COW TO YOU
'Have you ever thought about what happens to milk from the time it leaves the cow to the time you pour it into your glass?'
We take great pride in providing safe, healthy, high quality milk from our grass fed cows. And it all begins with taking good care of our cows every day. This includes providing them with nutritious diets, good veterinary care, and healthy living conditions. We feed our cows nutritionally-balanced feed using the services of our cow nutritionist. Cows also have access to unlimited fresh, clean water. Our vets are always on-hand to maintain optimal health in the herd.
Cows like to lie down for up to 9-12 hours a day. So when they want to rest, they have access to clean, comfortable bedding with plenty of room for movement during the winter months. The cow sheds are closely monitored to ensure comfortable air temperature, ventilation, and lighting.
Our cows are milked twice a day, at 6am and 4pm. Milking takes about four minutes per cow depending on the amount of milk the cow is producing. We can milk 12 cows at a time in our hi-tech herringbone parlour. Feed is dispensed automatically as cows are fed to yield. Milk yield per cow is recorded and automatic cluster removers help to speed up the operation. Milking machines mimic the action of a young calf by creating a pulsating vacuum around the teat, which causes the milk to be released from the udder.
Milk storage tanks are refrigerated and come in various shapes and sizes. Milk is usually stored on the farm at 3.8ºC (39ºF) or colder, for no more than 48 hours. Tanks are agitated to make sure that the entire volume remains cold and that the milk fat does not separate from the milk. After milk has been collected, storage tanks and stainless steel pipes are thoroughly cleaned before the farmer milks again.
Our milk is collected every second day. The tankers are heavily insulated to keep the milk cold during transportation. The tanker driver evaluates the milk prior to collection. and if necessary can reject milk based on temperature, sight, and smell.
A representative milk sample is collected from each farm pickup prior to being pumped onto the tanker. After collection the milk is transported to the processing plant and stored in refrigerated silos before processing.
Samples of milk are taken from farm tanks prior to collection and from the bulk milk tanker upon arrival at the processing site. These are tested for antibiotics and temperature before the milk enters the processing area. The farm milk samples are also tested for milk fat, protein, bulk milk cell count (SCC) and bacteria count (TBC). If milk does not meet quality standards it is rejected. Most farmers are paid on the quality and composition of their milk.
Whole milk, once approved for use, is pumped into storage silos where it undergoes pasteurisation, homogenization, separation and further processing.
Pasteurisation is a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time and cooling it again without allowing recontamination.
Homogenisation involves pushing the raw milk through an atomiser to form tiny particles so that the fat is dispersed evenly throughout the milk, stopping the fat from floating to the top of the container.
Separation involves spinning milk through a centrifuge to separate the cream from the milk. After separation, the cream and remaining milk are remixed to provide the desired fat content for the different types of milk being produced. For "whole milk," the cream is reintroduced until the fat content reaches 3.25%. For "low fat milk," the fat content is 1%. For "skim milk" (sometimes called nonfat milk) the fat content is .05%.
Further processing includes micro-filtration, increasing the storage life by ultra high temperature (UHT) treatment, and mixing or culturing milk for flavoured and yogurt products.