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Thursday, October 19
Depart McCormick Place: 12:30 p.m.
Return McCormick Place: 6:00 p.m.
This half-day tour in the greater Chicago area will provide the opportunity to explore an innovative grocery store as well as visit the regional United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) milk and milk product testing facility.
Amazon Fresh Grocery Store
Amazon is all about the cloud, e-commerce and entertainment but has ventured into "brick and mortar" stores with their Amazon Fresh concept found in suburban areas. Competition is everywhere for the global leader in e-commerce. Amazon continues to receive press about its unique Just Walk Out technology. With the Amazon Go app, combined with Amazon Dash unique shopping cart, consumers can shop/scan their own products and check out automatically with no other interactions. Check out this video for an overview of these new revolutionary stores https://www.amazon.com/dashcart. The e-commerce giant could possibly open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go locations in major metropolitan areas. Tour participants will have the opportunity to experience this new shopping technology.
USDA Federal Milk Marketing Order Laboratory
This U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory agency monitors both raw and finished milk products in the Upper Midwest area of the United States. USDA and other regulatory agencies such as this have been collaborating for years with Cornell University on research to improve analytical method performance to support the dairy industry. USDA is proud of the academic/government collaboration to advance the accuracy and repeatability of milk testing. This USDA lab testing on milk includes both chemical and electronic methods, including: Butterfat; Protein; Total Solids; Lactose; Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN); and Somatic Cells. Located in suburban Chicago, about 30 miles west of the IDF meeting location, tour participants will see the seven areas of the laboratory facility and briefly discuss the processes and testing done in each area. Trained personnel will be on hand to answer questions.
Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20
Departs McCormick Place: 8:00 a.m. October 19
Returns O'Hare Airport: 3:00 p.m. October 20
Returns McCormick Place: 4:30 p.m. October 20
This two-day tour to the state of Michigan, a growing dairy area, includes overnight accommodations and all food/beverage during the tour. On the return, the bus will drop off any guests at O'Hare International airport that have evening departures before returning to the McCormick Place.
Crandall Dairy Farms
At Crandall Dairy Farms LLC in Battle Creek, Michigan, elite milk quality is their measuring stick. The farm's 350-cow herd has received six consecutive National Dairy Quality Awards and numerous Michigan Milk Producers Association gold quality awards. The team works together, reviewing weekly and monthly lab reports to focus on the fine details of animal care in order to be competitive in today's dairy business. As the fifth generation on the farm, Mark and Brad Crandall work alongside a dedicated team of employees in continuous pursuit of higher-quality milk.
After emigrating to the United States from the Netherlands, Klaas and Mares Vanderploeg established Vanderploeg Holsteins in Ithaca, Michigan. They began the operation with 190 cows and have since grown to milk 3,500 cows in a state-of-the-art, 72-unit rotary parlor. Today, the Vanderploegs, along with their children, Tony, Alex, Louise, and their daughter-in-law, Nicole, are passionate about sharing their family farm with consumers. Their expansive operation features direct load tankers, a sand recycler and a separate parallel parlor for fresh cows, utilizing the farm's original structures to maximize farm productivity while still focusing on milk quality.
Michigan Evening Event
Sit back, relax and enjoy good food and camaraderie at The Lansing Brewing Company, one of the first breweries established in Lansing in 1897. This popular establishment serves as a living testament to the hard-working men and women who built their great city, embracing their roots while heralding in a new beer-loving generation.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Lansing Eastwood
Proliant Dairy Ingredients
In 2008, Proliant Dairy Ingredients opened the doors of a state-of-the-art whey permeate processing facility in the state of Minnesota next door to a Land O' Lakes cheese plant. From day one, the commitment has been to produce the highest quality whey permeate while developing demand for permeate food applications by demonstrating the value and functionality of a whey byproduct considered for years to be only a feed ingredient. In 2020, Proliant opened a new plant in St John's, Michigan, which will be on the tour visit. This facility has the largest permeate drier in the world and adjoins the Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. new joint-venture, large-scale cheese and whey production facility. Proliant manufactures a high-quality, cost-effective, soluble dairy product solid (Whey Permeate), using advanced technologies, so that the product naturally agglomerates and is non-hygroscopic, non-caking, non-bridging and free-flowing. Proliant produces 65,000 MT in its St John's, MI Facility per year, and exports to over 30 countries.
Note: during this tour, you may expect to ascend/descend at least three flights of stairs.
MWC is a large-scale cheese and whey protein manufacturing facility in St. Johns, Michigan. It is a joint venture between Glanbia PLC, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Select Milk Producers Inc. (Select). MWC processes over 2.9 billion pounds of milk and will produce over 300 million pounds of superior block cheese and 20 million pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year. Employing nearly 260 employees, MWC makes world-class products of the highest quality to be sold worldwide. Tour visitors will have the opportunity to walk through this state-of-the-art facility, which invested 48,000 training hours before starting up, to observe the different cheese-making stages and the whey filtration process.
Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20
Depart McCormick Place: 8:00 a.m. October 19
Return O'Hare Airport: 2:30 p.m. October 20
Return McCormick Place: 4:00 p.m. October 20
This two-day tour to the state of Wisconsin, known as America's Dairyland, where multi-generational farmers and processors work together to create innovative and nutritious foods, engineer new technology, and enhance sustainability efforts. This tour includes overnight accommodations and all food/beverage during the tour. On the return, the bus will drop off any guests at O'Hare International airport that have evening departures before returning to the McCormick Place.
