Consumers Experience Dairy on Two Kansas Farms

Jun 29, 2016
a farm tour looks at cows being milked

Sometimes showing is better than telling. That’s why Kyle Averhoff opens up his Kansas dairies 15 to 20 times per year to young and old alike.

“Our dairies, like most dairies, are focused on taking really good care of our cows, really good care of our people, and trying to do things the right way,” Averhoff says. “And that’s something we want consumers to see firsthand.”

About one-third to one-half of the crowds coming through the farms are school groups (from preschool up through college), but they also attract leadership development groups from inside and outside of the agricultural industry and other organizations interested in seeing where their milk comes from. He says there’s no doubt some come in with preconceived notions, but he does his best to clear each one up before they leave.

“A lot of times one of the moms in the group will bring up something they’ve heard at the pediatrician’s office or read online,” Averhoff says. “And there are definitely some skewed views, especially when it comes to BST and other hormone-based products, or animal care. But generally these tours are very helpful. People get to put a face and a personality with the operation and gain a better understanding of how the animals are cared for.”

His strategy? Its transparency at its simplest.

“There's not a question they ask that we won't answer,” he says. “We just try to open our doors and just be people to people. I think that's what consumers really like, especially today.”