Our Relationship With Local Amish and Mennonite Dairy Producers
Farmers Creamery has had a long-standing relationship with the Amish and Mennonite community in Kalona, Iowa. In fact, the milk used to make Kalona SuperNatural products is predominantly procured from small Amish and Mennonite farms living in a 250 mile radius around Kalona, Iowa. These communities are relatively self-contained, each with their own bishops and community leaders that help guide how each settlement will engage with the world and each other.
We are very sensitive to the cultural concerns of each community. We go out of our way to accommodate belief systems, given the realities of the dairy industry. Typically, milk is picked up from farms every other day to ensure quality. Amish and Mennonite communities have a strong belief that Sunday should be a day of rest, doing only the very minimum amount of necessary work in order to keep the operation running. We accommodate this belief by avoiding “Sunday pickups.”
We also work with the fact that the Amish do not allow electricity in their communities. Dairy farms use a lot of electricity, so in order for these Amish farms to be certified grade-A we help them identify strategies that adhere to the regulations but also stay true to their beliefs. Some strategies include recommendations for milking systems that are simple, effective and legal, recommendations for cleaning materials that can be used by small children, as well as design support for construction of new facilities or the retrofitting of existing ones. The Amish faith and community primarily tries to exist in a 18th century mindset while living in a 21st century reality. We find this admirable and have inculcated their sensitivities into our business practices.
We are committed to helping small farmers make organic farming a viable lifestyle and are glad to be a part of this community!