The Klondike Cheese Company, a fourth-generation family-owned cheese company, is still located on the original site established by the Buholzer family in the late 1800s. Known for producing award winning cheese, including Feta, Muenster, Brick and Havarti cheeses, Klondike also produces Greek yogurt. The secret to Klondike's quality is the combination of using state-of-the-art equipment, their very own special recipes and time-honored traditions of cheesemaking. In fact, Klondike is home to five Master Cheesemakers including the three Buholzer brothers - Ron, Dave and Steve - along with Steve's son, Adam, who represents the fourth generation, as well as two additional cheesemakers, including Steve's son-in-law. The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program is an advanced training program administered by the Center for Dairy Research and is the only one of its kind in the U.S.
Larson Acres focuses on three key things that are the foundation of everything they do as a family dairy business — quality, pride and family. They take great pride in the top-quality product they produce for consumers across America. But it's not just about the milk they produce. For generations, the family has taken pride in how they care for their animals, how they protect the environment, how they plan for the future, how they treat their employees and how they give back to the community in which they live.
Their facilities enhance cow comfort, protect the environment, and allow the family farm business to be sustainable well into the future:
Hinchley Dairy Farm
Hinchley Dairy Farm Tours and Hinchley Dairy Farm are owned by Tina and Duane Hinchley who farm with their daughter Anna, a recent graduate from University of Wisconsin-Madison. At that time, Hinchleys expanded the farm, adding four Lely robots and growing to 240 cows. A strong proponent of agri-tourism and education, the Hinchleys have been hosting dairy farm tours for over 25 years, educating thousands of school children, families, and international visitors annually about dairy farming and the milk that cows make for so many nutritional dairy products. Today, the Hinchley Dairy Farm herd consists of over 400 registered dairy cattle and 2500 tillable acres.
Wisconsin Evening Event – Four Winds Farm
Dairy isn't just a key economic engine of the state—the dairy industry IS Wisconsin. Every wedge of world-class cheese is an ambassador for the values that make Wisconsin the special place it is. 95% of the dairy farms in Wisconsin are family owned, and 90% of the milk produced in Wisconsin goes into making cheese. Immerse yourself in America's Dairyland with cuisine, culture, and conversation while connecting with Wisconsin's pride – farmers, processors, and industry professionals; Speak with Master Cheesemakers, R&D specialists, technology gurus and explore how Wisconsin brings sustainable practices forward to continue driving innovation and growth for its dairy industry.
Doubletree by Hilton Madison East
Headquartered in DeForest, Wisconsin, USA, ABS Global, a division of Genus plc, is the world-leading provider of bovine genetics, reproduction services, technologies, and udder care products. Marketing in more than 70 countries around the globe, ABS has been at the forefront of animal genetics and technology since its founding in 1941. In bovine genetics, ABS serves more than 40,000 customers globally, including some of the world's leading beef and dairy producers. ABS Global owns bull studs in Europe, North America, Latin America, and India, selling genetics to dairy and beef customers in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Genus is a British-based company leader in porcine and bovine genetics market. The company is committed to developing better pigs and cows for farmers by selecting animals with desirable characteristics that help them to produce higher quality meat and milk more sustainably.
Center for Dairy Research
The Center for Dairy Research (CDR) offers the expertise of more than 30 researchers, scientists and cheesemakers with combined experience in food and dairy manufacturing. CDR's mission is to support the dairy industry through research, training, and troubleshooting. Supported by dairy farmer checkoff dollars, CDR is world-leading in cheese and dairy product development, cheese and dairy as ingredients, contract research, and troubleshooting for product and process manufacturing. The Center's research focuses on understanding the various aspects of cheese, as well as the microbes and processes that affect safety, quality, texture and flavor. CDR is well-known for its technical training programs; conducting around 25 short courses each year and training more than 1,200 industry employees annually in cheese, dairy proteins, cultured products, butter, cheese grading, processing, beverages, and sensory. CDR recently moved into its new three-story, state-of-the-art research center, located in Babcock Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. To learn more about CDR or view short videos about the new Center, equipment, and capabilities, visit https://www.cdr.wisc.edu.
Friday, October 20
Departs McCormick Place: 8:00 a.m.
Returns McCormick Place: 5:00 p.m.
This one-day tour offers the opportunity to visit two examples of dairy farming in the state of Indiana - a grazing operation as well as a well-known agri-tourism farm visited by thousands each year.
Kleine Dairy is the quintessential Indiana dairy farm, one of almost 700 in the state. This multi-generational farm milks around 120 cows that seasonally grazes on the surrounding pasture. Kleine Dairy has hosted local, state and national representatives while offering agritourism on the farm, with a fall pumpkin patch and sightseeing on the farm to help the public experience where their milk comes from. Kleine Dairy will showcase their pasture grazing management practices and calf care strategies as a small family farm. Visitors will also see on-farm diversification with agritourism opportunities to bring the surrounding public to the farm.
Fair Oaks Farm
Fair Oaks Farms is the "Disney World of Agriculture", with multiple attractions sharing the story of crop and dairy production. With over 500,000 visitors each year, the farm serves as a transparent look into dairy, crop, pork, and poultry production. Fair Oaks spreads across nearly 30 square miles, with 36,000 cows producing 280,000 gallons of milk daily. The Fair Oaks visit will be centered around animal care and sustainability, as visitors tour a rotary parlor, birthing center for calves, and state-of-the-art robotic milking barn, all with interactive exhibits. Award-winning cheeses and lunch at the onsite restaurant complete a true farm to table experience at this large-scale modern dairy farm. Owner Mike McClosky will personally join the group and welcome you to Fair Oaks Farm.