A few weeks ago the boys and I were invited to tour Shamrock Farms. I have to admit I was pretty excited and thankfully my boys were too. The Shamrock Farms tour was already on my to-do list, we just hadn’t made it there yet.
For those unfamiliar with Shamrock Farms, what rock do you live under? Just kidding. 🙂 Shamrock Farms is actually one of the largest family owned and operated dairies in the US and it started in Tucson. Go Tucson!
My mom toured the Shamrock Dairy in Tucson as a kindergartener – like 100 years ago. 😉 Just kidding, Shamrock Farms was founded in 1922 so it wasn’t quite that long ago. 🙂
When I was in junior high, I remember driving by a Shamrock Farms plant on the way to school. I just assumed it was a small Arizona dairy. That’s how Shamrock Farms started, as Shamrock Dairy in Tucson with only 20 cows. Now as Shamrock Farms, they have 10,000 cows and sell dairy products nationwide.
Shamrock Farms is located in Stanfield, Arizona. It’s sort of west of Casa Grande in a remote, rural area. Part of the adventure is just driving out there.
We arrived at Roxie’s red welcome barn early so we had a few minutes to explore all the neat stuff they have on display. I really liked seeing how things had changed over time from historical photos and facts to the old school dairy packaging.
The boys were more impressed with the fun hands on activities that kept them busy before the tour started.
Shamrock Farms Tour
The majority of the tour takes place on an open-air tram. While we toured the farm, our tour guide shared lots of information about the dairy arm, how it operated and how they cared for the cows.
I’m a math geek, so I really appreciate numbers.
1 cow + 100 pounds of feed + 35 gallons of water = 8.5 gallons of milk + 30 pounds of waste. Every day. Multiply that by 10,000 cows, and we are talking lots of milk (and lots of manure).
There are a couple of stops on the tour. The boys had a hard time choosing their favorite one. It was either Roxie’s Outdoor Adventure, the dairy themed playground.
Or feeding the baby calves.
We also stopped to see the cows being milked and watch a video about the milk processing plant in Phoenix. The video was dated (as all promotional videos are in my experience) but interesting. I loved watching Quinn giggle at the silly little jokes, it was definitely made with school age children in mind. Elliot lost interest pretty fast but not shocking for a 3-year-old; Luckily the video was short.
One neat thing we learned was that milk comes out of the cows at 101 degrees and then it’s immediately cooled to 36 degrees to keep it fresh. They had pipes with the milk running through it so you could feel the extreme temperature difference.
Tips From My Experience
- It took about 70 minutes to get to Shamrock Farms from NW Tucson. Plan on arriving early so you don’t miss your tour. Remember you can explore the barn while waiting for the tour to begin.
- There is a snack bar that sells chips, hotdogs, pretzels, milk and ice cream.
- The welcome barn has a large eating area with plenty of tables so you could also pack your own food. Remember Shamrock Farms is located in a very rural area and there is nowhere nearby to eat.
- The gift shop has a $1 section – I loved that! My boys each picked out a silly ice cream popper toy and I happily paid $2.
Overall we really enjoyed the Shamrock Farms tour, it’s definitely worth a visit or two… We plan on heading back in the fall with Peter, the boys want daddy to see the cool dairy farm too. 🙂
Disclosure: We were guests of Shamrock Farms for their tour. 🙂 As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.