So you’ve heard Hudson Valley Fresh produces quality milk, but what does that mean? How do you produce quality milk, and more importantly, how do you maintain that premium quality all the way from the cow to your cereal bowl? We are very proud and excited to share our most recent third party audit results below, and coupled with our unmatched milk quality standards for our farmers, it’s clear that we continue to show Hudson Valley Fresh is all about quality.
Milk quality is what we’ve built our company around, is what our farmers work tirelessly to maintain, and is what our processing team monitors obsessively. It’s all about quality, objective, black and white, “look at the data,” quality.
What Milk Quality Looks like on the Farm
Quality milk starts with a quality diet for our Hudson Valley Fresh cows. They eat a variety of high quality oats, alfalfa, barley, soybeans, and corn silage. About 65% of their diet consists solely of homegrown forage! All this hay helps the cows immune system which helps her produce more omega-3 fatty acids in the milk, which makes a better quality cream. Our farmers also strive to keep our cows comfortable and their udders clean, which further contributes to a proven, higher quality milk.
How do farmers make sure their milk adheres to the Hudson Valley Fresh quality standards? Every month our farmers test each individual cow through the Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) for SSC or somatic cell counts which are white blood cells in the milk. Elevated levels of SCC’s in the milk indicate infection in the udder, and they measure the cows overall well being. Hudson Valley Fresh farms are under 200,000 per mL, while the legal limit in the U.S is 750,000 cells per mL.
The common range for our farms is 45,000 to 160,000 cells per mL. The low somatic cell counts make a more flavorful, higher quality milk. Our farmers go above and beyond to make sure their cows are healthy and produce the highest quality milk!
What Milk Quality Looks like at the Bottling Facility
Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy has a third party audit performed annually. This audit consists of an outside company that comes into our facility and evaluates our documentation and protocols, and lets us know how our team can continue to improve in all different areas of dairy processing. This is above and beyond what is required by state and federal guidelines, and in addition to the testing done by our state regulator.
Our processing team regularly does ample in-house testing in addition to sending out finished product samples to a third party lab every single week. This is to ensure we are consistently producing a high quality product. Some of the in-house tests we perform are for butterfat levels and for antibiotics, as state law regulates that ALL milk (organic or not) MUST test negative for antibiotics prior to bottling.
Even though we have one of the oldest milk processing facilities in New York State, our quality team is exceptional at operating at a high caliber level when it comes to proven quality results. Our farmers are very appreciative for their efforts, and extremely proud to report that…
our 2024 audit score was a 98.99 out of 100!
Factors contributing to a high score in a third party audit such as this would be a clean production facility, properly trained employees, and the assurance that on site plant personnel and management have a basic understanding of day to day operation from start to finish. Every member of our team, including the farmers, the truck drivers, and the bottling team – all are deserving of recognition for contributing to this tremendous continued success!
Where You Can Find our Quality Milk & How You Can Support
Check out our Store Locator and type in your Zip Code and find the nearest retail location carrying Hudson Valley Fresh. Don’t see your favorite store on the list? Feel free to tell the store manager you want to see our premium, local dairy on the shelf!
We are proud of our team, our cows, and the work we do — but none of it would be possible without you! Thank you for appreciating all the hard work that goes into producing a premium product, and enjoying our products in your home or business.
You probably remember the “Got Milk?” campaigns with famous athletes and might remember the slogan “3-A-Day” based on the USDA’s food pyramid guidelines, but do you know the real, true benefits of consuming real dairy?
It’s more than a pairing with cereal or a few drops in your coffee – fresh, wholesome dairy has a long list of benefits that impact long-term human health. Below, we highlight some of those health benefits, including new research so you can dive into these topics for yourselves!
— reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure. Read more!
— supportive of bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Read more!
— protection against the development of metabolic syndrome. Read more!
— dairy is the most cost effective way to get 3 of the 4 nutrients most Americans need more of in their diets (Calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus). Read more!
Sure, you can get Calcium from other sources, like dark green vegetables, but there is no package like dairy that includes 9 essential nutrients and high quality protein in a single serving. Curious about the actual United States Dietary Guidelines? Click here.
No matter what the other “milks” on the shelf say, there is no substitute for fresh, high quality, wholesome dairy. We took a look at Hudson Valley Fresh whole milk head-to-head with some alternative products, and here’s what we found.
In conclusion, we all want to choose healthy foods for ourselves and our families. In reality, life is all about moderation and good health most certainly comes from a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle. For specific questions about your own dietary needs we recommend speaking with a doctor or dietitian, but for any farm or milk-related questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com
We have some exciting news friends! Have you ever wanted to visit
one of our Hudson Valley Fresh farms and meet the cows and the families who
work so hard to produce the premium quality dairy you and your family love?
Join us Sunday October 6 from 11am – 4pm for Cabot Open Farm Sunday. Three of our farms will be hosting open houses so you can ask any questions you may have and learn more about where your food comes from.
In addition to meeting the cows and getting a tour of the
farm, we will have many fun family activities such as petting zoos, scavenger
hunts, name-a-calf contests and even a corn maze! There will be food available
and the opportunity to interact with the farmers themselves.
Hudson Valley Fresh is a proud partner of Cabot Cheese, who is graciously putting on a series of Open Houses throughout the Northeast in celebration of their 100 year anniversary. The makers of the world’s best cheddar, that also happens to be naturally lactose free, also produce butter, a whey protein powder, and shredded cheese that you may have seen in a grocery store near you. And great news, when you purchase Cabot products, you are supporting real family farms too since Cabot is also farmer-owned.
Tollgate Farm – Jim and Karen Davenport are excited to be hosting visitors to their farm on Fox Hill Road in Ancramdale NY. You can meet the cows, take a hay ride, and check out their incredible Hudson Valley view. Here you can also enter a name-a-calf contest and visit the Hudson Valley Fresh table, where we will be pouring samples of Hudson Valley Fresh chocolate milk! Check out the details here.
Willow Brook Farm – the Beneke family looks forward to welcoming guests to their farm located right off Route 22 in Millerton NY. Does anything scream fall-time like a corn maze? We think not! Try not to get lost in the field but when you finish up, check out the barns, the petting zoo, and our Hudson Valley Fresh table. On your way out, be sure to stop by the Farm Store for some locally produced items and quaint rustic gifts. Check out the details here.
Dutch Hollow Farm – the Chittenden family of Schodack NY is excited to host guests from near and far at their 5th generation dairy farm where three generations currently farm together. The Chittenden family proudly raises Jersey cows, which are known for their shorter stature, rich and creamy milk, and spunky personalities. Enjoy some ice cream, check out their Dairy Discovery center, and buy a grilled cheese at the Farmer’s Feed Bunk Food Truck – all the proceeds from grilled cheese sales will be donated to the food bank! Check out the details here.
Please feel free to tag us in pictures from the day @hudson_valley_fresh, we hope to see you there!