Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hairnets and taste tests - Dairy Communicator meeting


We don't normally dress in matching outfits.

Yesterday was so fun - we had the Michigan Milk Producers Dairy Communicator meeting, and it started with a tour of our Ovid plant!

I looooove a factory tour, and this one even required costumes.  We put on:

hairnets
coats
rubber boots
safety glasses
ear plugs

and removed all of our jewelry.  Every single bit of it.  Watches and fitbits, too.  We were a dull, exercise-not-tracked bunch.  (What is the point of walking if you can't count your steps?  Might as well lie down.)

We had to wash our hands like surgeons - singing happy birthday twice - and wade through cleanser so we didn't track anything from room to room.

We got to see the GIANT butter churn, which was churning butter and putting it into 55lb boxes with the MMPA label on it.  We saw rooms of processing, the loading docks, the valve room - which looked like something out of a science fiction movie - and more.

It was so impressive to see everything that goes on to process our milk.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but here are some from the outside!

Fellow dairy farmer Jennifer Lewis!
Group photo, trying not to shiver in the cold.

We went to the meeting at AgroLiquid and listened to Kris and then Jim our director of sales.

We are all wrapped up in running our own day-to-day businesses and dealing with the actual obtaining of the milk.  Cropping, animal care, people, calves - so, so many details in running a farm.  Then we saw the actual processing side of it - a GIANT processing plant that gets it to people.  Then we have the sales and marketing side of it - an office that deals with suppliers, customers, market strategies ... basically, it's a huge operation to make, use, and sell food.  It's going on every day for every food and the world is a magical place that this all happens to reliably and safely.  Amazing!

We then did something really fun - a milk taste test!  We had 1% organic, 1% conventional, Lactaid, 2% conventional, whole conventional, and A2 milk, which is a kind of milk that has A2 protein and not A1 protein, so it's marketed as being easy to digest.







It was our job to guess which was which, and this was so fun!  I was not good at guessing them, but I liked all of them.  (I only got Lactaid correct.)  I love milk - apparently all kinds.  It was like a lot of tastings!

Only three people out of the 40-ish there got them all right - and the rest of us were very impressed.

That night I did it with my boys, this time with skim, 2%, whole, and A2 whole.  (We always have skim, 2%, and whole here, but we had some A2 from the meeting.  No one in our family has a problem digesting anything, as far as I can tell.  These kids could eat rocks.)  Fun for the whole family.  Give it a shot at your house and let me know how it goes!




All in all, a super fun day.  We're back on the farm today, doing just one small part in the entire huge process.  No hairnets needed.

Happy Maundy Thursday!

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