When Amy Marcoot was growing up, her parents would host her kindergarten class on their family dairy farm in Greenville, Illinois, to teach the ins and outs of agriculture. Today, she and her sister, Beth, are carrying on that mission at Marcoot Jersey Creamery, the artisan cheese company they launched in 2010, and its Country Store.

Guided tours are offered Monday through Friday at 1pm and on Saturday at 11am, where guests can pet baby calves, step up to a robotic milking barn, watch the cheesemaking process and, of course, sample a bunch of cheese.

“People want to understand where their food comes from,” Amy says. “They can come and see the whole process from the animals eating grass out on the pasture to the animals being milked to the cheese being made – it really creates a full experience for people, and we appreciate the trust that it builds with the public.”

Marcoot Jersey Creamery, 526 Dudleyville Road, Greenville, Illinois, 618.664.1110, marcootjerseycreamery.com