Happy Cow Appreciation Day! Celebrate accordingly with a tour of our famous Dairy Adventure – a MOOvelous time for all ages! You can ride the bus through our free stall barns, milking parlor, and digestor; discover exhibits featuring the sustainability aspects of the farm, cow nutrition, and the safety & nutrition of milk; watch our 3D/4D movie, and witness the birth of a calf in the Birthing Barn. Purchase your tickets today at the Admission building or online here: Purchase Tickets.
Fair Oaks Farms Yogurt!
This morning we’re whipping up a delicious and filling breakfast to put all other breakfasts to shame! Smoothie bowls are easy to prep, assemble, and eat on the go. We’ve included a recipe of one of our favorite bowls, but try out your own combinations at home to please your tastes. Most smoothie bowls are sweet, making it the perfect alternative to a sugary bowl of cereal for your children.
Very Berry Smoothie Bowl
- 1/2 cup Fair Oaks Farms Strawberry Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup Fair Oaks Farms 2% Milk
- 1 1/2 cup strawberries set 2 strawberries aside
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries set 4 blueberries aside
- 1 1/2 cup raspberries set 4 raspberries aside
- 1 1/2 cup blackberries set 4 blackberries aside
- 1 cup almonds sliced
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
Blend Fair Oaks Farms Strawberry Greek Yogurt, Fair Oaks Farms 2% Milk, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Pour mixture into a bowl.
Slice the strawberries that were set aside, then place all remaining fruit on top of the smoothie mixture in bowl.
Sprinkle sliced almonds and chia seeds on top. Enjoy!
By Sue McCloskey
At first glance, South by Southwest (SXSW) might be the last place you think the dairy industry would be. The event is billed as a way to “celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries.”
Sounds like miles away from our farms, doesn’t it?
But, the purpose behind SXSW and the people who attend it in droves every year are exactly why we need to keep this event circled on our dairy calendars.
Every March, people from across the globe converge on Austin, Texas, for a 10-day glimpse into the future. This is the second consecutive year the dairy industry has participated in the interactive portion of SXSW, thanks to the vision of the farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
The interactive portion of SXSW has become a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies and typically draws nearly 40,000 attendees.
I have known about SXSW for some time, so there was no hesitation on my part when I was asked to be part of a panel discussion hosted by the Innovation Center titled “We Love Technology … Why Not When it Comes to Food?”
Is there anything more relevant than the use of technology – and consumers’ misunderstanding of it — for those of us who farm every day?
The level of innovation in our country and on our farms defines us as Americans. We’re innovators, big thinkers and we challenge the status quo. That’s what has made this country – and farming – great. Yet, that doesn’t always resonate with a skeptical public who feels technology compromises the integrity of the food they consume.
So, our panel’s goal was to explore this complex relationship between food, technology and consumer trust to an audience of people we know are generations removed from farming. Our discussion was open, and it allowed me to address misperceptions in food production and why farm technology matters to them.
My message is one you are familiar with: we farm, so they don’t have to. We are the 2 percent of the nation that rises each day to assure food security. We have the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world and technology allows this to happen. Farm technology means they don’t have to think about growing their own food and they are free to pursue the careers they choose. Many people nodded in agreement as I shared these words.
The people at SXSW are influencers and early adopters of change. Many also represented a younger generation, and they’re more open-minded than we sometimes give them credit for. In most cases, we were the first farmers they have ever met, and the reception was absolutely positive. They wanted to learn about us and have an exchange of ideas.
What may have been most surprising is I didn’t find people who had a disposition against dairy or the “big ag” claims we sometimes hear. Instead, I met people who were open to talking with me and the other eight dairy farmers in attendance. When people can look a farmer in the eye and have a conversation, there is a level of trust built, and that’s what we need more of.
The vibe at SXSW is contagious. There is such energy through a collaboration of open discussion and thought among some of the brightest people you may ever meet. Our industry opened new doors there.
There is great value of inserting ourselves in unexpected places.
Sue McCloskey is the founder of Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana and Fairlife milk.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t stick to the simple favorites you’ve had every single year. Use a blast from the past to make your V-Day exciting this year, with Fondue for Two! Use Fair Oaks Farms cheese to ensure melty, gooey, quality deliciousness!
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into approximately 1-inch cubes
- 8 ounces Fair Oaks Farms Sweet Swiss Cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- After shredding Fair Oaks Farms Sweet Swiss, place in a bowl or resealable plastic bag and coat with all-purpose flour.
- Add garlic and wine to a fondue pot or large saucepan, simmer and then stir in lemon juice.
- Add cheese and flour mixture slowly, stirring with a wire whisk to prevent lumps.
- Keep warm on a low setting while serving, to prevent cheese from hardening. Use fondue forks to spear bread and begin dipping!
