December 23, 2021
Small-Batch Dairy Farming Offers a Fresh Taste in Every Glass
Consumers have enjoyed small-batch products ranging from wine and bourbon to chocolate and honey for centuries. Today, many small-batch products can be found at farmers markets throughout New York City.
At our family-owned dairy farm in the lower Hudson Valley, small-batch is our specialty. Every Saturday, and for more than 30 years, we have loaded up cases of glass-bottled milk and dairy products before dawn and traveled to New York City to set up at farmers markets.
Visit the Greenmarket locations at Union Square, Grand Army Plaza, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Jackson Heights or Forest Hills and you’ll find dozens of our dairy products, including cream on top milk, butter, and eggnog. Our family farm is less than 90 miles from New York City, so products get from the farm to your table in less than 48 hours. You can find our products in more than 60 retail groceries in the New York Metro area such as Whole Foods and Eataly and throughout the Hudson Valley at specialty groceries such as Adams Fairacre Farms.
On our 150-cow farm, and at other dairies across the State, farmers follow stringent safety protocols. Among the indicators of cleanliness is a low somatic cell count. This is important because lower counts produce a better product, resulting in longer shelf life.
When working with the animals, gloves are worn at all times, whether we’re milking the cows, trimming their hooves, or providing care. To cool milk when it leaves the cow at 101.5 degrees, we use equipment that transports it to refrigerated holding tanks. Using technology and an intricate piping system to move the milk, we’re able to chill it down to 37 degrees.
All milking systems, both in the barn as well as the creamery are rinsed, washed, and sanitized by sophisticated automated cleaning systems which are controlled electronically. All the information concerning each step in the cleaning process is recorded in real time and made available for inspection by both State and Federal Agencies.
Cows are social animals. They respond to human interaction which directly impacts their production and milk quality. With just three employees, our farm takes a traditional approach while keeping the health and safety of the animals, and their milk, our top priority.
Our cows spend most of the time, weather permitting grazing outdoors. They come in twice each day to be milked. They are named after their mothers. The first letter of their name is same as the first letter of their mother’s name. It is widely accepted that cows with names produce more milk than cows that have only numbers to identify them. The ethos of Ronnybrook is best captured by the phrase – Old Fashioned and proud of it.
Our family-founded operation dates back to the 1940s. After more than 80 years of transporting milk to processors in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, we took steps to shift to on-site production in a 20 by 20-foot space – at that time supported by secondhand equipment. With the number of family-owned dairy farms rapidly shrinking, we made the decision to remove the middleman from our business model; allowing us to process and market our milk ourselves.
Today, we’ve expanded to 22,000 square feet and in the same location we started. Our signature Creamline™ milk is pasteurized but not homogenized, and the cream will rise to the top. All of our products are manufactured using all-natural ingredients. The New York Times has called us the Dom Perignon of dairy.
So, when you visit local markets or stores to purchase milk and other dairy products, know that the cows received the best care, the milk is the highest quality, and the farmers and employees thank you for your support. We invite you to visit our Ancramdale farm store; and contact us at (518) 398-6455 to schedule a tour.