Dakin Dairy Farms, a multi-generational dairy farm in Myakka City, is milking its fifth anniversary for all its worth. Dakin will celebrate five years of agritourism with a farm festival Oct. 5. The festival will include a mac and cheese cook-off, hayrides, a crop maze, a 5K run, live musical performances from Kim Betts and Gamble Creek Band, a barbecue and more.
Dakin Dairy has been milking cows in Manatee County since 1973. The family has been in the dairy business since 1948, when founder Romanus “Pete” Dakin began milking cows in Maine. In 2008, Dakin Dairy opened the farm to the public and added a farm tour path, play area and a milk bottling facility adjacent to its milking parlor. In 2013, Dakin acquired an additional 700 acres of land and became a member of the Florida Attractions Association.
“We love that we have been able to share our little world with those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a working farm,” says owner Karen Dakin. The family hopes this year’s festival will be the beginning of a new tradition. “Next year is going to be even bigger and better.”
The festival has two competitions that are open to the public: a mac and cheese cook-off and a 5K run. The mac and cheese competition is open to anyone who likes to cook at home or professionally; judging takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first-place winner of the cook-off will receive a choice of a $200 cash prize or one gallon of fresh Dakin milk per week for one year. The winner is chosen based on the amount of donations received during the judging period; proceeds benefit Harvest House and Livethelife.org. Entry fee for individual entrants is $25 and includes prices of admission to the farm festival; restaurant chefs receive free admission.
The 5K Ranch & Kids Run, co-sponsored by Fit2Run, is open to adults and children. The first 40 runners to finish will receive a keepsake trophy. All children will receive a medal, and all participants will receive a free pint of fresh Dakin Dairy milk. The Kids Run entry free is $15; and the 5K entry fee is $30 — they also include the price of admission. Half of the mac and cheese cook-off and run entry-fee proceeds will benefit Harvest House Transitional Center and LivetheLife.Org.
The farm festival is co-sponsored by Chick-fil-A and Fit2Run.
To register for either competition and for information, visit DakinDairyFarms.com.
IF YOU GO
Dakin Dairy Farms Farm Festival
Festival celebrating five years of agritourism includes a mac and cheese cook-off, 5K Ranch & Kids Run, games, food, artists, demonstrations and live music featuring Kim Betts & Gamble Creek Band and more.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5
Where: Dakin Dairy Farms, 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City
Cost: Admission is $15