Dakin Family History

Dakin Dairy Farms… “The Beginning”

Founders Pete and Jeanette Dakin
Jeanette Dakin (1930-1984)
Romanus (Pete) Dakin (1926-2001)

Our family has been milking cows in Manatee County, Florida since 1973. Cameron, Farren and Jerry Dakin own the three remaining dairy farms in the County, and are amongst the fewer than 150 dairies remaining in Florida.

The Dakin family dairy businesses all started with Romanus (Pete) Dakin, born in Livermore, ME in 1926. After serving three years in the Navy, Pete started a dairy in Livermore, ME in 1948, where he milked 16 cows. By 1960, his dairy grew to 60 milking cows and he bought a second dairy farm down the road where he milked another 30 cows. In October of 1963 Pete went to Florida with a friend to take his mother to her winter home and when he returned to Maine, he told his wife Jeanette and the boys “we’re moving to Florida.”

After settling in Parrish, Florida, Pete purchased 60 acres, built two chicken houses and began chicken farming. He also bought 400 feeder bulls. After five years of chicken farming, his contract was over and the bottom fell out of the beef business. After exclaiming years before “he’d never milk another cow again” he proclaimed “dairying is the only business where we made money” so he built a milking parlor in 1974 between the two chicken houses and converted them to feed barns. He scraped the rest of his money together and bought 110 springing (ready to calve) heifers and started purchasing the 200 surrounding acres. In 1980 his two eldest sons, Cameron and Farren, purchased and built their own Dairy Farms in Myakka City. They operate today as Cameron Dakin Dairy and Farren Dakin Dairy. In 1990, Pete retired from Dairy Farming with a herd of 750 Holsteins which he sold to his two youngest sons, Rodney and Jerry. In 2001 Jerry and his wife Karen purchased their own property in Myakka City. Pete passed away and the family converted the Parrish homestead property to a small beef ranch.

Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City, Florida

Jerry began his own business as Jerry Dakin Dairy in 1995 on his fathers homestead property in Parrish and steadily increased his herd to 700 Holsteins. New environmental standards forced him to purchase his own land sooner than later. In 1998 he married his wife Karen, and in 2001 they purchased 350 acres in Myakka City and built a state-of-the-art dairy encompassing all the new environmental issues into their design. In 2002 they moved from the families homestead property in Parrish and began implementing their dreams. Their dream was to become as sustainable as possible by recycling as much of their farm byproducts as possible, open their farm to the public for farm tours, and bottle their own milk, plus the milk from Jerry's brothers farms, with the hopes of continuing the legacy of family farming to the next generation(s).

Dakin Dairy Cows

The key to the sweet, creamy flavor
of Dakin Milk

Jerry, and his brothers, Cameron and Farren have the last three remaining dairy farms in Manatee County. All three grow high protein grasses utilizing their recycled resources and incorporate fresh grass into the diets of their cows. The "fresh grass" diet of their cows is absolutely the key to the sweet, creamy flavor of Dakin Milk and provides added health benefits to the cows which pass through to the milk such as, omega 3's and CLA's (natural cancer inhibitors).