EAST HOMER, NY – Our latest Food and Farm Showcase takes us to a Cortland County dairy that handles the entire supply chain, from production to processing to distribution and even some retail.
Trinity Valley Farm is located on Route 13 in East Homer.
Co-Owner Branden Brown and his wife Rebekah represent the 4th generation of Rebekah’s family to raise dairy cows on the land.
In 2014, they decided to start processing and marketing their own lines of milk and cheeses.
With the popularity of their cheese curd varieties increasing, this year they switched breeds from Holstein to Jersey because the Jersey cows have a higher butter fat content.
They also built a new open barn where the cows can roam freely, eat, drink or sleep when they want and let themselves into the robotic milker.
Brown says the new barn is set up so that visitors can easily see the process.
“If you can tell people your farm practices and tell them the quality and show them the proof, that seems to be what will turn people from buying the national brand to spending that little bit extra to know that you’re supporting a local farm, a local family,” he says.
Of course flavor is a big seller too.
Trinity Valley does not standardize or homogenize its milk.
The butter fat content is whatever the cows are producing and the milk separates a bit so you want to shake it before pouring.
And Trinity Valley uses low temperature pasteurization which doesn’t kill off all of the good bacteria.
“Our milk is a lot richer product, a lot creamier product, and because we vat pasteurize, a lot of consumers will say that our milk has a sweeter taste to it because it’s kind of a double boiler concept of pasteurization. It’s not a flash pasteurization so it kind of cooks and carmelizes the sugars in the milk.”
Trinity Valley’s milk has won an award for the highest quality milk in New York State.
The Brown and Poole families operate their own farm store on site.
Plus their milk and cheese products are available in a number of small stores and farm markets, plus larger regional grocers like Wegmans and Price Chopper.
For more information, go to http://TrinityValleyDairy.com.