Shopping Local? Don’t Forget the Milk

Shop local. It’s a growing movement that people are attempting to do more of in their daily shopping habits. The idea is appealing to many as choosing local products from local businesses supports the community and provides unique items not found in big chains.  

People look for a wide variety of local items to purchase. There is furniture, beauty products, jewelry, clothing, and more. Oh, and the most important: food.  

Many are turning to local restaurants that stock foods from small businesses and shops that offer local jams, baked goods, and more. With each season comes a rush to find now in-season fruits and vegetables from family farms. But when seeking a local product, don’t forget to look for dairy foods, too. 

Milk, cheese, ice cream, and more are made from the milk collected on dairy farms near your home. Minimally processed and arriving in grocery stores within 48 hours of leaving the farm, choosing dairy foods supports local dairy farm families. In fact, though additional workers may be brought on, most dairy farms in the United States are small businesses owned and operated by multi-generational families.  

Even if choosing store brands, the milk from nearby farms is used. The milk is safely stored until a tanker truck can test and transport it to a processing plant. Following pasteurization, homogenization, and fortification with vitamin A and vitamin D, milk is bottled and delivered to stores. 

To tour a dairy farm, The Dairy Alliance has created the Dairy Trail of the Southeast, listing farms open to guests. Many of the dairy farms listed sell their own dairy products. Along with milk, ice cream, cheese curds, and specialty cheeses, visitors may find other fresh-from-the-farm products—everything from beef and eggs to soaps and candles. On a free afternoon, take time to visit and support your local dairy farm. 

On your next trip for groceries, shop local with real milk.