On a dreary day when we’re looking for a quick pep talk, we sometimes turn to our website inbox and reviews to hear what our customers are saying about our products. It serves as a quick reminder that we get up early each morning to feed the cows, fill those glass bottles, and make great tasting dairy products because we get to hear great reviews like these:
As we sift through comments, there are always trends that seem to rise to the top, much like the cream in our whole milk. Some folks love the nostalgia of our glass bottles, while others admire the environmental sustainability of them. Some comment on how we’ve converted them to classic milk lovers, while others have been introduced to the wonders of flavored milk. Ultimately, our feedback can often be drilled down to one single piece of feedback; the one thing that sets us apart from the rest: the taste.
There’s a reason our tagline is “The Way Milk Should Taste”
It’s a great feeling to know that your customers are as passionate about your products as you are, but sometimes it leaves them questioning “How?”. How do you manage to get almost 2 inches of cream to sit at the top of your creamline milk? How is it that your ice cream is so good that it makes me feel guilty to put any toppings on it? Or even, how can I drink Homestead Creamery milk when most other milks bother my stomach?
It’s more than just how it’s made. It’s more than how our core values drive our day-to-day. Or maybe it’s just the unique combination of both. All we know is, there’s a reason you get that old-fashioned feeling when you pour yourself a cold, creamy glass of milk out of our glass bottle. You can almost taste the old-fashioned values we put into each and every day of hard work on the farms, in our plants, and out on the road delivering our products. Those key values combined with years of experience, a state-of-the-art processing plant, and happy, healthy cows, keep our milk, ice cream, butter, and cheese tasting the way it should taste.
It Starts on the Farms
Did you know that even the slightest spike in temperature can influence a dairy cow’s milk production? Or that if a cow eats a lot of grass the day before, their milk will be slightly different in color the next day?
Quality milk starts with quality farm practices. From the feed we grow on our own farms to the fans we’ve installed in our milking parlors, every step we take to care for our cows is a step towards producing delicious dairy products. Our farmers have spent generations learning how diet and a comfortable environment affects a dairy cow’s production of nutritious, flavorful milk.
Nutrient rich feed leads to nutritious milk. That’s why we mix our own feed with the perfect balance of corn and grains, so we can guarantee that they’re well fed with the right balance of nutrients. After milking and feeding, we still let them graze the pastures, because we know how great it feels to be in a wide open field, (even if we can’t relate to thinking grass is a delicacy). We keep them cool on the hottest summer days with misting and fans. Because we keep our cows happy and healthy, the concept of using production hormones doesn’t even cross our minds, keeping every drop of milk pure.
It Continues at the Plant
Our ultimate goal is to have every batch of milk come from the milking parlor and through the processing plant within 24 hours, producing only the freshest tasting dairy products. We’ve designed our plant and our process to do so even on the higher volume days.
We’ve strategically partnered with nearby dairy farms to ensure that not a single drop of milk rises above 45 degrees during transport. Every minute that milk sits above 45 degrees is an opportunity for bacteria to develop and ultimately means a minute off the life of that recognizable flavor. But our dedication to detail doesn’t stop there.
Our pasteurization process is nothing if not precise. We heat our milk up to about 165 – 175 degrees and back down to 36 degrees quickly. This allows us to quickly eliminate any microorganisms that could quickly spoil the milk, without killing the microorganisms that contribute to flavor and nutrition. This is one of the biggest elements that sets our milk apart from the rest. In recent years, ultra-pasteurization has become the norm in most generic brand milks to extend the life of the milk. While this is great for reputation and customers trying to stretch their dollars, it takes away from the overall flavor and nutrition of the dairy, which simply isn’t something we are willing to compromise.
For fans of creamline milk, that’s all the processing that happens, but the rest of our dairy products also go through homogenization. This process pressurizes the milk to break down the fat cells to be easily absorbed into the milk, keeping the flavor but smoothing out the texture. The end result? Healthy, wholesome milk that’s antibiotic free, with no hormones added.
Finally, our milk is either crated up for shipment or carefully crafted into yummy cheeses, butters, and ice cream! With our savory milk serving as the base, we only add the best ingredients to round out our products. When we choose the ingredients for our flavored milks and ice cream, we make sure to find high quality, natural ingredients to put the metaphorical cherry on top of our unmatched flavor.
So next time someone is sharing a heaping scoop of our zesty Lemon Crunch ice cream, you can tell them exactly why it tastes so heavenly! We hope you’ll share your favorite flavors with us, too!