We recently took a drive to visit our local independent dairy, Iwig Family Dairy in Tecumseh, KS. I was curious about this dairy after purchasing tasting their delicious milk. I had so many questions about this new-found milk and thought it'd be a fun field trip for our family.
We drove to their dairy just south of Topeka and it took just over an hour. Our drive took us along the old Santa Fe trail and by some beautiful scenery. The prettiest spot that we drove through was Overbrook, KS where they had this display on a hilltop symbolizing one families journey west.
Kansas is full of unexpected places, like this, where you come upon a dairy along side an elementary school. We drove down the driveway, past the house, the cows in the pasture and found their barn with the store inside. Outside there were lots of sweet baby cows penned and ready to be petted.
In the store we found lots of fresh milk, cheese, ice cream, butter and friendly service. I was full of questions which they were only too happy to answer.
Why is the milk in glass instead of plastic?
The gentleman told me that they believe their milk tastes best and maintains it's freshness longest when it's at it's coldest possible temperature. The glass bottles maintain this desired temperature and protects the milk from any harmful chemicals which are found in plastic.
Why does your skim milk taste so creamy?
They specially blend milk from different types of cows to achieve this taste. They also don't inject their cows with hormones and feed them only the best! Most of all, it's because their cows are loved, appreciated, cared for, and each have a name not a number.
Do you bottle and deliver your own milk to the grocery stores?
Yes! Their bottling is done on the backside of the store behind a looking glass where you can watch. It comes straight from the cows, goes through the pasturization process, to the bottles, then loaded on their trucks for delivery. Of course, this is explained in my simple terms, but I can assure you their are lots of check points and extra steps during this process.
Are you inspected like the other dairies and big producers?
An inspector was there the day before our visit. This dairy is expected to meet all the standards and regulations of any other dairy.
Can I find your milk all over Kansas?
No, because they are still trying to grow their business and have an agreement with other independent producers, like Shatto Milk, not to compete directly in the stores with them. Therefore, if your grocer carries Iwig milk then this will be the only such independently produced milk in the store.
We tired different flavour samples like root beer milk, chocolate cookie milk, and orange (tastes like a creamsicle). They were all delicious! I purchased some butter to try as well and will blog about how it bakes later.
I can buy my Iwig milk from our local Price Chopper for $3.49 + $2.75 refundable bottle deposit. I believe it's well worth the extra cost to have healthy, great tasting, hormone-free local milk. Although the glass bottle is heavy and slippery when you take it out of the fridge, I understand their reasons for using it.
Why not visit your local dairy today and find out where your milk comes from? There are other dairies you can visit locally such as Shatto Dairy or the Emerich Family Creamery 785-396-4347 . You can also look up your local dairy on http://www.liveandeatwell.com/.