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Battenkill glass quart chocolate milk
Battenkill Valley Creamery is owned and operated by fourth and fifth generation farmers, Don and Seth McEachron. The McEachron family has been dairy farming in the Battenkill Valley region of New York for more than a century. Seth’s great-great-grandfather began milking cows in 1902, and his grandfather moved the farm to its current location in 1945, starting with just 12 cows. Today, the herd numbers 540 cows of mixed breed Holsteins, Jersey, and Holstein-Jersey crossbreeds for higher butterfat content, all on 1,000 acres of land. In addition, in 2015 the McEachrons purchased a new farm from the Skellie Family. The newly acquired land sits about eight miles southwest of the creamery down Skellie Road and along the Battenkill River, a legendary trout stream. The new farm is home to 310 cows with a barn, milking parlor and farmhouse along with enough solar panels to keep the water hot.
The hallmarks of sustainable farming abound at Battenkill Valley Creamery. The McEachrons’ cows eat high-quality fresh pasture grasses, including alfalfa and clover, and corn silage the farmers grow themselves, supplemented with minerals, vitamins and molasses. They never get preventative antibiotics or added growth hormones, and they see a nutritionist to ensure that they eat a balanced diet promoting health and high energy. They also get health checks every two weeks to keep them fit and stress free as well as regular pedicures for healthy hooves.
The McEachrons’ cows are milked three times a day to promote udder health. They live in free-stall barns where each animal has her own soft bed. Don and Seth use fans and sprinklers to keep the cows cool and comfortable in the summer, and special window blinds make the barn warm and cozy in cold weather. The barns are cleaned every six hours so the cows can always find a clean, dry place to ruminate and meditate.
In 2008, the McEachrons opened the creamery, with Seth leading the charge, to process and bottle their own milk. Hudson Milk began working with Battenkill shortly after they began bottling. In 2014, the creamery was expanded to increase capacity and make processing, bottling and delivery more efficient.
In 2015, the McEachrons purchased a new farm from the Skellie Family. The newly acquired land sits about eight miles southwest of the creamery down Skellie Road and along the Battenkill River, a legendary trout stream. This farm is home to 200 cows.
Battenkill's milk is a two-time winner of Cornell’s top prize for the highest-quality, freshest and best tasting milk in New York State.