Merced County Dairy Farm
I had an authentic dairy farm experience, when I got to go on a tour of Charles Ahlem Ranch in Merced County.
It was fun to meet some cows and fascinating to see how they care for these cows who produce milk that is made into cheese at nearby Hilmar Cheese Company.
Charles Ahlem Ranch
Most California dairy farms are family owned.
As is true with other types of farming, many of them now have multiple generations working at these family businesses.
California is the number one milk producer in the United States and a lot of it comes from the farms in Central California.
One of the first things I noticed walking around the dairy was how friendly the cows were.
They headed to the edges of the fences to get close to us every chance they got.
I could have been imagining it, but I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the conversations I had with them.
Running a dairy farm is hard work.
These days there is a lot of automation and everything is monitored closely.
This helps farmers make the best use of water and other resources, so it helps them take good care of the cows.
Each cow is tagged, so they can monitor their individual health and milk production.
This helps the farmers be aware of changes, whether they are a normal part of a cow’s cycle or something that indicates a problem.
Feed is adjusted regularly, so they get what they need when they need it.
There are big storage areas for the different components of their feed (local corn, cottonseed, almond hulls, etc.).
A driver is given the proper feed proportions.
He then loads up the proper amount of each ingredient.
It’s mixed together and then used for that particular group of cows.
Throughout the farm, conservation methods were in place.
They set up procedures to manage resources, reduce waste, repurpose and recycle.
All of this helps them increase production and take good care of the cows and our natural resources.
Charles Ahlem Ranch
23546 American Avenue
Hilmar, CA 95324
More from Mama Likes To Cook
Check out the rest of my vegetarian recipes, so you can get more great ideas for baking, cooking, blending and juicing.
California Farm Tours
- Sweet Potato Joe Farm Tour – Livingston, CA
- Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese and Dairy Farm Tour – Modesto, CA
- Walnut Farm – Modesto, California
- Charles Ahelm Dairy Ranch – Hilmar, CA
- Avocado Orchard – Irvine, CA
- Urban Produce Indoor Organic Microgreens – Irvine, CA
- Brokaw Avocado Nursery Tour – Ventura, CA
- Rancho Rodoro Avocado Grove – Santa Paula, CA
- Shield’s Date Garden – Indio, CA
- SeaView Ranch – Calipatria, CA
- Lawrence Cox Ranches – Brawley, CA
- Lester Farms Tour – Winters, CA
- Lucero Olive Oil Tour – Corning, CA
- Wil-Ker-Son Kiwi Farm Tour – Gridley, CA
- Lundberg Family Farms Tour – Richvale, CA
Breweries in California
- Dust Bowl Brewing in Turlock
- Peter B’s in Monterey
- Refuge Brewery in Temecula
- Kinetic Brewing in Lancaster
- Coachella Valley Brewing Company in Thousand Palms
- Karl Strauss in Anaheim
- Sierra Nevada in Chico
Wineries in California
- Guglielmo Winery – Santa Clara Wine Trail
- Fortino Winery – Santa Clara Wine Trail
- Longoria Winery – Lompoc, CA
- Acquiesce Winery and Vineyards – Acampo, CA
- Bokisch Vineyards – Lodi, CA
- Bernardus Vineyards and Winery – Carmel Valley, CA
- Holman Ranch Vineyards – Carmel Valley, CA
- Jarman – Carmel Valley, CA
- Herzog Winery – Oxnard, CA
- Akash Winery – Temecula
- Wilson Creek – Temecula
- Cambria Winery and Vineyards – Santa Maria
- Foxen Vineyard and Winery – Santa Maria
- Nagy Wines – Orcutt, CA
- Grevino – Orcutt, CA
- Ojai Vineyard – Ojai, CA
- Keller Estate Winery – Petaluma, CA
- Adobe Road – Petaluma, CA
For a beautiful assortment of kitchen necessities and food gifts for the whole family, check out the deals at these online stores.
- Great Jones pots, pans and baking dishes
- The California Wine Club
- Wine of The Month Club
- JoyJolt Glassware
- Seven Sisters Scones
- Southside Market
Are you ready to have some delicious fun in the kitchen?