Black Hills Milk

Our Story

    We are very proud to present our farm, Habeck Dairy, and future dairy processing plant, Black Hills Milk.  We are a third generation family farm and intend to continue this tradition as we feel God has gifted the land and livestock to our care.

     The declining number of dairy farms in western Dakota from lack of processing plants has left our community with no fresh dairy product, not to mention the loss of income these farms once generated for our western South Dakota area.  Our farms have been faced with a very high transportation cost to ship milk 265 miles away only to have it processed, packaged, and hauled back to western South Dakota for consumption. (go figure!)   Because we feel that people deserve the option to have fresh local dairy products, we are in the beginning stages of our plans to process milk in western South Dakota.   We will keep you updated on the progress! 

    My name is John. This is our family; my wife and companion, Dawn, JaeLyn (assistant calf feeder & milker), and JoAnna, our youngest who helps with everything.  Our oldest daughter, Jessica, used to work in the dairy daily, but she is now married with two children, and lives on the Tauck/Stoltz place, and but still comes over to help in the dairy barn. The next daughter, Jacque, also married, has moved away from Belle Fourche, but when she was home she also worked on the farm and in the dairy.

We are the Habecks.

History

1959: Jerry and Patricia Habeck(parents of John) began dairy farming in Norman County, Minnesota milking five Holstein cows.

1977: Mike Habeck, (eldest son) took over the dairy operation, and Jerry and Patricia moved to another farm to raise beef cattle and farm a variety of crops.

1980: Jerry and Patricia Habeck moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota to continue beef ranching in the High Pines southwest of Belle Fourche, SD on part of the same land that Habeck Dairy now operates.

1988: John and Dawn were married and began farming east of Belle Fourche on Ellie and Chico Priewe’s(Dawn’s Grandfather and Father) irrigated farm. We milked a cow and goats by hand.

1990: Jerry & Patricia, John (youngest son ) and Dawn Habeck formed Habeck Dairy LLP and began milking 55 dairy cows on a rented farm in Spearfish, South Dakota (the Humphrey Dairy) and continued raising feed on the Priewe farm, east of Belle Fourche. 

1992: Jim Habeck became a partner in Habeck Dairy. (125dairy cows)

1994: Habeck Dairy built a new “state of the art” dairy milking complex on the High Pines Ranch. Mike and Mary Habeck joined Habeck Dairy and we continued milking, ranching, and raising kids. (225 dairy cows)

1996: Mike and Mary Habeck and Jim Habeck retired from the dairy partnership and formed Habeck Trucking.

2002: Jerry and Patricia retired from the dairy partnership and formed Habeck Red Angus Ranch. John and Dawn continued milking with daughters Jessica, Jaque, JaeLyn & JoAnna.(340  dairy cows)

2008 : Habeck Dairy and Dunn Dairy formed a trucking company (Dunn & Habeck Farms) to haul our combined milk to a cheese processing plant, due to the closure of the fluid plant in Rapid City.

2009: Habeck Dairy sold 320 cows and began plans to process and bottle our own milk from remaining young stock, forming Black Hills Milk.

2011: Habeck Dairy is now down to 26 cows and they sell the milk and other products from the back of a truck through the newly formed company, Black Hills Milk LLC, in Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Sturgis, and Rapid City on regularly scheduled days and times all year long. JaeLyn and JoAnna help with the cows,  milking, bottling, cleaning, tending the new calves and other miscellaneous jobs.

 

 

Accomplishments & Awards

  • 1969: Jerry & Paticia Habeck were nominated Outstanding Young Farmers of the Year in Norman County of Minnesota.
  • 2004 : John & Dawn Habeck won Outstanding Ag Family of the Year in the Butte County area of South Dakota.
  • Between 1959 & 2009 Habeck Dairy has had numerous quality milk awards.
  • Jerry Habeck served on several  agricultural boards during his years in farming .
  • Dawn Habeck has been on the Midwest Dairy Association board  for a number of years promoting and educating consumers as to the benefits of dairy foods.
  • John & Dawn have spent many hours and took several road trips learning about on farm milk processing over the past 3 or 4 years.