The Young family believes family fun is the stuff of life, and their dairy farm is proof of that. From Udders & Putters miniature golf to two restaurants to their “cow-lendar” of special events, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The story of Young’s Jersey Dairy began in 1869, when relatives of the Young family built the red barn that still stands on the Yellow Springs farm today. Hap Young bought the 60-acre farm in the mid-1940s, and together with his sons, Carl, Bob and Bill, they grew grain, raised hogs and milked cows. In 1958, they opened a small sales room and sold their Jersey milk directly to the public for 60 cents a gallon. Customers could drive up, open the refrigerator, grab a gallon, leave an empty jug and money, and drive away.
While you can’t just drive up and purchase a gallon today, the focus on farm-fresh milk and family fun continues at Young’s, says owner Dan Young, who with his son, sister and cousins operates the dairy. “Twice a day, families can watch as cows are milked, and they know the cheese they eat later at the dairy store or Golden Jersey Restaurant came from those same cows. Last year we served 42,000 pounds of cheese curds at our restaurants. They’re more popular than french fries.”
Visitors can also enjoy fresh ice cream at Young’s Dairy Store. While not made with milk from the dairy, the ice cream is churned on site in a building right next to the iconic red barn. A bestseller, Young says, is appropriately named Cow Patty, a double dark chocolate ice cream treat with cookies, toffee and chocolate chips.
While ice cream is the treat of choice for many visitors, it’s just one of many things to enjoy on the farm. Families can visit the petting zoo, complete with friendly goats and other farm animals, hit the batting cages, eat a home-cooked meal or enjoy a game of miniature golf. There are kids’ rides, and in the fall, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and corn maze.
“Having a chance to enjoy these family-friendly activities while visiting the farm is very popular,” Young says. “As fewer people grow up on farms, more of them are interested in seeing what a working farm looks like, feels like and tastes like. While people love our ice cream and cheese, they are really coming for the experience. We focus on being a destination that creates fun for our customers.”
For many guests, that fun experience includes birthday parties and school tours. “We’ve been hosting school groups for 50 years,” Young says. “Kids can feed a goat, go on a wagon ride and learn about the farm. Now, those same kids who visited as third graders are bringing their own kids out to enjoy the farm.”
More Family Fun
Throughout the year, Young’s also hosts special events. Visitors can enjoy a cheese festival in June and a vintage truck show in August. An annual wool-gathering event that features shearing demonstrations, wool spinning and weaving has been held every fall at Young’s for 25 years.
“These special events are all part of our family’s effort to provide a family experience for the more than 1 million visitors who come to the dairy every year,” Young says. “We take a lot of pride in fulfilling that mission, in being a member of Ohio Proud and in marking our farm’s 150-year history.”
If You Go…
Young’s Jersey Dairy
Location: 6880 Springfield Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH 45387 • (937) 325-0629
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.