Groundbreaking marks new dairy in Edwards County, Kansas 

Blue Sky Farms officials broke ground for the Twin Circle Dairy near Lewis Kansas, April 26. The dairy is expected to be home to nearly 25,000 cows and construction should be completed in 2025. Currently Blue Sky Farms has six dairies in Texas and another location where heifer calves are developed. More farm locations provide feed for the cows and heifers, as well as a harvest and hauling business. Watch for more information from the groundbreaking event and speakers. (Journal photo by Kylene Scott.)

Even though the sky was blue for the groundbreaking for Blue Sky Farms’ Twin Circle Dairy, southeast of Lewis, Kansas, the western Kansas wind made its presence known.  

The west Texans from Blue Sky Farms are no stranger to harsh wind conditions and even joked about it. Chief Financial Officer Josh McDonald said it feels like home. 

“We’re used to this wind. No apologies needed,” he said.  

McDonald was humbled by the turnout for the groundbreaking April 26 and said it’s impressive during the busy season of corn planting. 

“I think the size of this crowd is a testament to what we’ve seen in Edwards County,” he said. “Since our inception, the community has welcomed us with open arms. We’re thankful for the farmers and businesses willing to collaborate with us.” 

Blue Sky Farms Chief Operating Officer K.R. Averhoff said Twin Circle Dairy will look a lot different in 12 months than it did at the groundbreaking. He expects the dairy to milk 19,300 cows in the first year, with ultimately 23,700 cows and springers being milked annually on two 120-cow rotaries. 

“Each cow would be walking on each rotary every four seconds, which means it’s about 1,750 cows an hour milked,” Averhoff said. “We utilize technology in that area with sort gates and collars. The cows will be wearing that information every day about their activity and their behavior and how they’re eating and other things that they’re doing.” 

Technology will help sort the cows behind the parlors and keep track of cow movements, breeding activities, pregnancy checks and other data. Even more technology will control the barns, including fans, curtains and lighting, to create the best environment possible for cows.  

 “So on a day like today, they’re not going to know the wind is blowing, right?” he said. “Other days it’s going to be cold. Other days it is going to be hot, and we want to create an environment for cows that’s going to help them do the best they can every day of the year.” 

Averhoff and his crew are excited about the new facilities and technology and can’t wait to get it up and going. They are also excited about growing their team, providing jobs for more than 100 employees.  

The Blue Sky Farms team hopes to have Twin Circle Dairy operational by the first quarter of 2025, increasing to full capacity within six months .  

“As we get started next year, we’re fortunate to have our management team in place with Twin Circle Dairy,” he said. “We believe that bringing Blue Sky Farms culture with us will be a key to our success.” 

Averhoff said Ryan DeWit will be the general manager at Twin Circle Dairy and has been operating their dairy in central Texas.  

“He’s also been heavily involved in the planning of the dairy here in Kansas,” he said. 

Tanner Mesman will be the herd manager and has been most recently leading the Sand Hill Dairy in the Texas Panhandle.  

“They bring a lot of knowledge when it comes to working with the collars and the technology that we’re using with the cows and also implementing the Blue Sky Farm culture with our team,” Averhoff said. 

Matt Nelson will be the operations manager and was a new addition to the Blue Sky Farms team in January.  

“(He) has a strong dairy background and a management position with a large dairy in Idaho,” Averhoff said. “He’s been getting familiar with Blue Sky Farms and our team over the last few months.” 

Sign up for HPJ Insights

Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

The three leaders are expected to make the move to Kansas later this year.  

Averhoff is also looking forward to starting a relationship with Hilmar Cheese and the new plant under construction in Dodge City, Kansas.  

“As we learn more about them and have had the opportunity to spend time with their team and their ownership, it is evident there is alignment in our businesses,” he said. “Those items include their views on quality, community involvement, environment, animal care, the value they place on their employees and a mindset around continuous improvement.” 

McDonald thanked Edwards County Development Director Heather Strate for her work with the team.  

“We kind of joke about this, but she truly is one of the primary reasons that we chose Edwards County,” he said. “I want each of y’all to really know that that is a big reason that we are here. I probably get to talk to Heather multiple times a day. A lot of times she probably gets tired of us, but she truly has a servant’s heart and passion for this community and growth in this area.” 

McDonald also thanked the Edwards County Commissioners, public works director, the Kansas Department of Commerce and the state of Kansas, among others.  

“They’ve gone above and beyond to make this project possible,” he said. “Some of our team members today that are here are going to be relocating to Kansas with family and small kids, so we’re excited about that.” 

About Blue Sky Farms

Blue Sky Farms CEO Harry DeWit emigrated from Holland and originally grew up on a small dairy farm—dreaming of his own dairy. Now, 37 years later, he owns half a dozen dairies in the Texas Panhandle, a heifer development farm and farming/harvesting operations.  

By 2013, DeWit and his partners wanted to wrap various projects into one company, build a better platform and get young people excited about the dairy industry.  

“We wanted to create a platform where people that make this happen every day, we give them an opportunity to buy in as shareholders,” he said. “We started in 2013 with five shareholders, and as of today, we’ve got 23 shareholders.” 

Company culture is important to DeWit,  and he stresses values and community involvement. 

“We’re excited that we can continue to grow,” DeWit said. “If I look around, we have gotten a lot of the young people (who are) part of those farms, and it seems like they’re all excited.” 

DeWit said it’s a great opportunity to come to Kansas, especially with the resources available. He appreciated the foresight of state leaders to put water rules in place “back in the day,” allowing there to be water available for agriculture today.  

For more information about Blue Sky Farms visit

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].