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All Milk Collected At The State Fair Will Be Dumped

Amy Mayer/IPR
The milking parlor at the Iowa State Fair is open nearly 18 hours a day, and fairgoers can watch the milking process.

The dairy show at the Iowa State Fair continues into Saturday and cows are milked throughout each day. All the milk collected this year at the fair will be dumped.

In years past, milk collected from dairy cows during the state fair was sold to a Des Moines area co-op for production into cheese. But this year, the longstanding buyer backed out and no one else stepped up.

“It’s just a fine way of saying we have too much milk in the country,” says dairy farmer Doug Lyons of Castalia, “and we don’t have to mess with it, we’re not gonna take the chance. And that’s why they’re not doing it.”

Lyons says selling milk at the fair was nice, but not getting paid for it didn’t affect his decision to come and show his animals.

“I did get paid for the milk and it did help,” Lyons says, “but showing cows is not a money maker. It’s more just for advertising the farm.”

Lyons says when people see his cows at the fair that can help generate business for the breeding side of his operation.

This year’s state fair continues through August 20. 

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames