Experience a free educational tour that all children will love. For a magical family outing or a wonderful school field trip, visit the Mayfield Dairy in Athens, Tennessee. Children of every ages will be completely mesmerized by the Mayfield dairy with the famous yellow jugs. The learning portion will just slide through into their knowledge base. At the end of the free tour, both adults and children can satisfy a sweet tooth by indulging in a generous helping of creamy Mayfield Ice Cream.
Athens, TN and the Mayfield Dairy
All visitors receive a whole look at how Mayfield’s exceptional dairy products are made. First, there is a short film presented in a theatre that tells how it all began. Tours then explain how milk goes from the dairy to the home refrigerator. Among some of the interesting aspects of the tour is the opportunity for kids to milk a life sized replica of a Jersey cow. The Mayfield Gift Store contains apparel, collectibles, toys, plush, Baby Mayfield products and the very popular Mayfield Truck collections.
Following the tours, visitors can purchase Mayfield Ice Cream, which is said to be the creamiest in the world, due to a flash freezing process that no other dairy utilizes. The most popular Mayfield Ice Cream flavor is vanilla, but there are a variety of specialty flavors as well. Kids will love buying and eating the ice cream.
The History of the Mayfield Dairy in Athens, TN
The Mayfield Dairy began in 1910 by T.B. Mayfield, Jr. when he bought 45 Jersey cows and began to deliver milk to customers in his hometown of Athens, Tennessee. The business grew as his family became more involved in the production and distribution of the milk. In 1950, Mayfield retired and his sons, T.B. Mayfield III and C. Scott Mayfield, Sr. built the most modern milk plant in the entire Southeast.
Today the company is one of America’s leading dairies and is run by two fourth generation Mayfields, Scottie and Rob. Scottie appears in many Mayfield commercials, wearing his iconic bowtie. While some people have asked if Scottie is a real person, those on the tour will discover he really is a real person who really works at the Athens, TN facility. The Mayfield Company today employs over 2,000 workers and serves nine states in distribution. They produce milk, ice cream and juice.
In 1983, Mayfield Dairies became the first dairy in the United States to package milk in a bright opaque yellow jug. The color of the jug preserves freshness in milk by blocking UV light that breaks down nutrients and alters the taste of milk. Mayfield is the only dairy in the United States to use a special vacuum process that removes unwanted tastes, such as raw onions from the milk. The yellow jugs are made on the premises. Both the vacuum process and the jug making process is part of the tour.
Planning Your Trip to the Mayfield Dairy
The Mayfield Dairy is located off Interstate 75 in Tennessee. Take Exit 52, which is Mt. Verd. Turn east toward Athens. Drive 4.3 miles and turn left on Mayfield Lane. You will then see the Visitor’s Center on the right. The physical address is 4 Mayfield Lane in Athens, Tennessee and specific information can be found by calling 1-800-MAYFIELD.
The Dairy is closed on Sundays. Please note that there are no tours or milk production on Wednesday. For the full bells and whistles, plan your trip on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. The tour is available on Saturdays, but there is no ice cream production on these days. The dairy and visitor center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 5:00 with the last tour beginning at 4:00 p.m. Saturday hours are from 9:00 am through 2:00 pm, with the last tour beginning at 1:00 pm.
Reservations are recommended for groups of eight or more, and be sure to call ahead and confirm the dairy schedule if you will be visiting during a specific holiday season or during inclement weather. Many resources are offered to teachers at Mayfield Dairy website.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing, and especially non-slip footwear, as the tour happens in an actual working dairy. In brisker weather, a lightweight jacket or sweater would also be in order, as the dairy is a cool environment.
The Athens, TN Area
Athens is located north of both Cleveland, Tennessee, which is a small sized city in Bradley County and also the larger city of Chattanooga, Tennessee which is located in Hamilton County. There are many sites and activities in the area for recreation and history.
The area is a treasure trove of Civil War history. Athens itself is the county seat of McMinn County, which was a strongly divided area during the Civil War. The county itself sent twelve units to the Union Army and eight units to the Confederacy. The Mayfield Dairy Tour will take approximately one hour with some extra time in the Gift and Ice Cream Store. There will be plenty of time to take in sites around the area and also in Chattanooga.