Dakin Dairy Farms… “The Beginning”

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.”

Jeanette Dakin With Pete Dakin Founders

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

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.