South Central PA's Only Animal Welfare Approved Dairy Farm!
At Apple Valley Creamery we put product safety and customer confidence and satisfaction in our products as our number one goal. We understand the peace of mind that comes from purchasing products locally where you can meet and talk to the farmer, see the cows that produce the milk, and watch the creamery bottle that milk for your family. Below is an overview of how Apple Valley Creamery tries to be respectful to the animals, the consumer, and the environment.
100% of the milk that is bottled in the creamery comes from our cows which are never given the rBST or rBGH hormones. We milk our cows twice a day. We start by hand milking a small amount of milk out from each teat. This milk is visually inspected to make sure it adheres to our high quality standards. We then sanitize each teat and attach the milker. The milk goes from the milker to our holding tanks where it is rapidly cooled and awaits bottling.
The cow housing we provide allows our cows to enter and leave the barn, giving them free access to pasture when they choose it (weather permitting). Our cows are also grass fed through a rotational grazing program.
We rotationally graze our cows because it is beneficial to the environment. Rotationally grazed cows are given a new area to feed on every day. The cows, therefore, naturally spread manure over that new area, and thus fertilize the grass. This process provides an even distribution of manure which prevents nutrient run-off. Nutrient run-off can end up in streams and cause harm to the environment.
In the spring through fall about 50% of our cows' diet comes from their freely grazing on grass. The remaining 50% consists of hay, corn silage, grains, and other natural vitamins and minerals. During the winter, the cows' diet is 50% hay and is completed by 50% of corn silage, oatlage, grains and other natural vitamins and minerals. We do not feed any animal by-products to our cows or any man-made additives such as rumensin or monensin. This means they are receiving a 100% all natural herbivore diet. Over 90% of our animal's feed comes from crops raised on our farm. This gives us a much smaller carbon footprint than many large conventional farms.
100% of the crops raised on our farm for our cows' consumption are not genetically modified organisms (Non-GMO). The small percentage of feed that is purchased from off of our farm is either purchased directly from local farmers where we can be certain that it is Non-GMO or we purchase feed that is Non-GMO project verified. This means that our cows' diet is 100% Non-GMO.
At Apple Valley Creamery we pay special attention to creating healthy soil through many all natural farming practices. This means that all of the manure produced on our farm stays on our farm and is used on our fields to fertilize the crops. We value these manure nutrients and do not view them as a waste product or pollutant that we need to get rid of.
We also practice crop rotation and the planting of cover crops. Sometimes these cover crops are harvested and sometimes they are plowed into the soil to increase its organic content and health. Because of our farming practices, we never need to spray insecticides and have extremely limited use of herbicides to control weeds.
We do not feed antibiotics to our animals or use antibiotics for sickness prevention. In rare instances, we do use antibiotics to restore an animal to health, just like you do when you are sick. We view the proper, occasional use, of antibiotics as part of our humane animal care. The proper, occasional use of antibiotics to treat a sick animal does not contribute to antibiotic resistance by bacteria.
We believe our farming practices result in good stewardship of the animals and the land. We also believe these practices make a finished product that is good for you and tastes great!