TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Farmers are showing off homegrown produce and giving locals a peek inside their operations as part of the eighth annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour.
"The Farm Tour is a big deal for us because local customers to farm to see why we're diff from anyone else who's bottling milk," Tim Iwig, owner of Iwig Family Dairy, says.
He's been milking cows since 1983 and inherited the farm from his father. Iwig, his wife Laurel and two of his three children work the farm and they take pride in what they produce.
"We're stuck right between Lawrence and Topeka and we're the freshest and most premium milk you can buy in Topeka," he says.
Iwig's milk is pasteurized in large tanks called vat pasteurizers, at low temperatures.
"It pasteurizes milk, so it kills the pathogenic bacteria, but it does it at a lower temperature, which does less damage to the milk," he explains.
Taking part in the Kaw Valley Farm Tour is an opportunity for the Tecumseh dairy farmer to let locals see and taste the difference for themselves.
Beth LaPage and her husband took their six home-schooled children to Iwig's farm to let their kids get close to calves.
"This is just an opportunity to get close up to farm animals and to see some of the ways that this runs and what it would be like to live on a farm," she says.
Visitors said seeing how the milk is processed and bottled gives them a new appreciation of the end product.
"On the tour I was somewhat convinced that this might be a little healthier," Terry Hime, a school teacher who had never been on a farm, said. "[The owner] went into detail about how they feed the cows and I know these cows are getting a really good, healthy diet. So that probably will help me be healthier," she says.
The Iwig family says opening up their farm is a way to show local pride.
"I think people don't always know who is local and who isn't. We're local," Iwig says.
Iwig dairy products are sold at stores in Lawrence and Topeka, as well as at the farm store.