Organic milk is believed to provide nutrients that aid in the development of stronger bones and muscles. Organic milk obtained from cows that have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones, aids in the transfer of nutritional benefits to children and other humans who consume it. Numerous studies have found that this milk is better for our health than regular processed milk.
According to these studies, organic milk possesses higher nutritional value and more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic milk. Hence, people are tilting towards it considering the healthy benefits it provides. The demand for this healthy milk is growing rapidly and to fulfill it, one dairy farm was established – Stone Lake Acres, which is dedicated to supply healthy milk produced in organic ways.
In an interview with Insights Success, Carol Kleppe, the Farm Manager of Stony Lake Acres, shares the journey of her company, its offerings, and importance of organic milk products. Below are the highlights of the interview:
Carol, please brief our audience about Stony Lake Acres, its values, and how it has been positioned as a leading player in the dairy tech space.
Stony Lake Acres is an organic dairy farm operated by me and my husband Arne Kleppe. This farm was established by my father and initially, the farm size was very small consisting 10-15 cows only.
I grew up working there with seeing the process of milk production. After marriage, we bought this dairy farm from my parents, and I started working as a Farm Manager of Stony Lake Acres. We implemented new technologies in the farm such as:
- Automatic milkers
- Automated barn cleaner
- Feeding machineries
- Animal reproduction and breeding technologies such as artificial insemination
- Rectal palpation – the method of pregnancy testing of cattle.
- Calf huts and their protection in winter season.
Today, the farm is a part of Organic Valley (OV). Organic Valley is an independent cooperative of the farmers in La Farge, Wisconsin, United States. It was initiated in 1988, and currently it is one of the largest organic consumer brands.
What are Stony Lake Acre’s distinct offerings, and how have these products ascertained your stronghold within the industry?
Well, Stony Lake Acre’s consists of 150+ cows to produce organic milk. These cows are fed with organic fodder grown on chemical-free soil and are not injected with antibiotics and hormones. Hence, an organic milk we get, offers healthy lifestyle.
There are different cow breeds which are used for high milk production as below:
- Jersey – The Little Beauties.
- Brown Swiss – The Old Sweethearts.
- Guernsey – The French Gold.
- Ayrshire – The Scottish Warriors.
- Milking Shorthorn – The Pioneers.
- Holstein – High Milk Production
Carol, please brief us about yourself, your journey in the industry, and how you have contributed towards Stony Lake Acre’s success.
I am the Farm Manager of Stony Lake Acres. Previously, the farm was operated by my parents with traditional dairy practices. Since we took over, we implemented innovative technologies for effective milk production.
Beside this, we are into agriculture as well. I have grown maize, wheat, and fodder crops on our cultivated land. We have tied up with MAST (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities), MAST International, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
We also train students from different countries at our farm every year, whoever gets opportunity through this program. Since 2012, we trained students from Africa, Ukraine, India etc.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, what challenges did Stony Lake Acre face because of the pandemic?
Milk prices were dropped and there was a huge loss in the business due to the pandemic. Our market steeped drastically, thereby making it difficult to maintain our farm management. Since there was a transportation shortage, we had to manage all our deliverables. With the pandemic taking a toll and shortage of food supplies to animals, it was gradually becoming quite difficult to maintain herd’s health. This significantly reduced our reach to our potential client, but still we managed the process with our limited resources.