Kinikin Corner Dairy gives shareholders the option of fresh, raw milk | TheFencePost.com

Kinikin Corner Dairy gives shareholders the option of fresh, raw milk

Carolyn White Olathe, Colo.

At first glance, the Kinikin Corner Dairy south of Montrose, Colo., doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. Inside the main building there are refrigerators, dish washing machines, sinks, hoses, and holding tanks along with hundreds of clean, glass jars. Outside, 16 Holstein, Guernsey, and Jersey-mix cows are either soaking up the mid-day sun or munching on hay. What is NOT in the mangers, however, is the primary reason why this place is so different: There’s no silage, grain or fertilized corn … it’s all grass, and nothing else.

According to their informational website, FreshRawMilk.com, owners Scott and Cindy Freeman “do their best to operate naturally by staying as close to organic standards as possible.” During summers, the cows stay out on pasture while in the winter they are fed grass hay. “We don’t use hormones, pesticides or herbicides,” Scott explained during my tour in early March. “The cows aren’t vaccinated, dehorned or confined, either.” And yes, they’re pretty spoiled. Several (with names like “Sparkle,” “Cornflower,” “Gloria,” and “Charm”) came wandering over to be scratched while I was there.

Back in the ’80s, the Freemans kept over 80 head of Holsteins fed in the more conventional way: That was before the market bottomed and he was forced to sell out and then “work a W2 job in town for the next 20 years.” (Cindy continues at a “regular” job, but puts in two hours at the dairy on each side.) What was it that made them return to the dairy life in 2005? “Once a farmer, always a farmer,” he told me, “plus by then, the Colorado Senate Bill 05-055, which allowed consumers the right to have raw milk legally, had passed.” Because the bill “endorsed the right of consumers to contract with a dairy farm to receive the production from their own cows via a cow/herd share program,” they decided to go that route, instead, keeping the new operation natural.

First, he had to find some starter animals which had been grass-fed only after weaning. This wasn’t easy, but thanks to a chance ad in an organic foods magazine he eventually located a place in Emmett, Idaho. “It was a fluke to find someone who not only had organic grass fed cows,” he continued, “but had extra that they wanted to sell.” He ended up with four head, and that November went into business by contracting out with a dedicated group of 20 shareholders who paid him to care for and milk the animals plus package and deliver the product. Today, that group has grown to nearly 250, and the herd to 16.

Pre-milking, udders are washed with warm water with a bit of iodine in it and then well dried off. After the cows have been disconnected from the milking machines, their teats are dipped in an iodine-based teat dip, blotted dry after 30 seconds and then coated with a salve that contains tea tree oil, comfrey, peppermint, and several other herbal extracts. This not only helps to keep the skin healthy but also protects against Mastitis. As for his favorite homeopathic remedy? “Apple cider vinegar,” Scott revealed. “It works on everything from lethargy to scours to bloat.” The cows certainly thrive on their naturally-based care, too. On average, about 200 gallons are put up each week along with 22 pints and 17 quarts of cream.

What is it that makes raw milk so different? According to Christina Fulmer, a volunteer who was helping to bottle it on the day of the interview, “We like knowing where our milk comes from and how the animals are treated, and that our money is going back into the community.”

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She also liked the fact that raw milk has a higher concentration of probiotics, which are necessary for intestinal health. After doing further research, I learned that other benefits include a higher content of Omega 3 acids; more “good” bacteria (which aid in the defense of harmful bacteria); and enzymes which help in the digestion of nutrients. Even the butterfat is beneficial in that its “cortisone-like factor helps prevent stiffness in the joints.” Finally, it has about five times the amount of conjugated linoleic acid, which is said to be a potent defense against cancer. “Within our group (of shareholders),” Scott says, “we’ve had two cases of bursitis that have been relieved with raw milk, and several say that their stomachs have not been as upset. There’s also one family which claims to have gotten relief from asthma.”

Raw milk isn’t cheap: with the boarding fees, property and herd maintenance, milk handling expenses and shareholder’s fees, each gallon costs $10. (They are also sold in half-gallons). Some people trade labor – washing down the floors, cleaning the equipment and jars, and hauling off manure – in exchange for their portions. George Burkhardt, one of the investors, donates extra time because “I really enjoy being around the animals.” He also makes the weekly deliveries on a route which includes stops in Carbondale, Austin, Paonia, Olathe, Woodlands Mesa, Woody Creek, and Redlands Mesa. There’s a bonus in this for the customers: included in extra coolers are dozens of the all-natural eggs that George collects from his flock of 200 free-range, soy-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) hens … which, incidentally, are fed the leftover skim milk from Kinikin Corner Dairy, but that’s Part II of this story.

