Several weeks ago, a friend turned us on to the milk from Lavy Dairy Farms in Silex, MO, just north of St. Louis. Their listing on the Local Harvest website (linked above) reads as follows:
“The Lavy Dairy Farm is a certified organic Grade A licensed dairy. Family owned and operated. We sell quality organic raw milk. Our cows are cross bred for high protein and butterfat.”
Not only is their milk organic and local, the cows are pasture-fed (except in winter). We finally visited in-person on the way home from Iowa yesterday. For the amazing price of $3/gallon, we left with four gallons of beautiful milk. Until we found the Lavy Dairy Farm, the lowest price we’d seen for this product (local, organic, pastured milk) was $10/gallon.
Now here’s the part that gets me. They produce more milk than they sell directly to customers (like us), so every other day, a big truck comes to empty their milk tanks. Due to the low demand for organic milk, they cannot get on an organic pick-up route at this time. Their amazing milk that comes from cows tended with such care gets mixed in with all the other milk from factory-farm dairies! Such a tragedy.
I don’t have exact numbers, but some quick peeking at milk commodity prices indicates that they make a mere $1 (rough average) per gallon on milk that they sell on a large scale. They can sell their milk directly to customers (like us), but not directly to stores or at farmers’ markets because it is unpasteurized.
If you’re not sure that buying local food makes a difference, this proves that it does. In this case, even selling at the bargain price of $3/gallon, the farmer makes $2 PER GALLON more when selling locally. The Lavy Farm, and countless others like it, require [more] customers who value high-quality, healthy food produced in an environmentally-conscious manner. Vote with your dollars!
I had my heart set on seeing some calves (and posting some adorable pictures here), but that was not to be. Due to the ever-present rain, we didn’t get to see as much of the farm as we hoped yesterday, but that just leaves something to look forward to on a future milk run!