On a stretch of land near Carlisle, down the road a bit, you’ll find what Amy Brickner calls her “Destiny,” a place where she feels at home and at peace.
A crowd gathers around her, welcoming her as she nears the slide. Suddenly, all heads turn to get a glimpse of the enthusiastic, ginger-furred straggler who, when he realizes he is missing out, begins charging at full speed, grunting loudly, eager for a greeting.
“These are my pets,” said Brickner of the goats and pigs that make Stover Farms their home.
Located near the pet playground is a cozy wooden structure complete with a rocking chair on the front porch that practically beckons visitors to relax, stay awhile, perhaps indulge in a bit of ice cream, and take in the tableau. Brickner named the business “Destiny Dairy Bar” because she knows she is needed here, and it is here where she’s happiest.
“My family has always farmed here,” Brickner said. “My mom, my uncle and my grandfather were all involved until my grandfather passed.”
She eventually left home to study animal science at Cornell University. She later pursued a master’s degree in dairy nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I wanted to get my Ph.D. since I love teaching and figuring out better ways to do things, but the farm was always in the back of my mind,” she said.
In 2006, she decided to return to the family farm.
“I guess I never felt like I was going to stay in Madison,” she said. “I wanted to be home and be closer to the farm and my family, especially as I began to lose family members.”
Brickner sells non-homogenized creamline milk that will delight those old enough to remember fighting over the cream ball with their siblings.
“You have to shake it to incorporate the cream,” Brickner said.
She explained that creamline means the milk has not been separated and standardized to a certain fat percentage. So, you get it exactly how it comes out of the cow.
“This means it could change by the season, diet or by the number of days the cows have been milking,” she said.
Even finicky children may turn into converts when they taste Brickner’s line of flavored milks. Customers can choose from chocolate, strawberry, root beer, peach, cookies and cream and raspberry, to name a few.
“When you think about how versatile milk is, it makes sense to put flavors in it and make it fun,” she said.
Additional products include ice cream with flavors like vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, peanut butter and peach.
Brickner thinks it’s important to be transparent when it comes to operating a farm.
“I love showing people around and connecting them in a small way to their food,” she said. “You worry about things people see being misconstrued, but I think we all need to do better in having open discussions on how animals are raised and treated.”
Brickner wants people to know that she feeds calves and milks cows every day at 3 p.m.
“So, that’s a good time to come out and ask questions,” she said.
On a recent weekday, Jason Fanus stopped by to pick up a few products on his way to work in Carlisle. He weighed in on the flavored milk.
“I like the root beer,” he said. “It tastes like root beer barrels. And if you haven’t tasted the cookies and cream milk, you don’t know what you’re missing.”
Fanus learned about Destiny Dairy Bar from Facebook and convinced his co-workers to visit the farm, too.
“Once you’ve tried her products, you’ll want to come back for more,” he said.
“This is music to my ears,” Brickner said, with a smile.
She added that interacting with the community, sharing what she has learned about the agricultural industry over the years, tending to the animals and offering them the best care possible is the fulfillment of a plan that was set in place long ago when she fell in love with the farm.
“It’s why I named the place Destiny,” she said.
Destiny Dairy Bar is located at 60 Horners Rd., Carlisle. Learn more by visiting their website at www.destinydairybar.com.
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