Dakin Dairy: Modern Farming, Sustainable Practices, and Family Values

On the surface, Dakin Dairy is a farm. But their business is about more than milk. It’s about sustainability, transparency, and quality. For them it isn’t a trend. It’s a way of life – and it’s an experience they want to share with the public.

Dakin Dairy: Modern Farming, Sustainable Practices, and Family Values

Founded in 1973 and listed as one of 150 remaining dairy farms in Florida, the owners of Myakka City’s Dakin Dairy built their company by doing what’s right for their animals, for the environment, and for their customers.

“This area is free and open to the public,” Courtney Dakin shares. “Anybody can stop here and see the baby calves or watch the goats climb the trees.” She points to a few trees clustered together with ramps leading up to them. “Children are fascinated with everything here,” she explains. The canopy has picnic tables and scenic views for people to come and relax when they visit the animals. In addition to the 9 goats, there are 9 sheep, 5 bunnies, and currently 11 calves. The expanse of the 1,200 acre farm also houses Dakin Dairy’s main residents: 4,500 cows, including 2,300 dairy cows. For a more in-depth experience, the farm also offers paid tours during the week.

As she trudges across the green land her grandfather Jerry Dakin purchased in 2008, Courtney talks about Norman and Peanut, two Cuddle Cows they are fostering on the farm. At 175 lbs. each, they are very young and will weigh around 1,800 lbs. when they’re fully grown. “They’re extremely lovable and gentle,” she advises. “Being around these Cuddle Cows is therapeutic.” She notes that studies show cuddling with a cow can release oxytocin, a human hormone also known as “the love drug.” When she approaches Norman, he immediately starts to nudge and cuddle with her, living up to the Cuddle Cow name.

Beyond Norman and Peanut’s pen is the milking barn. The majority of the cows reside here where Dakin Dairy uses precision and expert timing to milk the heifers. The milking cows are grass fed 365 days a year, a statistic that no other dairy farm can boast. They also provide the cows with a natural diet of cottonseed, corn, and molasses.


Dakin Dairy: Modern Farming, Sustainable Practices, and Family Values

Dakin delights

Keeping the cows comfortable and the facility clean is an important part of providing a healthy environment. Water misting machines and fans keep the cows cool and every 15 minutes there is a barn flush to remove wastewater. The run-off is diverted to a manure lagoon in the back where it is recycled into the Dakin ecosystem and used to fertilize the property.


Their 72-person team feeds, milks, and tends to the cows 24 hours a day resulting in an impressive amount of milk production and a “cow-to-counter ” turnaround time. From pasteurization to bottling to distribution it only takes three days and it creates a difference you can taste. In addition to milk, Dakin Dairy offers a variety of dairy products like ice cream, curds, and cheese, including Palmita cheese. This salty mozzarella-like Venezuelan cheese is a favorite in Latin dishes and is quickly becoming a popular item on Dakin’s roster.


While you can find the majority of their products in Publix and Detweiler’s grocery stores, Dakin Dairy always welcomes the public to their farm to see their process and purchase items in their shop. Besides offering the full Dakin Dairy product line, customers can also explore unique items like chocolate milk soap, a variety of locally produced meats, honey and other food items, and gifts.


As Norman rubs against Courtney she pets his head gently. “We have something for everyone here,” she shares. “There is so much to see, so much to experience.”


Dakin Dairy is open to the public Monday-Friday

Tours are offered at 9:30am from June 1-October 1, 2022

Tours will be offered at 9:30am and 1:00pm starting October 2, 2022

To check their hours and learn more, visit their website