For more information about kinikin corner dairy, please contact Scott and Cindy Freeman at (970) 901-0753 or freeclc@montrose.net.

At first glance, the Kinikin Corner Dairy south of Montrose, Colo., doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. Inside the main building there are refrigerators, dish washing machines, sinks, hoses, and holding tanks along with hundreds of clean, glass jars. Outside, 16 Holstein, Guernsey, and Jersey-mix cows are either soaking up the mid-day sun or munching on hay. What is NOT in the mangers, however, is the primary reason why this place is so different: There’s no silage, grain or fertilized corn … it’s all grass, and nothing else.

According to their informational website, FreshRawMilk.com, owners Scott and Cindy Freeman “do their best to operate naturally by staying as close to organic standards as possible.” During summers, the cows stay out on pasture while in the winter they are fed grass hay. “We don’t use hormones, pesticides or herbicides,” Scott explained during my tour in early March. “The cows aren’t vaccinated, dehorned or confined, either.” And yes, they’re pretty spoiled. Several (with names like “Sparkle,” “Cornflower,” “Gloria,” and “Charm”) came wandering over to be scratched while I was there.

Back in the ’80s, the Freemans kept over 80 head of Holsteins fed in the more conventional way: That was before the market bottomed and he was forced to sell out and then “work a W2 job in town for the next 20 years.” (Cindy continues at a “regular” job, but puts in two hours at the dairy on each side.) What was it that made them return to the dairy life in 2005? “Once a farmer, always a farmer,” he told me, “plus by then, the Colorado Senate Bill 05-055, which allowed consumers the right to have raw milk legally, had passed.” Because the bill “endorsed the right of consumers to contract with a dairy farm to receive the production from their own cows via a cow/herd share program,” they decided to go that route, instead, keeping the new operation natural.

First, he had to find some starter animals which had been grass-fed only after weaning. This wasn’t easy, but thanks to a chance ad in an organic foods magazine he eventually located a place in Emmett, Idaho. “It was a fluke to find someone who not only had organic grass fed cows,” he continued, “but had extra that they wanted to sell.” He ended up with four head, and that November went into business by contracting out with a dedicated group of 20 shareholders who paid him to care for and milk the animals plus package and deliver the product. Today, that group has grown to nearly 250, and the herd to 16.

Pre-milking, udders are washed with warm water with a bit of iodine in it and then well dried off. After the cows have been disconnected from the milking machines, their teats are dipped in an iodine-based teat dip, blotted dry after 30 seconds and then coated with a salve that contains tea tree oil, comfrey, peppermint, and several other herbal extracts. This not only helps to keep the skin healthy but also protects against Mastitis. As for his favorite homeopathic remedy? “Apple cider vinegar,” Scott revealed. “It works on everything from lethargy to scours to bloat.” The cows certainly thrive on their naturally-based care, too. On average, about 200 gallons are put up each week along with 22 pints and 17 quarts of cream.

What is it that makes raw milk so different? According to Christina Fulmer, a volunteer who was helping to bottle it on the day of the interview, “We like knowing where our milk comes from and how the animals are treated, and that our money is going back into the community.”

She also liked the fact that raw milk has a higher concentration of probiotics, which are necessary for intestinal health. After doing further research, I learned that other benefits include a higher content of Omega 3 acids; more “good” bacteria (which aid in the defense of harmful bacteria); and enzymes which help in the digestion of nutrients. Even the butterfat is beneficial in that its “cortisone-like factor helps prevent stiffness in the joints.” Finally, it has about five times the amount of conjugated linoleic acid, which is said to be a potent defense against cancer. “Within our group (of shareholders),” Scott says, “we’ve had two cases of bursitis that have been relieved with raw milk, and several say that their stomachs have not been as upset. There’s also one family which claims to have gotten relief from asthma.”

Raw milk isn’t cheap: with the boarding fees, property and herd maintenance, milk handling expenses and shareholder’s fees, each gallon costs $10. (They are also sold in half-gallons). Some people trade labor – washing down the floors, cleaning the equipment and jars, and hauling off manure – in exchange for their portions. George Burkhardt, one of the investors, donates extra time because “I really enjoy being around the animals.” He also makes the weekly deliveries on a route which includes stops in Carbondale, Austin, Paonia, Olathe, Woodlands Mesa, Woody Creek, and Redlands Mesa. There’s a bonus in this for the customers: included in extra coolers are dozens of the all-natural eggs that George collects from his flock of 200 free-range, soy-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) hens … which, incidentally, are fed the leftover skim milk from Kinikin Corner Dairy, but that’s Part II of this story.

For more information about kinikin corner dairy, please contact Scott and Cindy Freeman at (970) 901-0753 or freeclc@montrose.net.