Tips & Tricks
- Not a fan of our Sweet Swiss cheese or looking for a different flavor? No problem! Use any Fair Oaks Farms cheese to get the exact taste you want. The above recipe might need to be adjusted slightly, but ultimately it’s about what satisfies you! We recommend trying Asiago, 5 Year Cheddar, or even Havarti Pepper for a kick!
- French bread is just a suggestion! Any kind of crusty bread will do, such as sourdough, ciabatta, or Italian. Or use anything that marries well with cheese, like cubes of ham, bacon, or steak, fresh mushrooms, broccoli florets, carrots, or apple wedges. Be creative!
- There are many deviations of simple fondue all over the internet. Look up your own recipes and try to find something that tickles your fancy, such as adding spices and other ingredients to the cheese.
- If the cheese starts thickening, add a bit of wine (or milk, if you choose to keep your cheese nonalcoholic).
- Most importantly, have fun! Fondue is meant to be experimental and customizable!
Picking out the unique recipes that appear on this blog isn’t always easy. There are so many incredible recipes that come across our desks, and so many perfect Fair Oaks Farms products to choose to exhibit. When it comes to National Cheese Lovers Day, we wanted to pick a recipe that everyone could enjoy, but we couldn’t settle on just one. We’ve chosen two different recipes, a sandwich and a steak, that use Fair Oaks Farms cheeses creatively. Our cheeses add to the depth of flavor in each dish, so whichever you choose to make you won’t be disappointed!
Cheesy Crusted Steak Rolls
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 cups of mushrooms, diced
- 2 small red onions, diced
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 pound beef sirloin steak
- 8 ounces Fair Oaks Farms Provolone cheese, sliced
- 2 to 3 teaspoons butter or vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Flatten out steak, using plastic wrap and a meat tenderizer. After, season both sides with salt and pepper or other seasonings of your choosing. Set to the side.
- Heat skillet and add butter or vegetable oil. Once hot, add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender. Turn off the stove and add spinach, cooking until wilted.
- Spread spinach, onion, and mushroom mixture onto flattened steak, careful not to reach the edges. Leave about an inch border.
- Place slices of provolone over steak and mixture.
- Roll steak tightly, then secure with skewers or twine, about 2 inches apart. Cut between each skier or twine so that each slice is even.
- Using the same skillet you used for spinach, onion, and mushroom mixture, add another teaspoon of oil or butter and heat. Once warm add the steak rolls and cook each side for about 3 minutes. Then place in oven for about 5 minutes.
- Serve warm with salad or side dish of your choosing.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces Fair Oaks Farms Smoked Sweet Swiss
- 4 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
- 4 white sandwich bread slices
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup Fair Oaks Farms Whole Milk
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Raspberry jam, for serving
- Divide mustard, cheese, and ham evenly between two bread slices, placing the second slice on top of each.
- Whisk eggs and milk.
- Place butter in medium skillet, then dip sandwiches in milk mixture and place on skillet. Cook until golden brown on each side.
- Serve warm with powdered sugar on top and raspberry jam on the side.
While searching the internet far and wide for some of the best recipes involving milk, it was clear there was a frontrunner. On many websites and food blogs, Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk has been awarded the best chicken dish. Reviews of the recipe proclaim its milk sauce adds a creamy, delicious touch that completes the meal. We thought we’d share the recipe with you to celebrate National Milk Day. Add your touch with side dishes displaying complementary taste profiles, such as jasmine rice, greens, or cheesy potatoes.
- 3-pound whole chicken
- olive oil
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 1 handful fresh sage
- 2 lemons
- 10 cloves garlic
- 2.5 cups Fair Oaks Farms Milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then fry in a pot with a little oil until golden, turning the chicken to get an even color.
- Remove chicken from heat, place on a plate, then discard oil left in the pot.
- Place chicken back in the pot with cinnamon, sage, lemon zest, unpeeled garlic cloves, and Fair Oaks Farms Milk.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until cooked throughout. Baste with cooking juices occasionally. The lemon zest will split the milk, but this is ideal and makes the sauce more flavorful.
- When finished, pull the meat off the bones and serve with plenty of juices and lemon curds, spooned from the pan.
If you are listening to your stomach growl or just out on the road and need to stretch your legs then there’s no better place on the long stretch of I65 between Indianapolis and Chicago than the Cowfé at Fair Oaks Farms.
Tucked into the cornfields of northwest Indiana, you will find a farm that is unlike any other of its kind. The first business to occupy the campus of Fair Oaks Farms was the Cowfé, which was erected in 2003.
Originally the Cowfé was a place where people could grab a bite to eat and also learn about the different cheeses that we produce here fresh from the farm. Since then, it has evolved into its own unique experience that keeps people talking.
