December 06, 2016
Arps Dairy, Inc. – Dairy With Integrity
Arps Dairy’s Dairy With Integrity masterplan is a guiding framework which ensures the highest quality of dairy products for you, your family and our community. Dairy With Integrity is a process which spans the product lifecycle, starting at the farm and ending at your table. It is a strategic philosophy and a core set of beliefs and values which we are proud of and wish to convey.
All of our Arps Dairy milk comes from an Arps Dairy family farm located within 30 miles of our creamery. Our family farmers, many of which are multi-generational family farmers, are dedicated to upholding the highest standards in animal care, dairy quality and sustainability. Sourcing from local family producers is a strategic decision Arps Dairy made by our founder, George Arps in 1936, and is a practice we continue to this day as it is a strong component of our organizational beliefs and offers the following benefits:
- It encourages sustainable agriculture and facilitates traceability as we know where our milk originates.
- It has positive impacts on our local environment, which pays dividends to the global environment. Given that dairy products don’t have to travel as far to arrive in your refrigerator, it helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to improving our carbon footprint.
- It benefits the local economy, including supporting local farmers and other producers.
- We might be biased, but we think ‘Local Simply Tastes Better’.
Arps Dairy’s family farmers have pledged to be antibiotic free, to not use artificial hormones including rBST, and all participate in the F.A.R.M. program which sets the standards for animal care. If fact, much of what happens on Arps Dairy family farm — from the physical layout of the farm to the milking cycle, from meal planning to housing design, from bedding arrangements to veterinary care, from noise-control to barn ventilation — is designed for cow comfort. At Arps Dairy, we believe that a clean, comfortable and safe environment in which cows feel secure enhances the health and well-being of our animals, and that is what our family farmers provide.
While many of our family farmers have acres upon acres of green pasture for cows to graze, we live in a climate where pasture grazing is not available year-round. For this reason, our family farmers work hand-in-hand with certified animal nutritionists to ensure each individual animal receives a healthy diet based on the breed, stage of development and lactation status. Common diets for Arps Dairy cows consist of 60% forage, meaning grass and alfalfa. The other 40% is made up of fiber, energy protein, minerals and vitamins (soybean meal, corn, etc.).
Finally, when it comes to animal health, our family farmers work in conjunction with trusted veterinarians to administer medication only when necessary to reduce animal pain or to prevent or cure illness. Just as they would with their children when they become ill, our family farmers will utilize antibiotics as a corrective action to make healthy a sick animal. But because antibiotic residues can be passed into her milk, an Arps Dairy cow undergoing antibiotic therapy is segregated from the herd in a hospital pen on the farm. For her comfort, she continues to be milked but her milk is kept separate and immediately discarded to prevent it from entering the Arps Dairy supply chain. This process continues after antibiotic therapy has ended — during the so-called “withdrawal period,” when the medication has worked its way out of the cow’s system. That cow’s milk is not allowed to enter the Arps Dairy supply chain until samples of that milk have been tested to be antibiotic free. At the plant, Arps Dairy also tests each milk supply to ensure that the milk supplied from our dairy farmers is 100% antibiotic free.
In Our Creamery:
Receiving high quality, wholesome milk from our local family farmers is only one component to bring the best tasting, highest quality milk to consumers. Arps Dairy has strategically made thousands of small decisions in order to ensure that the product that reaches your table is as natural, nutritious and delicious as dairy products should be. When milk arrives at our creamery it instantly undergoes in-house laboratory testing to ensure it meets our strict quality requirements. To ensure accuracy, samples are also sent to a third-party independent laboratory. Once certified to meet our high standards, that milk is transferred to a stainless steel temperature controlled holding tank where it is briefly held before beginning the cream separation and heat treatment process.
While all milk sold in the United States is required to be heat treated to a certain degree for a specific amount of time, Arps Dairy has strategically decided on a cold separation process which ensures that the milk is not overheated. When subjected to overheating, the natural proteins and therefore the nutritional effect and flavor of the milk is negatively impacted. While many dairy’s make the choice to use a high heat separation system which further subjects their milk to heat in order to increase production capacity, Arps Dairy does not sacrifice quantity for quality. Our cold separation system ensures that the natural proteins and flavor within the milk remain intact and therefore Arps Dairy milk has a more natural and wholesome tasting flavor.
In Your Kitchen:
It is because of these, and many other strategic decisions and beliefs, that Arps Dairy practices what we call Dairy With Integrity, and it is the reason that when you purchase Arps Dairy products, you can rest assured that you are consuming a natural, wholesome and healthy product that was sourced and packaged right in your own back yard from happy, healthy and well cared for cows. When you buy Arps Dairy products, you can rest assured that you are making a healthy and natural decision for you and your family.
Adam D. Donaldson, Vice President