Today we are going to Dimock Dairy, located in Dimock, South Dakota. They opened their doors in 1931 and have been crafting quality cheese ever since. They make the cheese in their original location on Main St. and have added over 20 different types of cheeses to the menu. You can find their product all over grocery stores and convenience stores in South Dakota, along with Omaha, southern Minnesota, and a little bit of Iowa.
Dimock Dairy purchases their milk from local dairy farmers. The milk arrives at the plant every other day where it is refrigerated in holding tanks till they are ready to make cheese. Once they are ready, they move 12,000 pounds of milk to be pasteurized and then into one of their two vats.
Added to the cooled milk are cultures and rennet, creating a jello like texture. Once the milk is cut, it separates into curds and whey and then the whey is then drained off. Flavors and seasoning is then added to the curds. These curds then get put into cheese forms and are compressed. The compression causes the curds to come together and form the cheese. From there the cheeses are vacuum sealed and refrigerated until they are cut, repackaged, and sent to a store near you.
They make cheese three days a week at Dimock, usually two vats a day. During their busy season they have three vat days. A vat can hold 1200 pounds of milk or 1400 gallons of milk. They make around 7000 pounds of cheese each week, 30,000 – 35,000 lbs of cheese each month. Which is about 410,000 – 420,000 lbs of cheese each year.
While they have been open since 1931, Dimock opened a new retail store and packaging facility in May 2019. Today they make over 25 different flavors of cheese and are always looking for new ones to try. The most popular is their fresh, squeaky, Colby longhorn and cheese curds.