OF THE CROP
Working with local dairy farms fosters community and provides Hy-Vee shoppers with farm-fresh products at reasonable prices. Meet some of the family farmers who work hard to bring dairy to you.
Dairy has its place—and it’s usually local
Dairy products have been staples in American diets for generations, encompassing a range of foods including milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, cream cheese and sour cream.
About 90 percent of Americans do not get enough dairy in their diets, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which says most people would benefit from increasing their intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy. The recommended daily amount differs by age, the USDA says, ranging from 1½ cups for toddlers up to 3 cups for adults.
Dairy also offers great taste. There’s undeniable comfort in dairy foods—from the chocolate milk in the fridge to the ice cream in the freezer to the melted cheese on the pizza in the oven.
Hy-Vee works with many different Midwest farms to bring the best products to its dairy cases. The four dairy farms spotlighted below are just a few of the many farms Hy-Vee works with to bring the best products to its dairy cases.
You can feel good about the dairy products you get at Hy-Vee. They’re full of nutrition, loaded with taste and delivered farm-fresh. Plus, they give a boost to the local economy. A win-win.
Dairy is a key part of a well-balanced diet, providing calcium for strong bones, plus essential nutrients such as vitamins A and D, potassium and protein.
But more than nutrition and farm-fresh taste, when you buy dairy from Hy-Vee, you support family farmers like those featured in this story—hailing from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas—as well as many other farmers throughout our 8-state region.
a state to learn more!
Typical milk production schedule
A typical day in the life of a dairy farmer
Milk the cows. Each cow spends 10 minutes in the milking parlor.
Breakfast time for the cows. Morning feed distributed; fresh water provided.
Breakfast time for the farmer.
Sustainable farming practices are netting positive results:
• The dairy industry aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions for milk production by 25% from 2007–2008 levels.
• Under its net zero initiative, the U.S. dairy industry hopes to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
the amount of milk one dairy cow produces each day
dairy cows, approximately, are in Hy-Vee’s 8-state region
It only takes about 48 hours for milk to reach grocery shelves after it leaves Midwest dairy farms.
Milk is a vital component to a healthy diet. That is why Hy-Vee will partner with dairy suppliers this month to donate milk to food banks.
For each gallon or half-gallon sold, dairy suppliers will donate to Feeding America food banks across our eight-state region at the end of the drive.
Help us give milk to those families in need by purchasing milk at your local Hy-Vee store.
THE SCOOP ON MILK
Milk tastes great with cereal (or cookies!), but it’s not the only dairy product cows take credit for. Here are some others.
Frozen dairy desserts include ice cream, ice milk, gelato, sherbet and frozen yogurt.
Natural cheese is a fermented food made with milk, salt, good bacteria and enzymes.
Fresh cheese curd products are made by draining the cheese instead of pressing it.
Soft, fresh cheese made from milk and cream contains at least 33% milk fat.
Made with fat and protein from milk or cream, butter is a spread and an ingredient in baking and cooking.
Made through the fermentation of lactose, yogurt provides probiotics that
Skimmed from the top of fresh milk, cream is sold as half-and-half and heavy whipping cream.
near Jansen, Nebraska, along with Adam’s parents, brother and sister.
Brooke and Adam Engelman run Classic Dairy,
“Cow care and comfort are our main priorities, enabling us to produce a high quality product. We work closely with our nutritionist and veterinarians to give our cows the best feed and care.“Health and safety of our family is important. By taking good care of our cows, we are guaranteeing a healthy and safe product for all of us.”
The Engelman’s children—Preston, Allison and Sidney—will be the fifth generation to farm.
“At Classic Dairy, we pride ourselves on our sustainability efforts. We work hard to recycle and reuse as much water as possible. Cold water from the well is used to cool the milk, then it goes into a holding tank to be used to flush manure out of the barns. As a final step, the water is injected into our farm ground as fertilizer for the crops.
helps run the multigenerational Ohlde Family Farm near Linn, Kansas.
Melissa Ohlde, (shown with her husband Levi (right) and brother-in-law Justin)
“We enjoy partnering with Hy-Vee to bring a safe, quality product to local shelves. From start to finish, it is imperative that the best efforts are made to produce, handle, ship and store our product so it is as safe and fresh as possible.
