Loads of 3 and 4-year olds swarm around the baby cow.  “What do cows say?” asks the tour guide, followed by resounding “moooooo”s.  To get us ready for National Dairy Month, we are touring the Cinnamon Ridge Dairy farm in Donahue, IA, along with a preschool class.  Owned and operated by Mr. John Maxwell and his family, Cinnamon Ridge is home to a world-famous herd of Jersey cattle (their brown color lends the “cinnamon” to the farm’s name).  Now why are these cows world-famous?  Actually, it has more to do with their farmer.  Cinnamon Ridge got its start in 1997 when, at age 35, Maxwell received the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award.  This, along with his reputation for running a ship-shape farm, brought John Deere, Co., knocking.  Customers who were brought to tour the manufacturer’s operations were also asking for a tour of a farm, and Cinnamon Ridge was the farm John Deere turned to.  Since then, Maxwell has hosted corporate and independent tours and visitors from nearly fifty countries, all hoping to get a glimpse into the life of a dairy farmer.  These days, Cinnamon Ridge is open for parties, corporate retreats, tours, and meetings, often ending in a cooked-on-site meal.  In addition to producing dairy (used for milk and homemade cheese), Cinnamon Ridge also raises beef cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens and grows corn, soybeans, and winter wheat.

20150527_095344Untitled design