I recently visited one of Fairfield’s most prized assets – Radiance Dairy. I went out to the dairy with the Young Professionals Network of Fairfield. The Young Professionals Network of Fairfield (YP Fairfield) consists of 21-39 year old working professionals employed by Maharishi University of Management, Cambridge, Hawthorne Direct, Jefferson County Health Center, and other local employers.
Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about the Young Professionals Network in Fairfield. It’s a great way for recent Maharishi University of Management grads to meet other young working professionals in Fairfield – some of whom move to town just for the jobs they find here, which is a sign of Fairfield’s economic strength and resilience. Anyway, several people engaged in the network, including myself, visited Radiance Dairy.
Radiance Dairy is a certified organic, 160 head, hyper-local, sustainable, dairy owned and operated by Francis and Susan Thicke. They produce 2,000 gallons of milk a week, which they sell locally to two grocery stores and 15 restaurants. Other products include:
- ice cream (soft-serve available at Everybody’s Whole Foods)
Fairfield is somewhat of a “sustainable/organic/new-age” hot spot in Iowa. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when Francis told us that the cows are sprayed with essential oil fly repellent and are given Reiki. Francis has been in the dairy business his whole life and is respected across the state for his new vision for agriculture, which he expounds upon in his book “A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture.”
“Dr. Thicke puts a lifetime of hands-on farming experience, a Ph.D. in Soil Science and four years at the USDA to good use in “A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture,” explaining the difference between industrial agriculture and ecological agriculture. He shows how sustainable farming, on-farm energy solutions and local and regional food systems can restore family farmers and family farming to their rightful place in our food production systems and in our state and national food and farm policies.”
This was not my first time at the dairy. I grew up in Fairfield and attended Maharishi University of Management for my undergrad degree. A few of my Sustainable Living classes at Maharishi University of Management took trips out there (as did one or two of my classes in high-school). Radiance Dairy products are delicious and it’s awesome to be able to see the gorgeous farm where they are produced. At a risk of sounding cheesy (pun intended), Fairfield is very fortunate to have Francis and Susan supplying local dairy and graciously contributing to the community through their participation in events and product donations.
*Did I mention that each cow has a name tag?
|Anna Bruen is a MUM alumna who graduated with a degree in Sustainable Living. Anna is the resident blogger here at MUM. To learn more about Anna take a look at her introduction post.|