July 22 2013 08:12 AM

The Young family incorporates agriculture into family entertainment.

Before planning your next trip to the waterpark or beach, consider spending your weekend on the farm. Not just any farm though. Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio, offers visitors a chance to learn how a real-life dairy operates while also enjoying freshly made dairy products and having fun at their many attractions, including a miniature golf course and batting cages. The Young family has found success in providing visitors with education and entertainment while promoting family values, hard work and dairying.

The Young family takes pride in their history. Dan Young, CEO, shared how his grandfather first bought the farm in 1946. For the first several years the family focused on milking cows and farming their land. In the late '50s, they started to diversify by selling Jersey milk to the public via a self-serve operation. This was only the beginning of the brand that exists today. From the self-serve operation came a convenience store where they also sold dipped ice cream cones. In 1968, a new dairy store was built and the operation has continually evolved since.

Young's Jersey Dairy now has two restaurants, one in The Dairy Store and the other at The Golden Jersey Inn. The Dairy Store offers guests homemade ice cream, sandwiches, bakery treats and a gift shop that sells farmstead cheese with milk solely from Young's Jersey cows. The Golden Jersey Inn serves up "fresh, home style country cooked meals" for guests who are looking for comfort food and the feeling of being at home.

When guests are done enjoying their farm fresh meals, they have lots of options for fun. Mini golf, a driving range, batting cages and a giant slide are among the entertainment at Young's Jersey Dairy. The dairy also hosts special events, like a corn maze, vintage truck show, charity bike tour and farmstead cheese festival, among several others. In addition to that, Young's offer the ambiance of rural living. "We are in the family entertainment business. People like being on the farm, experiencing the country and seeing cows," said Dan Young.

Part of the Young's Jersey Dairy experience is sampling their delectable cheeses. They offer six flavors of fresh cheese curds (squeakers) along with Colby, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, an award-winning Baby Swiss and five types/ages of Cheddar. The family has been making cheese since July 2009 and uses all of the milk from their 30 cows to do so. These cows and their cheese are fairly unique. Young's is a closed herd that feeds a homegrown alfalfa ration, with rolled corn and a 10 percent grain mix. They choose not to feed silage because they feel it changes the flavor of their cheese. Since cutting silage out of their ration, the Young's have seen more milk and greater components as well as an improvement in herd health. The alfalfa diet also makes for a unique flavor of cheese.

If you ever find yourself in the Ohio countryside, Young's Jersey Dairy would be happy to have you. Whether you are eating at The Dairy Store or playing a round of miniature golf at Udders and Putters, the hospitality is apparent. For more information check out their website, http://youngsdairy.com/.

Young's Jersey Dairy Stats
  • 1.1 million guests visit per year
  • 330 employees, 12 of which are from the Young family
  • 70,000 gallons of ice cream are made per year
  • The Jersey cows average 58 pounds of milk per day
  • 45,000 pounds of cheese are made per year; 20,000 pounds of that are cheese curds
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The author is the 25th Hoard's Dairyman editorial intern. She will be a senior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. At Cal Poly, Taylor is majoring in dairy science with an agricultural communications minor. Pires grew up on a 500-cow dairy in Merced County, Calif.