Kuehnert Dairy Farm – Allen County
Kuehnert’s Fall Festival draws large crowds to learn more about dairy industry
For 120 years, Kuehnert Dairy Farm, nestled next to Fort Wayne, Indiana, has produced one of nature’s greatest products — milk. As the city around them expands and markets change, the Kuehnert family is sharing their agricultural knowledge with the community while continuing to run a successful dairy.
Friday, August 11 – Celebrating Cheese
Alan Kuehnert, fourth generation dairy farmer, and his wife, Cindy, started milking 20 cows in 1975 and over the years, have expanded to the 300 cows they milk today. Four generations of the family are now actively involved in the dairy.
“We all have our own special areas to focus on,” says Nathan Kuehnert, Alan and Cindy’s son. He and his brother, Andrew, are the fifth generation to be involved with the dairy. “Andrew focuses on the feed, dad manages the overall farm, Stan (Alan’s brother) tends to the crops and I take care of the cows.”
In addition to normal farm duties, the Kuehnerts share their agricultural knowledge and their farm with the community. In 2013, they began opening their farm gates to local schools and visitors on five or six weekends every fall for the Kuehnert Dairy Farm Fall Festival. Featuring quality family fun, the event focuses on agriculture and the nutritional benefits of dairy products. Visitors enjoy dairy treats and view cow milking while learning about the dairy industry and enjoying the corn maze and other activities.
In 2016, the dairy welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors. Everyone leaves with a little more knowledge about what goes into the dairy products they enjoy.
“Almost all of the visitors we have really want to learn and understand a lot of the things we do,” Andrew said.
The Kuehnerts also incorporate new technology into their operation to improve productivity and maximize their cows’ well-being. Almost three years ago, they installed four robotic milkers to assist in milking their 300 cows. They also use neck collars for the cows to help track their eating habits, milk production and overall health. Similar to the wearable technology many people use to track their steps, the collars sync with the farm’s computer, allowing the Kuehnerts to easily track herd health and status.
“Using technology has helped us to be more efficient, improved our family life a little bit and given us more flexibility,” Alan explains.
The dairy’s close proximity to Fort Wayne means expansion isn’t an option. Instead, the Kuehnerts have opted to maintain the herd’s current size and focus on optimizing production with their high-quality cows.
Through their educational festival and their longstanding commitment to improve their dairy, the Kuehnert family has two goals: helping consumers learn more about the benefits of dairy products and continuing the tradition of producing high-quality milk for generations to come.