Cows, Creamery and the Cooperage

Minnesota agriculture is filled with unique and diverse businesses throughout the state. This Teacher Tour featured a couple unique family owned and operated stops and lunch from a local favorite that prides themselves on handcrafting fresh foods to make people feel good. We also took time to share our favorite classroom activities and all the resources Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom has to offer.

What are Summer Teacher Tours?

2022 Teacher Tour: Cows, Creamery and Cooperage

The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program (MAITC) is excited to offer a unique summer professional development opportunity for K-12 educators and industry professionals. Our Summer Teacher Tours allow educators to observe and experience current agricultural productionprocessing and distribution techniques, as well as exposure to a wealth of standards-based, agriculture themed lesson plans and resources. Participants will network and share how they intend to use these experiences and resources to integrate agriculture into their curricula to improve student achievement by applying authentic agricultural examples to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition.

Additional 2022 Teacher Tours

Featured Stops on This Tour

Ten Finns Creamery

Ten Finns is a fifth-generation Finnish dairy farm in northern Minnesota that is exclusively breeding an A2 herd and preparing A2 milk for sale in their on farm creamery. They are Minnesota’s first A2 exclusive herd. You can find their milk throughout the state as whole milk, 2%, and chocolate. 

Family is at the core of the Ten Finns Creamery. Joel and Amanda Hendrickson's, Owner and Operators of the Ten Finns Creamery, is to raise their twelve children to be hard workers who understand where food comes from. This mission is driven home through many real world experiences in their homeschool curriculum including marketing for the creamery and invoice preparation.

Ten Finn
Ten Finn

“We're Joel and Amanda Hendrickson, fifth-generation Finnish (and proud) dairy farmers in Northern Minnesota. Our kids are the inspiration behind Ten Finns Creamery. We know the great nutritional value of dairy for our kids, your kids, and adults everywhere. We also know that regular milk doesn't work for everyone, so we made the switch to A2 cows. This is a family affair­ — including our cows. That's why instead of getting tagged with a number, each cow is tagged with their own name picked out by our kids. The kids play a big role in the daily love and care of the herd.”

  • Joel and Amanda Hendrickson, Ten Finns Creamery Owner and Operators

Black Swan Cooperage

Black Swan Cooperage is a father-daughter team located in the heart of the Northwoods, creating barrels in a variety of sizes. Their barrels are handcrafted from the finest American White Oak. The Black Swan team prides themselves on the knowledge of wood and passing that along to the distilleries and breweries they work with to help them achieve consistent and unique products. Their barrels are available in sizes (from 5 gallons to 53 Gallons) with a variety of toasting and charring levels with staves that can have the largest patented surface area available in any stave. Smaller barrels can be used to develop flavors more quickly, to test the finished quality of new mash bills, to fill in shortfalls to product lines, or blend across the different barrel sizes.

Thanks to the support of many family, friends, and customers, Black Swan has grown tremendously over the past ten years to be a nationally and even globally recognized name for their quality and innovative cooperage products. The Black Swan team prides themselves on their knowledge of wood and passing that along to their distillery and brewery customers to help them achieve consistent and unique products. Their goal is to continue to grow, create new products, and better serve their customers and the craft community as a whole!

Black Swan Coop
Black Swan Coop

Park Rapids Ag Department and FFA 

After a 30 year hiatus the Agriculture Department was reinstated in their district and is growing quickly.  Stephen Funk took the charge as they started back up, a year later, Amber Seibert joined the AgEd Department, and they are excited to welcome Ashley Anderson this fall as they add a middle school teacher as well. 

Classroom Regroup July 2022
Classroom Regroup July 22

Good Life Cafe

Nestled in the heart of iconic downtown Park Rapids, the Good Life is handcrafting fresh food that makes people feel good. In 2009 Molly and Luke Luther built this cafe from the ground up with little more than their own hands and the support of their family and Heartland Lakes community. Ten years later, they pride ourselves on giving back to the community by being a welcoming, family-friendly, and modern place to enjoy company and Minnesota's favorite foods. 

Tour Takeaways

“There are more jobs out there than what we realize!"

“I saw one of my former students today in a role I would have never thought for him. He was more into computer engineering. [...] I think that goes to the point that you don't know where you are going to end up and what skills you are going to need for where you are going to be."

“[Ten Finns Creamery] He didn't have that background but wanted to do it so he sought out information. He went and took classes and asked people. They traveled to another state to learn more and then came back and dove right in. He was willing to learn because it's what we want to do for their farm. I think that's a very inspiring story!"

“They each had their own level of personalization. These are not cookie cutter operations!"

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