Diverse Dairy

Prairieland Dairy

Dan Rice with Bryce Doeschot and Ben Rice from Norris High School


  • Prairieland Dairy is based in Firth, Nebraska. They operate three businesses under the Prairieland umbrella—Prairieland Gold, Prairieland Food, and Prairieland Dairy. Compost, cheese, ice cream, and milk are their primary commodities. Sustainability is a key concern within the operation and considered for all decisions. Dan Rice, the general manager, is featured in this interview. The shortened video clip (4:54) concerns the function of this dairy and the three-pronged business plan; see the long version (14:41) for the full interview including details on the machinery and chores within the dairy, community involvement, and ideas for the future.


  • http://www.prairielanddairy.com/
  •  info@prairielanddairy.com

Teaching Objectives:

  • To ask students to think critically about components of a sustainable dairy
  • To evaluate aspects of Prairieland Dairy and relate them to the present agriculture paradigms

Discussion questions:

  • What is the feasibility for a large-scale compost operation in the future? What difficulties might be faced?
  • How does the composting operation contribute to nutrient cycling?
  • What is the value of having three enterprises compared to one?
  • Describe the values of local marketing/local food systems.
  • How would you measure the sustainability of Prairieland Dairy? What could be improved?

Location: Prairieland Dairy LLC. 13000 Pella Rd, Firth, NE

Location: Prairieland Dairy LLC. 13000 Pella Rd, Firth, NE