The Cowfé is now home to our Greek yogurt plant, ice cream and cheese production. You can watch the production through glass windows as you taste your Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, bite into a melted and crispy grilled cheese sandwich or sip a hot cup of Starbucks coffee.
The Cowfé is normally open from 7:30a until 6:00p CST (currently open winter hours: 8a-5p CST) and offers breakfast, lunch and early dinner options.
If you’re looking to remember your experience here on the farm, the Cowfé is also home to the destinations souvenir shop, which has plenty of sweatshirt, t-shirt and other great souvenir options.
To top everything off and to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Cowfé became the home of our Farmstead Chocolates in 2015. Try a variety of different chews, nougats and candy bars that will melt on your taste buds.
Back to School …Fair Oaks Farms®
It’s almost that time every child is dreading, Back to School! That means summer is almost over and it’s back to early bedtimes, hectic schedules and lots of homework. Why not plan one last fun trip before summer is over? Let’s do a back to school checklist but add a little Adventure to it!
Back to School Fair Oaks Farms checklist:
- Catch some air on the Dairy Air jumping pillow
- See if you can conquer the ropes course in the Pork Education Center
- Enjoy a hot dog kids meal at the Cowfe
- Ride the “school” bus to our Dairy and Pig Adventures
- See who’s the fastest on the pedal tractors
- Adopt a stuffed pig or cow at our Gift Shop
- Sit and enjoy some T.V. in the Redwood King’s tree house
- Enjoy dinner and scenery on the porch of the Farmhouse Restaurant
- Climb Udder heights on our 25 foot milk bottle
- Watch a baby calf being born
- Scoop up your favorite flavored ice cream
- Sample the specialty peanut butter at the Market and Bakery
- Taste our one-of-a-kind Fine Chocolates
Have your family burn off some energy before school and participate in our Farm15K on August 15th. Our Farm15K offers two different levels: 15K or 5K. Let’s see who can get the fastest time out of your bunch. Make those summer memories that your family will always remember. Spoil your children before all the hard work begins. Educate them with fun and modern farming.
Even though summer is almost over, we are excited that fall is right around the corner. Our fall festival, CowtoberFest® is going to be a 2-day event of excitement this year. Jon Neill of Halloween Wars will be returning to wow us with his spectacular pumpkin carvings.
Catch a performance by Indiana native and winner of Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star Competition, Clayton Anderson. Prepare to be swept away by a magical performance from Dennis Watkins, award- winning magician, mind reader, published playwright, celebrated actor and accomplished director. So come on out, throw on your costume, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and enjoy the fun!
Fair Oaks Farms opened our first family-style restaurant in July of 2014. Many people have already heard about it and some have not, but soon will. This beautiful restaurant is simply hard to miss. You can see it standing stoically from I65 and can smell the aroma of food from the parking lots throughout the campus.
Why should you try The Farmhouse Restaurant? Did you know that most of the food is grown right here on our farms? The food that is not grown on our farms is harvested locally…and we work with some of the best local partners around! You may even know some of them.
You step into this gorgeous restaurant and you’re in complete “wow”. The high ceilings, the rustic flair, the warmth of the colors and the enormous fireplace bring charm to this great new addition to Northwest IN.
The happy and welcoming staff will lead the way to your seat. Note; their adorable farm style uniforms. If you’re of age, choose to sit in the pub because you will get to see Craig if you’re dining throughout the day and he is a wonderful conversationalist. He always has a smile on his face and makes you feel at home. I noticed while I was eating my delicious Classic Burger (with Fair Oaks Farms Mild Cheddar) that he was telling some travelers about how much he loves the Fair Oaks Farms products, especially the chocolate FairLife milk. He even let them sample some. The customers absolutely loved sharing the experience with Craig and with each other and immediately asked where they could purchase some. (Of course, everything is available next door in our Market & Bakery). That’s the kind of atmosphere you’ll find at The Farmhouse. Everyone there makes you feel like part of the family.
If the food isn’t enough to get you to come back for more, you need to try one of the signature drinks. I tried the Lemonade B and it was just amazing! It was refreshing, delicious and with just the right amount of tang to it. There are several signature drinks to try from and their bartenders are all fully trained to give you the best experience possible.
If you have time, you HAVE to check out the unique bathrooms. I know, I’m talking about the BATHROOMS! But they are absolutely adorable. Each one is unique in its own way. And there have been several accounts where they have become conversation starters at the tables in the dining rooms.
To top off your experience (and if you have a warm coat during these colder months) walk around the wrap-around porch to the backside of the restaurant. There you will see this beautiful landscaping complete with a custom waterfall. I can picture some lucky couple getting married right there and what a beautiful picture opportunity.
Let us do the planning for you!
The Fair Oaks Farms’ Ultimate Trip Guide
How to get the most BANG for your buck.
