Place/Event: Hansen’s Dairy
Location: 8461 Lincoln Rd, Hudson, Iowa 50643, United States
Cost: Fee: see website.
Grade/age range: All ages.
Group size: small or large. Some tour sizes are limited.
Stroller friendly: Jogging stroller recommended.
Food: Samples available with tour fee.
Hansen’s Dairy is a 7th generation, 150 year-old working dairy farm in eastern Iowa just south of Cedar Falls. They take pride in providing high-quality wholesome food products and offering educational opportunities.
Passionate about sharing their love for farm life, four different types of farm tours are provided during the warm weather months. Please read through their detailed descriptions carefully to choose the right tour for your family or group. An extensive FAQ list helps clarify common questions.
Please note, you must have a reservation to visit the farm. All guests start at the Tour Center which is the first stop after you turn onto the gravel road. Directions to the center are found in the FAQ’s on their website. Guests will be escorted from the tour center to the dairy barns via a tractor trolley ride.
Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted, however, all opinions expressed in this article are completely ours and based on our own family’s unique experience.
Educators and teachers will find a wealth of information on the Hansen’s Dairy blog including videos on how to make butter, ice cream, and cheese. Milk bottling, triplet baby calves, and a ‘Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy Quiz’ are a few of the other fabulous resources.
Our Tour Experience
Tour experiences will vary depending on the type of tour you choose. The cool spring morning that we visited included petting the calves and kangaroos and also learning about the milking parlor and creamery. We greatly enjoyed our visit and know you will too.
We started out our visit with petting the kangaroos. This was a unique experience and a highlight of our whole week! You might have seen some social media posts floating around that claim Iowa has a kangaroo farm. Well, that’s not the complete truth. There isn’t a kangaroo farm but there is a farm with kangaroos!
These special kangaroos are family pets of Blake Hansen and his family. Blake fell in love with the animals after a trip to Australia. Talk about a memorable souvenir! After adding to their herd, the Hansen family welcomed baby Roodolph who will celebrate his 1st birthday in 2020. Proud parents Rocket (dad) and Scooter (mom) also have one other baby named Rocky. Roodolph was hand-raised in the Blake’s home until he was ready to be integrated into the kangaroo pen.
If your kids are begging for a new pet, just know a female kangaroo can cost around $3000 to purchase.
In addition to the kangaroos, we loved petting the six-week-old calves. We were not visiting during feeding time, but would love to come back for a chance to bottle feed a calf.
Hansen’s Dairy milking parlor is unique because it was one of the first in the state of Iowa to be attached to a barn. This allows the cows to be milked, fed, and lay down all under one roof. Each cow is given their own stall for rest and access to an outdoor lot. All the cows in the Hansen herd get their own special name which is written on their tag.
The cows are milked twice daily, at 4:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. Sixteen of the 150 (average) cows are milked in the parlor at one time. The milking process for the entire heard, with clean-up, takes two-three hours depending on how many cows are in production. Each cow is only milked for around five minutes and produces around five gallons.
Math Word Problem Challenge:
In the milking parlor, sixteen cows are milked at 4:00 A.M. and again at 3:30 P.M. for five minutes and produce five gallons each time. How much milk is collected from sixteen cows each day?
If the farmer has 150 cows in production, how many minutes are cows being milked in a week?
A gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds. How many pounds of milk would 16 cows produce each day?
Adhering to safety and sanitation guidelines, guests do not enter the creamery but can view activity through a large glass window. Inside the creamery, Hansen’s Dairy employees process milk, make butter, cheese curds, cream and other products.
Making ice cream is a two day process and finishes with mixing in one or more of over 20 flavors. Much of the work is not automated and preformed by hand. The ice cream starts as a vanilla or chocolate base, then workers will add in other ingredients, concentrating on making only a few flavors at one time.
Returning to the Tour Center, guests can mark their location on several maps, including a wold map. With a cozy country vibe, there are plenty of fun things to look at. A test kitchen is used for continued learning. Kids can make butter, sample milk, ice cream, and cheese curds.
Visiting Hansen’s Dairy Farm is a great way to enjoy delicious treats, have unique animal encounters, and make special family memories. Add this destination to your Eastern Iowa travel plans!
After your tour at Hansen’s Dairy, head north into Cedar Falls and over to Waterloo. Here’s a list of seven fabulous things to do in the area with children including a one-of-a-kind art themed children’s museum.
Want to take an Eastern Iowa Road Trip? You won’t be disappointed at Effigy Mounds or Pikes Peak State Park.