FAIRBURY, Ill. (WCIA) — A milk tank truck visits dairy farms every couple days and then hauls it away. But that is not the case at the Kilgus Dairy Farm in Fairbury.

Several generations work on the Kilgus Dairy farm just south of Fairbury. Matt Kilgus said the operation has changed over time. “We stepped out of the box about 12 years ago in June of ’09 we began processing our own milk on farm. And we went down this road, we were looking at ways to bring more family back into the operation. And we knew that maybe just doubling the herd size or farming more land wasn’t the answer so we started looking at ways we could make our operation more sustainable, diversify, add value to the product we were already producing. So as we did some research we saw a good niche market for us in bottling fluid milk. We realized there was no other farmstead bottling operation in central Illinois.”

The progressive nature of the Kilgus family was nominated by Extension animal Science specialist Dave Fischer for a significant recognition. “Our family received the sustainability award which was given by the Illinois Milk Producers Association. We were nominated by an ex-dairy professional in this Extension industry service who has worked with us over the years and thought we were qualified and wanted to give us a shot by nominating us for the award this year.”

And the welcome mat is out at the Kilgus Dairy Farm. “We just want to be transparent here with our operation. And we invite anybody and everybody out to see our operation, whether it is how the cows are cared for, how the milk is bottled. Its important this day and age that people can see where their food comes from.”