2016 - Volume #40, Issue #5, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Dairy Farm Thrives With Specialty MilkAs most dairy farms get larger to gain efficiency, some producers like Wisconsin farmer Joseph Zaiger and his family are taking a different approach. Their herd of 40 cows only produces A2 beta casein milk rather than conventional milk with A1 beta-casein protein, which some people have problems digesting. All of Zaigerís cattle have been genetically tested and certified by a lab. In a typical dairy herd, about half the cows would produce A1 and half would produce A2 milk, and the two would be mixed together.
††††Zaiger explains that genetics determine the type of beta-casein protein cows produce. Zaigerís cows have been selected and bred for the A2 trait so it isnít the result of any kind of genetic modification.
††††Trust Local Foods handles about 120 gal. of Zaigerís milk a week. An Appleton store sells the product for $5.50 a half gal., which includes a $2 deposit for the glass bottle. Retailers say thereís not a huge market for the product yet, but that might change as more people become aware of the milkís properties. Customers say Zaigerís milk is more flavorful than regular store-bought milk, possibly because it isnít homogenized. Zaiger says they also use low temperature batch pasteurization. Processing and bottling is done on their farm.
††††The Zaiger cattle are 100 percent grass fed, grazing on pasture during the summer and consuming quality grass hay through the winter. They donít use pesticides or herbicides on their pasture and use only natural fertilizer. ďWe donít give our cattle any antiobiotics or synthetic hormones and use natural herbal treatments, if needed.Ē
††††The market for A2 milk may grow in the U.S. as it has in Australia and New Zealand, where the product is consumer-preferred, even at a premium price. A milk company from Australia recently entered the U.S. market with U.S. product and sales in California and Colorado.
††††Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Locally Grown, P.O. Box 282, Little Chute, Wis. 54140 (ph 920 687-1801).
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