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Dimock Dairy celebrates 85 years and community

DIMOCK--In its first-ever celebration, Dimock Dairy marked 85 years of making cheese in Dimock by shutting down Main Street on Saturday and offering food, music and other activities.

"Mogen's Heroes" performed for the Dimock Dairy 85th Anniversary celebration Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. This was the first time the company has put on a celebration like this. (Selena Yakabe/Republic)
"Mogen's Heroes" performed for the Dimock Dairy 85th Anniversary celebration Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. This was the first time the company has put on a celebration like this. (Selena Yakabe/Republic)

DIMOCK-In its first-ever celebration, Dimock Dairy marked 85 years of making cheese in Dimock by shutting down Main Street on Saturday and offering food, music and other activities.

Though, Paul Weidenbach, of Dimock Dairy, said the celebration holds more significance than celebrating 85 years of cheesemaking.

"Since we purchased (Dimock Dairy), one of the concerns was, 'Would the location get moved?' " Weidenbach said. "We wanted people to know we were a part of Dimock and we want to stay in Dimock, and this was a good way of saying that. Plus, it's fun and it coincides with 85 years."

Dimock Dairy is highly involved in the community, Drew Muntefering, also of Dimock Dairy, said.

"There's not a lot of people and not a lot of businesses in town, so it's important that we stay and thrive in Dimock," Muntefering said.

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Muntefering said the business has some employees from Dimock, but because it is a small town, it also draws workers from Parkston and Mitchell.

"We donate a fair amount of cheese for charity events and fundraising deals locally, especially for helping kids," Muntefering said. "We partner with schools to do fundraising with our cheese and gift boxes."

Dimock Dairy makes 23 different types of cheese, eight different spread flavors and butter, Muntefering said. Its products are sold around the state and most of the surrounding states as well.

The company gets a lot of support from the community of Dimock, as well as the surrounding communities, and Muntefering said he is proud its quality products have grown such a loyal customer base.

"A lot of people grew up with Dimock cheese, and if they go somewhere else, they always come back to Dimock Dairy," Muntefering said.

The celebration included inflatables for the kids, a bean bag tournament, food provided by the Knights of Columbus Dimock chapter, a wine and cheese tasting with South Dakota wine and cheese from Dimock Dairy, and music provided by theMogen's Heroes band.

All of the proceeds from the Knights of Columbus' food sales are going to be donated locally, though the group is not sure who will be the recipient yet.

"If we can help what we feel is a worthy cause, we'll donate," Gary Preszler, a member of the Knights of Columbus, said.

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Bob Schoenfelder, another member of the KC Dimock chapter, said his favorite part of the celebration was "meeting people, seeing old friends-people we haven't seen for a while-seeing people enjoy themselves and listening to great music."

For Preszler and Schoenfelder, Dimock was their childhood home.

"Most of us grew up here. I left for 30 years and came back," Schoenfelder said. "Some of us left for a short time and came back, because there's no place like home, and there's no place like South Dakota."

The KC members and Muntefering said they hope to make the celebration an annual event.

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