Iowa’s First Authentic “Farm Stay” to Open this Summer

13221083 577625132417042 3827921679003683941 nOne travel trend is unique, yet authentic and local experiences you can’t find at the office, down the street or from mainstream motel or hotel. Examples include camping in a yurt in Clear Lake, Iowa, Sleeping Under the Sea at SEA LIFE Aquarium in Minnesota’s Mall of America, and embracing winter at Quebec’s Hotel de Glace, North America’s only ice hotel.

Now a North Central Iowa dairy family plans to offer a unique travel experience by combining a sleep experience with agritourism. Dan and Lynn Bolin of Clarksville, Iowa, this summer will open New Day Dairy Guest Barn. Attached to their dairy barn, the loft of the Guest Barn features two cow-gazing windows. Each of the three bedrooms has a private attached bathroom. A kitchen and dining area finish out the space.

Feeding cow“We’re offering a new experience that will help connect folks from the city and country plus give people an understanding of where their food comes from by creating a space like nothing else,” says Lynn, who grew up near Minneapolis and met her husband when they were both attending Iowa State University.

After living abroad for two years, Dan and Lynn returned home to his family’s farm. Dan is a fifth generation Iowa dairyman. He and Lynn expanded their operation in 2015 by building a new barn, and “Rita the robot” began milking their 110 cows. Dan and Lynn feel blessed to work daily with his grandparents and parents. Dan’s mom, Pam Bolin, also is a leader in the dairy industry.

One advantage the Bolin’s farm has is that it’s just a short drive from many interesting attractions that also offer unique experiences. Because more Americans are traveling by car and opting to take shorter trips, those interested in booking a farm stay at New Day Dairy Guest Barn may enjoy day trips to nearby places like:

14231328 1119904308087532 2212994358680971859 oCedar Valley (Cedar Falls – Waterloo)

Cedar River (Charles City)

North Iowa (Mason City, Clear Lake, Sheffield and Dougherty)

Northeast Iowa (Decorah)

SIDE BAR: I hope you’ll take the time to click on links above to related blogs for a “sneak peek” at these northern Iowa attractions.

You also have a chance to win a free night’s stay in the New Day Dairy Guest Barn. Click here to enter!

“Ultimately, the food we eat is our common thread, and food has become a destination. Rural America is becoming a destination, too.  The New Day Dairy Guest Barn is the only place in Iowa where you can authentically enjoy both,” says Lynn. “Helping others understand the source of their food isn’t the supermarket – it’s the farm – is important to us. Staying overnight on a real working farm acquaints guests with their food in a new way.”

Skillet Mac & Cheese

¼ cup butter

1 (8 oz.) package shell or elbow macaroni

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cups water

1 ½ tablespoons flour

¾ cup milk

2 cups shredded co-jack cheese

1 tablespoon parsley

Turn electric skillet to 200 degrees. Melt the butter. Then add macaroni, onion, salt and pepper.  Turn up heat to 260 degrees; cook about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the water; turn up heat and bring to boil. Cover and simmer at 200 degrees for 6 to 12 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender to taste. Sprinkle on the flour and stir; then stir in milk. Add the cheese. Simmer about 5 more minutes until the cheese melts. Sprinkle parsley on top.