Milk and Cookies at the Kalispell Kreamery
Just 10 miles from our home near downtown Whitefish, there are a handful of farmers and more than 200 cows that produce all the milk and yogurt my family consumes.
Once a year, the owner’s of Kalispell Kreamery invite the public to enjoy a day of free “Milk and Cookies” at the family farm. It’s an event we never miss.
Upon arrival, you are quickly greeted by the owners themselves, Marilyn and her son, Joe, passing out stickers and warm, tender smiles.
Tours through the dairy facility are offered every 15 minutes and interpretive signs lead the way for a self-guided journey.
We chose the self-guided tour that includes a climb on a John Deere tractor and a visit to a barn filled with what seems like 1,000 cows. Outside the barns a few dairy cows relax on the grass in small enclosures. Children and adults alike are able to pet the cows or offer a handful of grass.
Nearby, in a small and covered tent, a pair of week-old calves are sleeping. Even the touch of five kids hands at the same time can’t wake these newborns from their slumber.
The Kalispell Kreamery and Hedstrom’s Dairy are the last dairy producers in the Flathead Valley. Daily at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., these friendly, local farmers milk 200 cows who produce, on average, 80 pounds of milk per day.
The Hedstroms are so amazing they even have a published a “Cow Bill of Rights.” The list includes freedom from thirst, unnecessary fear and distress, as well as room to roam and move about freely.
One of the last items on the bill of rights is the “freedom to express a majority of their normal behavioral repertoire.” I’m pretty sure this includes the desire to pee and poop when and where they like. My son thought that was the best part!
The Hedstrom’s have a guiding principle that they “sell the milk to keep the cows.” Guided by this, their cows are happy and healthy.
With the peaks of Glacier National Park peeking over Teakettle Mountain, we met the cows that feed us. It felt great to introduce my son to the cows and farmers that fill his bowl of cereal.
It’s good to know that our milk and yogurt is produced without the use of unnecessary antibiotics, GMOs or added hormones. I’m comforted in that fact that our milk comes from 10 generations of Holstein animals born and raised on a local farm.
In the words of the “Milk and Cookies” event flyer that could be found on gallon milk jugs in the weeks leading up to the event, “Nothin’ says I love you like free milk n’ cookies.”
Learn more about the Kalispell Kreamery visit online at www.kalispellkreamery.com