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Bowling Green, KY
Bowling Green, KY
Carl Chaney
Chaney's Dairy Barn

The farm has been in my family since 1888, and my dad started milking cows in 1940. But milk prices are very cyclical. Raising a family is difficult when you can't count on your revenue stream. So we started looking around at what else we could do. After researching, we thought ice cream was a good place to start.

In 2003, I went to the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course. At the end, I felt I could make ice cream as good as anybody. We cut off three acres from our 54-acre farm and built Chaney's Dairy Barn. On October 1, 2003, we opened the doors, and we've been going ever since.

We make 32 flavors. One is a signature ice cream called Big Red Rumble for Western Kentucky University. It has white chocolate ice cream and red velvet cake, chocolate chunks and a chocolate swirl.

We also started farm tours. We take kids around on a wagon. We milk a cow, Miss Glimmer. The kids make the connection: Without milk, there wouldn't be ice cream.

We still sell milk to a milk processor. But we're selling milk for the same prices as we were 30 years ago, and expenses are probably 100 higher. That's why there's such a squeeze on dairy farms. If it weren't for the Dairy Barn, I'd hate to think of what shape we'd be in.

We farm and work the land and the cows. It's a way of life that we love. -Ellen Lee

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