Cedar Summit Farms celebrates new "Buy the Farm" bill with Milkapalooza

Farmer Dave and Florence Minar from Cedar Summit Summit Farms
Farmer Dave and Florence Minar from Cedar Summit Summit Farms

An organic, grass-fed dairy farm may be an idyllic setting, but things weren't looking so great for Cedar Summit Farm a few months back. An expansion of the state's power grid, known as CapX2020, is building high voltage lines on some of their farmland. A state law called the "Buy the Farm" laws required the conglomerate of power companies to buy the affected farms at full market value if the owners request it.

This sounds like a good deal, but the original language of the law was vague about reimbursement for relocation costs and lost business, and the power companies were allegedly stalling requests to pay those costs. Cedar Summit Farm has higher relocation costs than some other farms due to its organic and grass-fed practices -- for example, land has to be pesticide free for three years before a farm can be certified organic.

The Minar family, who have owned the farm since the 1920s, started a petition to the state legislature in March to amend and clarify "Buy the Farm" to make it easier for farmers to be payed "not only for their land, but for the true cost of moving." On May 20, the last day of the legislative session, the Minars won a huge victory -- an amended version of the "Buy the Farm" law passed both houses by large bipartisan margins. To celebrate, Cedar Summit Farm hopes to make this year's Milkapalooza -- a free annual celebration of all things dairy held at their farm in New Prague on June 22 -- their biggest yet.

See also:
Cedar Summit Farms could be forced to relocate due to power line expansion
Cedar Summit Farm's Grade A Cream: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 3

Billed as the "milkiest party of the summer" (a distinction we'd love to see some competition for) Milkapalooza will feature everything you could ever want from a day down on the farm. There will be tours, hayrides, and walks through the pasture with the Audubon society, as well as opportunities to "get to know your cow."

Besides a chance to see the farm, the event is also a gathering for local conservationists, and reps from the Land Stewardship Project, Right to Know Minnesota, Cornucopia Institute, Local Harvest Alliance, and other groups will be on hand. Lunch will be for sale, featuring the farm's own grass-fed beef burgers and hot dogs as well as vegetarian options. And of course, no party would be complete without music, provided by local bluegrass band the Broken V.

The event, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is also kid-friendly, featuring story-telling, a petting zoo, and something called a "cow crawl."

"Our cow crawl is a great interactive demo experience for kids to learn about our food system, specifically grass-fed dairy, and where our food comes from," said farm marketing manager Ryan Crum.

Cedar Summit Farm has been in the Minar family for four generations. They discontinued pesticide use in 1974 and began grass-grazing their cattle in the 1980s. They are perhaps best known for their Grade A Cream in reusable glass bottles -- a cut above the stuff that comes in the plastic mini-shots at Starbucks. All of their dairy products are non-homogenized, which means they have a top layer of delicious cream, and are processed on-site. Their products are available in more than 75 locations throughout the Twin Cities.

Cedar Summit Farm
25830 Drexel Avenue; New Prague
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 22

A Cedar Summit Farms cow mugs for the camera
A Cedar Summit Farms cow mugs for the camera
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Cedar Summit Farm

25830 Drexel Ave.
New Prague, MN 56071

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