Jesse and Mary Faber

dairy • corn • soybeans • wheat • alfalfa

Jesse and Mary Faber

Pontiac, IL


48 hours

My family spends long hours working on the farm. Everyone is committed to providing you with a safe, high-quality product. As dairy farmers, we are unique because our product will always be fresh and local. Fluid milk arrives at a store within 48 hours of leaving our farm.

We are committed to quality, so we invest in tools that allow us to better care for our cows and our land. We believe in using resources wisely and planning for the future so our children will be able to live off this land. 

Award-winning waste

Our cows make the best natural source of fertilizer daily, and we have to scoop it up. Yes, we're talking about cow manure. Manure can improve the nutrient and water-holding quality of soil, plus it's renewable, so we asked experts to build a system for our dairy to reuse this abundant resource. Our efforts resulted in a conservation award for taking the extra step to recycle waste from our cows.

A handful of cows

Mackinson Dairy Farm is a dairy and grain farm founded over 150 years ago by my great-grandfather. It was started with a handful of cows and 161 acres of land. As farming practices have changed and technology has allowed us to work the land more efficiently, the farm grew. Today it consists of:

  • About 165 milking cows
  • 140 first-year mother cows and calves
  • More than 1,500 acres of farmland, growing corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa that is used as cattle feed; excess crops are marketed through various grain storage facilities

Our story to tell

The farm is owned by my parents, Donald and Rita; uncle, Roy; and brother, Matt. Without a doubt, farming is more than a livelihood for these four. Each has a true passion for the land and the cows. When I wake up for work, I don't walk out to the barns for the day. I drive into town to help farmers at Graymont Cooperative Association. I still help on the farm, but my work is to share our farm story and have conversations with consumers about where their food comes from. My husband, Jesse, teaches the next generation of farmers as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for Pontiac Township High School.

About my family

Located just south of Chicago in Pontiac, Illinois, the Mackinson Dairy Farm consists of 165 milking cows, 140 head of heifers and calves, and more than 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Owned by Mary's parents, Donald and Rita; her uncle, Roy; and her brother, Matt, Jesse and Mary help the family by telling the story of their farm.

My Blog Posts

Mom: The Greatest Title I've Been Given
The loudest voices aren't always right. Did Subway make the right call?
What does the cow of the future look like?
Why do certain containers of cow’s milk have a longer expiration date?
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    Local Food

    "Milk from our cows is sold to Prairie Farms Dairy."
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Regardless of the label, dairy is local

Our family has been farming in central Illinois for more than 150 years and shipping our milk to local bottling plants for distribution in surrounding communities. We’re just one of many dairy farms across the country – in fact there are dairy farms in all 50 states shipping milk to neighborhood stores and markets, making dairy a true local food!

So what does it take to bring you some local goodness? Well, every day, regardless of birthdays, weddings, graduations or weather, our alarm sounds long before the sun comes up. We milk our cows twice a day and on average, each cow spends about eight minutes in the milking parlor – five of those minutes with the milking units attached. Our milk is cooled down to 38 degrees until the milk hauler comes to the farm. Then our milk is transported to the Prairie Farms bottling plant in Peoria, Ill. Testing is done for quality and safety before the milk is pasteurized, homogenized and bottled. Milk offers great nutrition with a lean source of protein, Vitamins A, D and calcium, just to name a few.

About 48 hours after the milk leaves our farm, it arrives on your store shelves and then on your dinner table!

We all want to sit around the dinner table and feed our family fresh food grown and raised by local farmers. It’s a concept that has recently been rebranded as “farm to table” but has actually been around for a very long time. On my family’s dairy farm, we are proud to say that with our without a “local” label, we have been providing the highest quality milk for our community for more than five generations. So, pour yourself a cold glass of milk or enjoy a heaping bowl of ice cream and know it came from a local farmer just a few days earlier.