July 2020

This time of year, in Southeast Iowa, the Prairie Rose has bloomed, and the sweet corn is almost ready.  It’s hot, humid and the weather tends to affect all parts of our business.

Farming is a year-round job, with a bigger focus on the crops in summer, mostly corn and alfalfa, and a heavy focus on dairy farming in the fall/winter.  This is because as the days get hotter, the milk production declines from the cows.  There’s often a misconception that there would be a surplus of milk in the summer, but that’s not the case.  The reason being is that as it warms up outside, the cows spend a lot of energy panting, sweating and losing their appetite. And with that, they stop producing as much milk.  Many farmers try to help them cool down with fans and sprinklers or a combination of both, but when it peaks, we see declines of milk up to 40% (typically in August/September).  Plus, who wants to wear a leather coat in the summer?!

This affects our production crew, who have to adjust the cultures in the cheesemaking process and are also down to a temporary 4-day/10-hour work week, with most enjoying a 3-day weekend throughout the summer.  And they’re pretty happy about it too!

The cutting department is still working full time, as sales typically pick up this time of year.  We have cut back on any overtime during the summer, and the lower milk volume allows us to focus on deep cleaning, maintenance and repair jobs.

As for the Retail Shop, it’s the high season for travelling tourists to visit and shop.  We’ve added a few new items and would love to see you swing by!

Stay well,


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