Raw Milk Deal
National Public Radio’s Planet Money program recently did a 19 minute broadcast entitled Raw Milk Deal. They actually did a good job with it. We encourage you to give it a listen:
We, Paul and Debra, had a similar start to our Raw Milk Deal here in North Idaho. It started with a family cow in 2011. Soon, we had friends asking for milk. Then more friends asked. We then needed to get a second cow, and soon we were in the local natural foods store.
We liked the prospect of the business, and people loved the milk. I mean – they LOVED the milk. So, we decided to continue expanding.
There was competition though, and they started slightly before we did and grew fast. Like the other dairy in the NPR story, the competitor went out of business in fall 2017 and left a gaping hole in the local supply. They closed their doors abruptly and unceremoniously.
Being on a certain growth trajectory, there was no ability to immediately fill the void. There were lines at the couple stores we were in, with customers clamoring for our milk on delivery days.
The stores set a per customer limit on what each could purchase in order to leave some for the others.
Soon, we were able to fill the demand in the stores we were in, and then added new stores. We are now in 10 stores, going on 11 (Super 1 Foods in Oldtown opening this spring). We will stop there, for now, and concentrate on always producing the absolute best milk on the planet for our very loyal customer base.
Like the NPR story’s Mark McAfee and Organic Pastures, we provide raw milk from grass-based cows, and we are in transition to certified organic not only on the fields, which are mostly now certified, but also on the end product.
Unlike the story’s dairy, we are committed to A2A2 only genetics, and to Guernsey cows – which simply produce the best tasting and component milk out there, bar none.
We don’t stop there though. Instead of nasty plastic “jugs”, we bottle in beautiful reusable glass bottles. We thank our retailers for being willing to carry this, and take the bottles back. It’s a big deal, as we are the only milk in many of their stores in returnable glass bottles. We do it because glass is simply the best, and the customers want it this way!
Thank you for the link to that broadcast, it was quite interesting. I am so thankful that you folks continue to supply such delicious, high quality raw milk. It truly is milk as the Lord intended! Thank you all for that. May God bless all of you, and your wonderful cows and critters too!
Thank you for the encouragement. We are like Mark and his wife in that we are greatly strengthened by the enthusiasm of each and every person who clamors for this amazing whole food. We very much appreciate your support!
Yes, thanks for sharing this NPR broadcast, Paul. Mark McAffee is an inspiration and has helped SO many people. Organic Pastures was trying to move to exclusive A2 milk a couple of years ago. I don’t know if they’ve made it yet or not. They do feed corn to their cows, however, which I believe you do not. They say if they do not, the cows die in the summer. Hope you can continue your important work up there in Idaho. The Lord knows people need this very healthy and healing food.
I did not know they fed corn, and I can’t see how that ties to cows dying in the summer. Corn is definitely not needed for dairy cows, even Mark’s cows, which might be a lot of Holstein genetics. We do not feed corn. That’s not to say corn is inherently bad, but feed corn is not an efficient plant and all the corn fields in the Midwest would be better used as grass land in my opinion. Mark was trying to head toward A2 genetics purely, but has backpedaled recently questioning whether it was ideal to go to all A2, given that A1 is supposedly a natural mutation. While it’s a valid point, I think the real issue is that he is going to have to trade off other traits he might find more beneficial to his operation in favor of A2A2 genetics. Hard to say. When one looks at Holsteins, there presumably are a lot of bulls to choose from, and when one filters by A2A2 genetics, one presumably still has lots of choices on the other desired traits. Our cow type – Guernseys – has made a breed decision to only promote bulls who are A2A2. This is a big change from even a couple of years ago. Therefore, it’s actually hard to find semen from a non-A2A2 Guernsey bull anymore.
Wondering if you might have a cow for sale
We only sell bull calves at this point in our existence. I’m sure at some point we might start offering cows or heifers – maybe a year or two out.