Throwback Thursday – J.R. Chaney Dairy Legacy

The Chaney family has been farming in southern Kentucky since 1888. The farm sits on Highway 31 between Bowling Green and Franklin. In 1940, James R. Chaney purchased his first jersey cows, and the Chaney family’s dairy legacy has grown over the past eight decades.

Carl and Debra Chaney changed the game in 2003 when they started making ice cream and added a restaurant to the family business. With three generations of Chaney management, now the Dairy Barn restaurant is one of the most popular attractions for food, dessert, entertainment, and education in southern Kentucky.

Family photos and farm history decorate the walls of the Dairy Barn restaurant. Visitors have the chance to taste Kentucky-specific ice cream flavors like Big Red Rumble, Cherry Althea, and Bourbon Truffle ice cream. Even Corvettes and Mammoth Cave have their own flavors.

In 2016 the family built a new addition to the farm tour with a robotic milker and viewing stand. The family believes in the roots of agricultural education. The farm tour shares the process of how milk makes it from a farm to the nearest grocery store. The farm tour hosts more than five thousand people each year.

The Chaney family opens its farm to public events throughout the year—like 5K runs for non-profits, summertime’s Ice Cream & a Moo-vie events, the Duncan Hines Festival, and more. Plus there’s a seasonal jumping pillow and Fall corn maze.

The farm’s latest addition is bringing new life to a vision from the late James R. Chaney himself—bottling the farm’s milk. The J.R. Chaney Bottling Company was established in 2018 and production is in the works with equipment and bottles already in line.