Are you looking to get away? Take a break from your every day life and spend some quality time with the family? We know that get a ways can be costly so we have provided this Go To guide for you to get the most bang for your buck and also create an amazing experience for you and your family.
So what is it about Fair Oaks Farms that would make the experience so unique? Unlike other destinations, we provide wholesome & educational family experiences. We educate while we entertain and so we refer to ourselves as an edutainment tourism destination. The goal for Fair Oaks Farms, is to educate the public about modern farming procedures while providing a transparent look at everything we do, taking care of our animals and our planet and providing the best, most nutritious products to our customers.
So what do we offer? Where to begin! The first attraction that appeared on our campus is The Dairy Adventure. The Dairy Adventure is home to 35,000 dairy cows and counting! Just call us the Duggars of dairy cows! (The family actually visited us in August 2014). The Dairy Adventure consists of over 60 interactive exhibits, a 3D/4D movie experience, a kid’s activity center and an arena-styled birthing barn where you can witness a live birth of a calf! From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we open our outdoor play area which features a sky high milk bottle climb, a giant bounce pillow, riding tractors, a train, and bungee fun!! This whole experience will take an average of about 2-3 hours.
The second attraction to join our farm family was The Pig Adventure, which opened in August 2013. Our farm full of cute piglets is such a unique experience. You’ll notice the smell of the farm is muted with our special filtration system that we use. But don’t be surprised if you get a small whiff of something piggy…we still are a working pig farm! This portion of your experience is filled with state-of-the-art attractions, which even feature virtual greeters, and a virtual pig that walks around your body!! Don’t forget to “shower in”, we are a bio-secure farm. This means that we do everything we can to keep disease, bacteria, and residue out of our farms to provide the cleanest home possible to our pigs. Only the cleanest piggies in our pens!
The third attraction to come on board was our Farmhouse Restaurant. This big beautiful farmhouse styled facility is hard to miss. You’ll notice the amazing aroma of delicious food cooking seep into the parking lots (it makes your mouth water). The kitchen in our restaurant has a glass wall, so you can literally see EVERYTHING that is going on behind the kitchen. Don’t forget to try one of our signature adult beverages in the pub while you’re there. The Farmhouse also features a large ballroom suitable for up to 270 guests that makes the perfect venue for business events, weddings and so much more! Ask our event planner, Rachel Main, for one of our event planning guides while you’re in for a visit.
The latest attraction to open here at Fair Oaks Farms is our Market & Bakery. Seriously! There is fresh homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies, salads, fresh produce, local meat products, beer and wine. It couldn’t get much better than that! The perfect take-home items!
So how is this the “ultimate” trip guide? It’s simple. Let me personally break down your visit, that way you don’t miss a thing!
- Start at The Dairy Adventure.
- Quiz your dairy knowledge in our Diva Hall.
- Be surprised in our 3D/4D movie experience.
- Walk through our exhibit halls.
- Learn about sustainability.
- Go on the dairy bus tour and learn about our milking carousel.
- Try our video games, milking contest and carousel in our activity room.
- Eat lunch at our café. (I suggest one of our signature grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream for dessert!)
- Visit our Dairy Birthing Barn.
- Ride our pig bus to the Pig Adventure.
- Try out our virtual farm experience.
- Don’t forget to try our interactive sonogram.
- Get your picture taken in the farm clothes with our pig.
- Watch the babies being born.
- Try our “corn maze”
- Eat dinner at The Farmhouse Restaurant. The portions are big enough that you’ll have leftovers for the following day! (There’s even a kids menu)
Where are you going to stay? We have two hotel partners that we work along side. You can visit The Holiday Inn Express in Rensselaer (6 miles), or The Radisson Hotel in Merrillville (35 miles). Check their websites for money saving family packages!
So what are the savings secrets? That’s the important stuff, right? How can you spend as little as you can and get the most out of your experience? Well here are the following spending saving secrets…
- Fair Oaks Farms is actually featuring a Holiday inspired event called The Holiday Farm Frenzy on December 20, so you get EVEN more for your buck on that day! Admission is more than 50% off that day!
- Purchase an Adventure Pass if you live local and know you will visit more than once! After two visits the card pays for itself and comes with some bonus perks in the summertime!
- Check our partners, South Shore CVA’s website for money saving coupons.
- Plan as a group and receive a discounted rate for groups with 20 or more! But prepare to plan ahead. You need to book at least 2 weeks in advance to get this price.
Well there you have it, the Fair Oaks Farms’ Ultimate Trip Guide! But stay tuned, because we are still growing! Watch out for the three new buildings going up in the year 2015!!
For more information about hours of operation, admission prices, and special events please visit our website at fofarms.com
Fair Oaks Farms | Start Your Adventure, Feed Your Curiosity