Harvest Hosts is an incredible RV membership program with a large network of available hosts. So far, 2377+ locations have opened their hearts and their homes and/or businesses to members of the Harvest Hosts RVing community. Through this program, members receive overnight accommodations with no camping fees in peaceful and serene places across North America. In return, members are asked to make a purchase to patronize the small business that hosts them. Of these Hosts, Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy in Hudson, Iowa is particularly special. Here you can learn all about the dairy farm’s history, its origins within the Harvest Hosts community, and what future visitors can expect to experience.
Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy first put down roots in 1864 and began specializing in dairy in 1953. The farm has seen seven generations of Hansen family members. Because of its long-standing history, it has been designated an Iowa Heritage Farm, meaning that it has been owned by the same family for at least 150 years. The current generation of owners, Jay and Jeanne, have four sons that currently work on the farm. They also have one daughter who previously worked on the dairy farm.
The Business Today
Today, Hansen Farm has over 300 Holstein cows on their property, milking 150 cows twice per day. In 2004, they expanded to have their own on-site creamery. Thanks to the creamery, the Hansens are able to produce and bottle their own milk, butter, cream, cheese curds, ice cream, and more. In 2015, they began breeding a Wagyu-Holstein cow specifically for beef. They began selling the meat in 2018.
The Hansens provide a hands-on tour to visitors (and Harvest Hosts members!) from Monday through Saturday at 3:30PM for only $15. On this tour, visitors ride a trolley to the farm, milk a cow, feed a calf, make butter, sample all the products they offer, and pet kangaroos. Yes, you read that correctly! The Hansen farm is also home to several kangaroos that can be pet and fed.
Visiting as a Harvest Hosts Member
Harvest Hosts members are welcome to participate in the almost-daily tours given. If you aren’t able to make that window, then we recommend paying the on-site dairy store a visit. In addition to the creamery items, the farm sells beef products, local eggs, and local bacon. For any foodies interested in visiting, they also carry Wagyu-Holstein beef, also known as Kobe beef. This variety of beef is highly regarded for being more flavorful than regular beef.
The farm has welcomed dozens of RVers onto their property. They can accommodate up to four RVs of any size. Pets are also welcomed. One of the Hansen brothers reflects on a once-in-a-lifetime event that a Harvest Hosts couple experienced, “One couple got to see a VERY rare event on our farm … the birth of live, female triplet calves. Some of the other tourists even got to help deliver the calves! This occurrence has never happened before in the history of our dairy farm.”
Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy is a gem located in the heart of Iowa, not far from Waterloo. Harvest Hosts members passing through the area should absolutely detour to this farm. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever visited an operational dairy farm? Did you enjoy the experience? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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