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.