If you were to watch the milk cooler at Real Foods Market some afternoon, it wouldn’t take long to realize that Redmond Heritage Farms has a devoted band of customers with quite an appetite for raw milk.
“The demand for our raw milk has seen a dramatic upswing over the last year,” says farm manager Jed Johnson, and the farm is making some changes in an effort to serve a growing group of customers. With Real Foods Market opening a new store in Salt Lake this fall, the farm’s task of meeting milk demand is paramount. With a new tractor-trailer delivery truck, fresh cows entering the milking herd, a new, 2000-gallon milk tank and the addition of a system to provide fresh grass year-round, Redmond Heritage Farms is in a position to meet the ever-increasing demand for good, clean, raw milk.
Cold Cows and Patient Customers
Do you remember a January as cold as we just experienced? Old Man Winter doled out a month of subzero temperatures, and the team at the farm has been busy keeping the cows—and equipment— happy. The cold temperatures damaged the milk tank, which forced big changes to a sensitive process. While the team worked to control bacteria counts introduced by new equipment, customers at all three Real Foods Markets had to make do with much less milk than usual. “Our customers are patient,” says Wendy Malan, who works in the Heber market. “They’re willing to wait because they know we can’t always force nature to cooperate.”
Green Grass All Year
For years, the farm has been happy to let customers know that the cattle are grass fed… at least when the grass is growing. Soon, Redmond Farms will be growing and feeding grass year-round— no matter how cold it gets. Thanks to a new fodder system that grows 1,100 pounds of sprouted wheat or barley grass every day, our cows will produce higher-quality milk throughout the year. This green grass builds cattle health, increases nutrient concentration in the milk and lowers feed costs. For a cow, nothing could look better than a mat of fresh green grass sitting on a foot of snow! We can’t be sure, but we think we saw smiling cows when the fodder system arrived.
Redmond Heritage Farms recently welcomed Jed Johnson and Gaylen Larsen to the team. Jed is the team leader, facilitating team culture, business development and process improvements. Gaylen Larsen, life-long dairy expert, is the herdsman. After 25 years doing what he loves, Gaylen is well-versed in the doctrines of dairy: herd health, milk production, reproduction and milking process. Both of these men bring strength and skills that bolster the farm’s ability to exceed the demanding expectations required by customers and regulators—and keep the cows happy in the process.
With the ever growing demand for good, clean raw milk, the future of Redmond Heritage Farms looks optimistic indeed. So, while we all looked to the sky this winter to deliver a lot of fluffy “white gold” for the deicing teams, the team at Redmond Heritage Farms was working day and night to deliver “white gold” of its own to customers across the state. Bottoms up!