“We’d like consumers to know that our product is safe and healthy! We work extremely hard to make sure our cows receive the best treatment and care possible, which results in them giving us their best milk. And there are numerous health benefits dairy products provide to our bodies.”
The Ohlde family has been in the dairy business since migrating from Germany, but have been milking cows on their current farm in Linn, Kansas, since 1955 when Bob and Norma Ohlde were married. They both grew up on dairies and shared in this passion. Bob had three milk cows he bought during high school and from there the Ohldes continued to build their herd.
“In 1996 the family decided to do a large-scale expansion. We wanted to focus on increasing cow comfort, sustainability, and being good stewards of the environment. An expansion would also allow future generations a chance to be part of the family business.
“We are most proud of having a family-owned, multi-generational business. We are also proud of the dependability in our employees and the pride they take in their individual roles. The care and compassion everyone shows for the animals and each other is incomparable.
a family dairy farm she runs with her parents and siblings in Ely, Iowa.
Josie Rozum is director of operations for Dan and Debbie’s Creamery,
“Our life is on the farm. We love what we do and watching our product go from farm to table is such a neat thing to see. We take great pride in knowing that we are helping feed our community.”
Hy-Vee has been such a wonderful partner for us to work with and they have been instrumental in getting our creamery up and going through their support, encouragement and ongoing space they provide us on their store shelves so our products more accessible to more consumers.
Josie Rozum’s parents, Dan and Debbie Takes, are first-generation dairy farmers who started milking in the late 1990s.
“They had so much love for their farm and the land they wanted to have more control over the process from the farm to consumers’ tables, so together, my parents and siblings started Dan and Debbie’s Creamery just a few miles from our family farm.
“We’re a modern day farm-to-table dairy operation celebrating our 5-year anniversary this year. At the creamery, we bottle cream top milk and make butter, cheese curds, aged cheeses and ice cream.
near Menahga, Minnesota, with Mark’s twin brother, Mike Spadgenske, since 1994
Kristine and Mark Spadgenske have co-owned Spadgenske Dairy
“When the milk truck comes to pick up the milk we have produced, that milk has our name on it. We have a responsibility to see that it is the highest quality. We are also committed to preserving our land, water and air for the next generation. Our goal has always been to leave the land we farm in even better condition than when we started. It is only ours to borrow for the time being until we can pass that land onto the next generation.”
“We currently milk 350 cows and farm about 1,500 acres of corn and hay to feed our cows. Their care is always top priority. The Ladies, as we affectionately call them, receive regular veterinary care including checkups and vaccinations. The Ladies have access to clean, dry stalls where they can lay down to rest, and they have 24/7 access to fresh feed and water. They are also able to go outside to pasture as weather allows.
“We use innovation and technology to make the work on the farm not only easier but also more efficient and cost-effective. When our cows are healthy, they are able to produce high-quality milk, which is processed into many dairy products. I believe dairy products can be a part of a happier life. Who doesn’t feel just a bit happier enjoying a bowl of ice cream on a warm summer evening?
Feed baby calves bottles of warm milk.
Load the milk truck to get ready for delivery.
General farm chores; sometimes meet with nutritionist, veterinarian or milk inspector.
Milk the cows. Most farms milk twice a day, some three times a day.
Feed the baby calves again.
Check on corn and hay fields that will feed cows next year.
Bedtime. Next milking is just 6 hours away.
A Typical day in the life of a dairy farmer
Milk Cooled on farm to under 42°F.
Milk delivered to milk plant.
Milk tested for cleanliness and purity; it's not unloaded unless given a clear grade.
Milk is pasteurized for safety, enhanced shelf life and consistency; then instantly cooled back down to 42°F.
Milk is skimmed to appropriate amount of fat and protein.
Milk is bottled and loaded on a delivery truck.
Typical Milk Production Schedule
the great shake-up
Use delicious local dairy products from Hy-Vee to make these super-sweet milkshakes.
Cherry Pie Milkshake
Red Velvet Milkshake
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Milkshake
Cherry Pie Milkshake