Dairy Day comes to Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

  • Visitors can meet Liberty, one of only 245 registered Heritage Milking Shorthorns in the country, during Dairy Day at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago.

    Visitors can meet Liberty, one of only 245 registered Heritage Milking Shorthorns in the country, during Dairy Day at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

 
 
Updated 9/6/2018 6:50 PM

Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago is a great place to learn where our food comes from.

That will be especially true on Saturday, when it hosts the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's annual Dairy Day. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farm, 1N600 County Farm Road.

 

"We want people to realize where their food comes from," said Keith McClow, the district's heritage education manager. "Most people go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk and some butter and don't give it much thought."

At Dairy Day, visitors will learn about foods that come from milk. They also will get an up close look at how butter and ice cream are made.

"It is always a fun time to visit Kline Creek Farm because we are not the watching-history farm," McClow said. "We are the living-history farm. So we aren't going to be turning the crank for the ice cream. We're going to have the visitors coming up."

Visitors will help make ice cream by churning the ingredients and adding salt and ice to the freezer cans before tasting the finished product.

Dairy Day usually is held at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville. But this year's event was moved to Kline Creek because of construction.

"It's going to be a very different event," McClow said.

Because Kline Creek depicts local farm life in the 1890s, it will feel "a little more primitive" than St. James Farm, according to McClow.

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Still, the message is the same.

"Dairy is an important food for us," he said. "We want people to understand how it has been produced over the years."

One advantage of having the event at Kline Creek is that cows and calves live there. They will be part of Dairy Day, including Liberty, one of only 245 registered Heritage Milking Shorthorns in the United States.

Visitors will be able to talk with Kline Creek staff and volunteers about the differences between dairy and beef cattle. "They will be able to see a dairy cow and compare it to a beef cow," McClow said.

At the Timber Ridge Visitor Center, visitors can milk Maggie the Milking Cow, meet Maggie's calf, and play with a toy dairy barn.

In addition, they can tour the farmhouse and get a glimpse into the daily routine of farmers on a northern Illinois dairy farm, and stroll through the farmstead for a look at the farm's sheep, horses, chickens, turkeys and cats.

Dairy Day is expected to attract hundreds of people to Kline Creek.

"We will be ready for 800 people," McClow said. "Anyone who wants to come is absolutely welcome."

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