Welcome to Fort Atkinson, Home of Jones Dairy Farm
When Americans think of Wisconsin, we think of amazing cheese and (if you’re a sports fan) the Green Bay Packers football team. Bordered by Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, two of the Great Lakes of North America, Wisconsin is home to lush landscapes and nearly a quarter of America’s dairy farms.
Located along the Rock River is a small city called Fort Atkinson, which currently has a population of over 12,500 people. The city is named after General Henry Atkinson (1782 – 1842), who built a temporary fort in the area during the Black Hawk War, a war between U.S. troops and local indigenous tribes. After the war ended, the fort was abandoned, but settlers from eastern states like New York arrived in the area and used the fort’s wood to construct their homes.
By 1940, almost none of the original fort remained, but a new community had been formed in its place.
It all started with cheese
Among this wave of immigrants were Vermont natives Milo and Sally Jones. Upon arriving in Fort Atkinson in 1832, the family established one of Wisconsin’s first dairy farms.Milo C. Jones, son of the settler Milo, was struck with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 35 and could no longer operate his family’s farm. Thus, he began selling sausages based on his mother’s original recipe and founded Jones Dairy Farm in 1889. His parents’ land became the manufacturing base of these delicious, wholesome sausages—which people continue to buy and enjoy today.
Over the years, important events and people have come and gone on the Jones Dairy Farm complex. However, some things have remained the same. Here’s a brief tour of the founders’ original land today.
The iconic farmhouse
The iconic Farmhouse, where Milo C. Jones prepared his famous product, is now the site of corporate and family events, and some family members still live there today.
Jones Market & Deli
Originally built in 1906, the current Jones Market brick building was a sausage production kitchen called “Plant 1.” The adjoining retail store was built in the 1920s for the convenience of the founder Milo C. Jones as a wheelchair-accessible office.
Today, the market is a relaxing stop for locals and visitors. At the deli, visitors can try original sandwiches using Jones Dairy Farm ham, bacon and sausages. In the back is a kitchen where new products are tested and developed.
Jones South Plant
This sprawling manufacturing plant opened in 2017 and is now the main production site of all Jones Dairy Farm products. Check out blogger Costcotuu’s detailed factory tour to learn more about why Jones Dairy Farm’s cutting-edge production methods.
Click here for a full list of Jones Dairy products available at Costco shops throughout Japan.
In need of inspiration? Check out our original recipes.