Dairy innovator Lely is now two steps closer to naming its Way to Dairy Award winner — but it still has a couple of steps to go. Kasey Hudson of Baker’s Golden Dairy in Ohio and Emily den Haan of Haanview Farms in Ontario are two of the four finalists for this honor.
In an essay submitted for the award, Hudson wrote that at Baker’s Golden Dairy, they feed a growing global population by producing and bottling their milk. “After working vigorously with state inspectors, we began processing in July, 2011,” she wrote. “After the first few months of processing, we began to offer milk in many flavors other than chocolate and strawberry. Flavors include butter pecan, cotton candy, root beer, banana and more. Their milk is vat pasteurized and non-homogenized so it is ‘milk the way it used to be,” she wrote.
In the submitted essay, den Haan wrote that she knows that innovation is critical to being a successful farming enterprise. “In 2012, we opened the first on-farm dairy in Ontario to process and market fluid milk. As we look at the future of our dairy our new barn will be able to accommodate the production of A2A2 milk to the Canadian market through our on-farm plant, Sheldon Creek Dairy. A2A2 milk is cow’s milk that contains only the A2A2 beta-casein protein. It is suggested that it is easier to digest for people who typically experience discomfort with milk,” she wrote. Their operation is currently building a new robotic milking barn, moving from a 50-cow tie-stall barn to a 120-cow free-stall.
Videos of both of these finalists are available on the award’s web page.
Lely North America announced the award earlier this year as a way to recognize the most progressive dairy operations who want to maximize each cow’s potential, while changing the daily tasks on the dairy to be more sustainable, profitable and enjoyable. This top honor will be awarded to the dairy farmer who best demonstrates and lives by the standards of using sustainability and innovation while being an animal care advocate and is involved in the dairy industry. Applications were accepted until June 30, and the last two finalists will be announced at The World Dairy Expo next month.