Around 40 years ago, there were about 150 dairy farms in the South Nashville area. Today, Hatcher Family Dairy is one of the only two remaining. We had the opportunity to learn and experience the Hatcher Farm on a homeschool field trip this week!
The tours meet on specific days of the week at 10am and are $8 per person (cash & cards taken). See their website to book. The tour was a bit over an hour; very interesting and educational. There was no age restriction, but probably best suited for elementary aged kids and up.
The drive to the farm was beautiful and easy, just a few minutes off of 65, a little further south than the Franklin exits. On arrival at the farm, we were greeted with a sample of milk or chocolate milk. We gathered for a bit with the group waiting for all to arrive, then started at 10 am.
Charles Hatcher, a 5th generation Hatcher dairy farmer, gave us an excellent presentation on the history of the farm and what all it takes to keep things running. They have between 100-120 babies born each year on the farm and we got to see several, including some just born the previous day.
Along with cows, there are many sheep and around 200 chickens and some that live on the farm. We stopped for a brief talk to learn more about the chickens and their eggs.
Their average dairy cow produces about 6-8 gallons of milk a day and milking the cows take around 3 hours twice a day year round. We observed where they milk the cows and learned about that process. Dairy farming is hard work!
Animal health is important to the Hatcher family, they currently have 2 veterinarians in the family that support the farm. Keeping the grounds and the animals at their best helps them to produce excellent products. They completely control their process by creamery on site where they bottle all their milk
The final stop of the tour was the hay loft education center. We got a chance to practice our milking skills, learn about the Hatcher family tree and dates, and see the cow hall of fame.
Outside the educational barn, we pet Kylie the cow!
The restaurant had milk and beef sold along with other local products. Grab a burger for lunch or bring a picnic to enjoy. Definitely try a Hatcher Farm chocolate milk!