By Donna Moenning
Midwest Dairy Association
Innovation. Progress. It’s part of our American spirit. It led our forefathers and it leads us today.
Being in our nation’s capital for The Future of Food: Food Security in the 21st Century reminds me of that spirit. That drive. That determination to do better, go farther, and make a difference to meet the challenges that lie before us.
At another event this week, 1,450 miles from Washington D.C. in the heart of western Kansas, McCarty Family Farms made an announcement that demonstrates what innovation is all about.
More than ninety years ago, the McCarty family started and ended each day milking cows by hand in a small barn without electricity in northeast Pennsylvania. Four generations later, McCarty Family Farms is at home in western Kansas.
This week, with their new partner, The Dannon Company, McCarty Family Farms announced an innovation that is already yielding benefits: construction of a milk condensing plant at the farm, which uses a unique process to remove the water from the milk. The water is reused at the farm, and the milk solids are shipped to Dannon’s Fort Worth, Texas plant to make yogurt.
This innovative operation significantly reduces the environmental impact of milk shipping. A carbon footprint of McCarty Family Farms has been completed to benchmark progress and provide direction for further environmental sustainability projects.
But that’s not the only benefit. Since the partnership was initiated, more than 50 direct jobs have been created in rural Kansas, effectively doubling the size of McCarty Family Farms to more than 100 associates.
While this latest development at the farm is a far cry from milking cows by hand, some things never change according to the McCarty’s: a daily commitment to the cows, people and the land. Wholesome, nutritious milk begins and ends with these values.