During January, Junior Geography major Carlie Hedlund conducted an internship at the New Sweden Dairy, one of three Davis Family Dairies in Nicollet County, MN. Together, the dairies manage over 20,000 cows and calves and daily produce 570,000 gallons of milk that is made into 70,000 pounds of cheese.
“I think a lot of people would be surprised by the amount of detail and all the work that goes into running a dairy,” says Carlie. “So far, my favorite day was when I got to go into the hospital milking parlor with the on-site vet and work with cows. Thinking I was just going to just shuffle papers, I actually was helping out in the parlor and watching the protocol and the system they use to treat these cattle. It was a very interesting experience.”
“I also have never worked anywhere that cared so much about their animals and their workers. One very cold day, I actually made 120 cups of hot chocolate for all the workers on the three dairies and the calf ranch. Here at New Sweden, it’s all about going that extra step which really makes this place special. Being here for J-term has definitely made my consider a possible agriculture career in the future.”