Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
Dairy farming is New York State’s primary agricultural industry. It is a tight knit community, and encompasses more than the farm families – dairy milk haulers, the tireless truckers that move milk from farm to plant, are also an integral and symbiotic part of this landscape.
Husted Trucking, based a few miles from Terry’s farm, picks milk up from about 200 farms across a 50 mile radius. Thirty-two trucks and experienced drivers maintain this lifeline connection to plants and processors, with Chobani receiving a lion’s share of local milk. As part of our day, we met the company’s second generation owners, David and Penny. Their son, the third generation, is on the runway, working in the office while we learn more about their operation.
David started working with his father hauling milk cans in 1953. Like farming, milk transportation gets no days off – no weekends, no weather can interrupt the schedule. Dairy farms are located on narrow, uneven back roads – drivers must be dedicated and very skilled, navigating through rain, sleet or snow. Drivers are also part of the quality and safety team – every milk load is tested. Drivers take samples from the farm holding tank, and the milk is tested again before it enters the plant to be sure there is no quality issue. The management team works with brokers to direct and deliver fresh milk orders that change daily.
The trucks take milk to the plants, and the leftover whey back to the farms – a sustainable circle that promotes land and animal health. The truck are washed and sanitized after they deliver the milk to the plant. The whole system is regularly inspected– local, state and federal agencies all have a role. Regionally, farms collectively manage their food safety and must pass all inspections or they lose their market – their ability to sell their milk. All of these regulatory requirements ensure a safe supply chain from cow-to-cup.
Commitment and collaboration rise like cream to the top of this discussion – David’s dedication to his team, longstanding working relationship and friendship with Terry, and pride in their company’s heritage and role are evident. The boxes are always checked, the additional work done, the extra mile driven to protect their cargo and deliver it safely and efficiently to its destination.
Three cups of milk make one cup of Greek yogurt. To highlight this part of our tour, we have some wonderful recipes to sip (or slurp!) and transform Greek yogurt into a delicious smoothie. Check them out, and tell us which one is your favorite!
Pack a delicious, protein punch – substitute Greek yogurt in recipes and power up taste and nutrition. Check the blog next week for the rest of our Greek yogurt tour with Chobani!