Dairy Fact: Indiana is number two in ice cream production in the U.S. — only one state makes more ice cream.

D&D Farms is a family-run dairy farm operating in Logansport, Indiana. Don and Dolores Hendrixson work with their two children, Christy and JP, to care for the family’s 1,300 milk cows, plus all the baby calves and ‘teenage’ heifers. In addition to family, the Hendrixson family farm creates 12 full time jobs for their rural community. D&D Farms originally began a hog farm, but when the bottom fell out of the pork market in 1998. The family was now in the market for a new species of livestock—and in 2002, they landed on dairy cows. The farm milks all of their cows three times each day, working to get their cows through the parlor quickly and back to the barn to relax, munch on some feed, and socialize. Like many other dairy farms, the Hendrixsons have a “freestall” barn, that allows cows to lay down in a clean, dry bed while providing them the freedom to get up and roam around whenever they like, including 24 hour access to feed and water. 

In addition the dairy farm, D&D Farms also grows 6000 acres of crops, both for the cows to eat and to sell as grain. The family also uses “cover crops” to protect their fields and improve the soil quality. Cover crops are simply a secondary crop grown to keep the field from standing empty, when it is subject to erosion. Many cover crops add nutrients back to the soil, or help break up compacted soil. D&D Farms uses the all-natural fertilizer produced by their cows (a.k.a. manure) to fertilize their fields. They also are able to provide the fertilizer to neighboring farms, cutting down on the need for expensive synthetic fertilizer. Farmers are a self-sufficient, generous group of people, as the Hendrixsons proved during the last really bad winter in Indiana, by plowing the county road near them with a tractor when the city plows were unable to get out that far, freeing their farm and their neighbors from isolation.