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Young’s Jersey Dairy Celebrates 150 Years

Randi Walle Randi Walle Young’s Jersey Dairy Celebrates 150 YearsPhotos by Randi Walle.
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Young’s Jersey Dairy celebrates 150 years of operation in 2019. The farm is located at 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road in Yellow Springs, Ohio and is open to the public year-round. Young’s Jersey Dairy houses two restaurants, live animals, dairy products made on location, and a host of outdoor family activities.

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Although Young’s Jersey Dairy has been operating for over a century, it wasn’t until the past few decades that the farm became a destination attraction. One of the owners, Dan Young, said a good number of their customers travel from an hour away or more. Located just outside of Yellow Springs, the farm is a day trip away from Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Springfield.

The farm began in 1869 when the Young family built their red barn and began cultivating the land. During the 1930s, the family lost the farm to neighbors, who continued to operate it as a farm. After World War II, Dan’s grandpa bought the farm back, and it has remained with the Youngs ever since. The Youngs owned the 60 acres that contained their iconic red barn and white house, and rented an additional 500 surrounding acres. They used the red barn and surrounding pastures for cows and hogs and used the rest of the acreage for corn and soy beans.

In the late 1950s, the Youngs began selling milk out of an adjacent building. They operated on a self-serve honor system, with customers paying 60 cents per gallon and returning empty milk jugs. They eventually incorporated a bell system to alert the Youngs of customers’ arrival, and Dan’s grandma would come from the house to sell the milk.

In the 1960s, they opened a retail space selling their milk and cheese, along with ice cream from another local farm in Dayton. They began adding small food items, such as coffee, sandwiches, and hot dogs, and were one of the first convenience stores in the area. In 1968, they expanded their building and added indoor seating. And in 1981, Young’s began making their own ice cream,  creating traditional favorites and experimenting with new flavors.

Today, Young’s Jersey Dairy is most commonly known for their ice cream. They carry a variety of flavors, their most popular being their seasonal Pumpkin. A more recent crowd favorite is their breaded cheese curds, served with sweet & sour and/or buffalo sauces. Dan said since their introduction nine years ago, they have grown in popularity and people make visits just for the cheese curds. The store sells the non-breaded curds in flavors like original, Italian, and basil.

Young’s also has two dining options, homestyle comfort food at the Golden Jersey Inn, and fast food at the Dairy Store. Both restaurants sell the breaded cheese curds. Outside, the farm has a driving range, batting cages, mini golf, play equipment for kids, and an animal barn. The barn, which houses goats and cows, is open to visitors.

The farm is also available for special events. The Young family has helped plan and execute several marriage proposals, doing everything from tying the ring to a pumpkin in the patch to creating a scavenger hunt in the corn maze, to letting a goat wear the ring around his neck. The Youngs also participate in several local charities benefiting juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s, mental health, and disabilities. They host an annual Ice Cream Charity Bike Ride and various tasting events, as well as help local schools with fundraising.

Young’s Jersey Dairy will celebrate their 150th anniversary with an event running from Jan. 18-21. They’ll offer $1.50 waffle cones, kids’ meals, cheeseburgers, and rounds of mini golf. With every ice cream purchase, guests will receive a commemorative milk bottle.

For more information, visit youngsdairy.com.

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