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Visitors can get big breakfast, tour at Hampshire area farm

LindDrendel gives newly born cow milk during an open house Drendel Farm Hampshire this file photo. The Drendels annually open

Linda Drendel gives a newly born cow milk during an open house at Drendel Farm in Hampshire in this file photo. The Drendels annually open their farm to visitors to see how a dairy farm functions. | Sun-Times Media File Photo

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Updated: June 3, 2013 2:23PM

HAMPSHIRE — If you have never been on a farm before, here’s your chance to experience the real deal.

Linda and Dale Drendel are again opening their Hampshire farmstead to the general public for a dairy breakfast and farm tour from 6 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15.

The Drendels offer this unique experience to visit a farm and provide others with a better understanding of the origins of their food, such as dairy products.

“This Saturday morning, family activity is meant to be enjoyed by all ages,” Dale Drendel said. “We welcome visitors and hope they see this as an opportunity to learn more about how we care for our animals and produce fresh and wholesome milk.”

A highlight of a visit to the farm, known as Lindale Holstein Farm, is watching some of the 150 dairy cows being milked in the milking parlor. The modern parlor accommodates 11 Holstein cows at a time and offers viewers an up-close look at the farm’s automation and the transfer of milk from the cow to the bulk tank.

Milking demonstrations will occur from 6 to 9 a.m. during the tour.

The farm visit offers a tour of the barns to see the young dairy calves, heifers and cows. And visitors get chance to milk a cow by hand just as farmers used to do many years ago.

Visitors will see all aspects of dairy production, from the feed used in their special diets to the care taken by farmers to assure their animals are comfortable and healthy.

Besides the cows, visitors to the farm will see farm equipment used on the dairy and grain farm, and get to sit on the seat of a modern tractor.

To top off the morning, a hearty farm-style breakfast will be served complete with pancakes, sausage, applesauce, cheese, milk, coffee and ice cream, from 6 to 11 a.m.

A donation of $8 for adults and $5 for children (5-10 years) will be collected at the farm. The price includes breakfast and the farm visit. There is no charge for children 4 and under.

The Dairy Breakfast and Farm Tour is being sponsored by local dairymen from DeKalb and Kane counties who are members of the Kishwaukee Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA).

The Drendels are avid promoters of the dairy industry, whether it’s welcoming visitors to their farm, showing cattle at fairs, serving in leadership roles or educating others about agriculture. Dale serves on the boards of the Illinois Milk Producers Association, Foremost Farms, Kishwaukee DHIA, and Dairy Lab Services. Linda, a former teacher, also has an active role on the farm and serves on the Midwest Dairy Association.

The Drendels are also participants in Illinois Farm Families and host Chicago moms for farm visits.

Their son, Jeff, works alongside them on their dairy farm. Their daughters are Carrie Corson, public relations project manager for COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington; and Julie Ashton of Marseilles, farm broadcaster for The Big Ag Radio Network and Nelson Multimedia Group.

As livestock caretakers for the past 40 years, Dale and Linda Drendel hold themselves accountable to the hundreds of dairy animals on their farm.

“We take personal responsibility for feeding and caring for our animals,” said Linda, “and providing top-quality milk for consumers.”

They grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats and wheat, much of which is used for dairy feed.

To learn more about the Drendels, visit their website at

The Drendel Farm address is 15N057 Walker Road. Handicap parking is available at the farm.

For additional information, call Bill Lenschow, Dairy Breakfast chairman, at 815-895-9690.

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