AZ MILK PRODUCERS

Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy

This article is Sponsored by Arizona Milk Producers
Jun 11, 2019, 2:18 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2019, 7:45 am
Saddle Mountain Dairy, Gladden Family...
Saddle Mountain Dairy, Gladden Family

For Arizona dairy farmers there exists generations of tradition, enjoyment and pride in working with the land and cows, as well as in providing a quality product that feeds our community. As stewards of the land, farmers make every effort to protect and preserve the natural resources that have allowed for this lifestyle.

Sustainability efforts are not often easy, but all in the dairy industry are committed to implementing conservation practices on their farms. “In maintaining over 3,500 acres and 20,000 cows, sustainability has always been one of our main focuses,” says Jennifer Millican, a second-generation dairy farmer at Stotz family-owned dairy in Buckeye. “We have reduced electricity usage by 50 percent after installing LED lights in the barns. Manure is recycled as a fertilizer for our crops. We also capture methane to generate energy in our methane digester. This produces enough electricity to power over 450 homes per year.”

As a precious resource that is essential in agriculture, water is conserved by being recycled up to six times on dairy farms. At Stotz Dairy, a drip irrigation system delivering reclaimed water was installed in the fields that grow half of the forage that feeds their herd.

Are these initiatives making a difference? Yes! Each gallon of milk produced today requires 90% less land, 65% less water and creates a 63% smaller carbon footprint than 70 years ago. And in recognition of their efforts, the late Senator John McCain presented Stotz Dairy with an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Arizona Farm Bureau in 2014.

Stotz Dairy, Millican Family

While the environmental impact of the dairy industry is shrinking, the economic impact is providing a large, welcome boost! Arizona’s 80+ dairy farms and eight processing plants provide nearly 15,000 jobs and approximately 540 million dollars in annual wages. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the total economic impact of dairy products produced and sold specifically in Arizona is an estimated at 7.6 billion dollars.

Although these numbers indicate big business, most in the industry would say dairy farming is more than a job, it’s a way of life. Josh Gladden, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, manages Saddle Mountain Dairy in Buckeye. His great grandfather started a dairy in Gilbert in 1939 and is one of many farms that supply milk for local grocery stores, including Bashas’.

“We focus on providing Arizona families with a safe and wholesome product,” Gladden says. “With a priority on the quality of milk that we produce and the way in which we produce it, we plan to continue providing milk for many generations to come.”

This commitment from Arizona dairy farmers and producers is behind every glass of milk you drink. Visit arizonamilk.org to learn more and to find out where you can buy local dairy products to support Arizona’s farmers.

AZ Milk Producers

...
CINDY SWANSIGER

Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology

Stemming from his family’s deep roots in agriculture, Jim Boyle is well versed on the evolution of the dairy industry.
3 years ago
...
CINDY SWANSIGER

Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk

For many dairy farmers, living and working on the farm is a legacy that spans three or four generations.
3 years ago
...
Flint Stephens, Writer for Brandforge

Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry

When someone mentions business, rarely does it evoke images of hay fields, Holstein cows, cotton fields, chickens and melons. Yet even in a technology-driven, mostly urban modern society, agriculture is big business in Arizona. The state agriculture industry is worth $17.1 billion, according to the Arizona Farm Bureau. In 2016, the Grand Canyon State had more than 19,000 […]
5 years ago
...
Flint Stephens, Writer for Brandforge

Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers

When you’re enjoying a dish of ice cream, you’re probably not thinking about its high levels of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B12 and riboflavin. You are also unlikely to think about the farm family that dedicates their lives to ensuring Arizona residents have access to flavorful, high-quality dairy products. One example is the Van Der Toorns, […]
6 years ago
Flint Stephens, Writer for Brandforge

Rovey Family Farms

6 years ago
...
Flint Stephens, Writer for Brandforge

Kerr Family Dairy

Farm Name: Kerr Family Dairy Where is your farm located? We’re located on the west side of Buckeye on the corner of Hazen and Wilson Rds. How long has your dairy been in business? 37 years How long have you been involved in the dairy business? My entire life. The Kerr family has been in […]
6 years ago
Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy