Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where Can I Buy Milk From Your Cows?

When visitors come to our dairy or in talking with people about our farm, I’m often asked “Where can I buy milk products from your cows?”

Today, people want to know who produced their food. They like to see a label with the name of the farm where the product originated. While it’s easy to grow and sell fruits and vegetables directly from farmer to consumer, it’s not that simple when it comes to dairy products.

Here’s how it works. Dairy farmers supply raw milk to a processor. The processor receives milk from many dairy farms. These farms vary in size, feed, housing, and other management practices. Milk from all the farms must pass the same quality standards to be accepted by the processing plant. The processor turns the raw milk into a finished product such as drinking milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, or sour cream. The processor packages it for retail sale or sends it to another facility to be packaged. Then these products are distributed to grocery stores, food service vendors, schools, restaurants or other retail outlets.

To see the whole process, watch the video Ohio Dairy Farmers Milk From Farm to Fridge

Dairy product labels do not site a specific farm because each dairy product is made with milk from
many farms. Dairy producers have no say in what products are made from their milk, how these
products are produced, packaged or distributed, where they are sold, or the sale price.

When you see the price of milk, cheese or other dairy products change, it’s not because the dairy
farmer decided to alter the price of raw milk. We dairy producers have no control over the price we
are paid for milk. If our production costs increase, we can’t pass those costs on to the processor or consumer. We are price takers. Click here to learn about how dairy farmers are paid for milk.

Based on my experience talking with people, most are not aware of all the steps involved in milk
products from farm to store shelf or how dairymen are paid for milk. Many, including news reporters, believe dairymen set the price for milk. This is not the case. Some think dairy producers have control over products or packaging or labeling. We have no say in any of those things. We must depend on milk processors to make the delicious products consumers want.

If you want to support our farm and other dairy farmers, buy dairy products. Any dairy product. All dairy products go through the same testing and regulatory process to make sure they are safe and wholesome for your family. Thank you for consuming dairy!


2 comments:

  1. What a good post; we need more information like this.In the UK it's "Farmhouse Breakfast Week" encouraging everyone to eat a healthy breakfast and showing consumers the story behind their food as a lot of people have no idea how the food they eat is produced.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anne! It's important we as farmers provide accurate information about how food is produced. There is a lot of false information out there today aimed at scaring people. I want consumers to know our animals are well cared for and the milk we produce is a safe and quality product we feed our own family.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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