members of the Young Ag Leaders of the Champaign County Farm Bureau. So they thought it was a good idea to host a Central Illinois June Dairy Day. The first takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in rural Champaign. Here's more on the event courtesy of staff writer Melissa Merli:

1.

Dairy Day visitors can sample and buy products from Prairie Fruits Farm, Ropp Cheese, Kilgus Farmstead and Green Meadows Dairy.

"There's a very unique cottage dairy industry in Illinois, and we want to educate people about it and highlight these businesses," Doran said.

Several agriculture-based nonprofits, among them the Land Connection and Farm Bureau, also will be there, leading educational activities for kids.

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The Farm Bureau will take its Learning Barn to the farm for kids to explore, and there will be animal-feed play stations, such as "little mountains of hay for kids to climb," Doran said. There also will be a soybean sandbox, with shovels and scoops supplied.

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An unusual aspect of Dairy Day: the display of a 60-pound butter carving of Zwilling's head, done 10 years ago when she was a finalist in the Princess Kay of the Milky Way contest in Minnesota.

Also, the Young Ag Leaders will host a cookout, with proceeds going to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. Dairy Day is free, but organizers ask that people attending bring nonperishable food donations for the food bank.

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