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Mid-Missouri's Local Dairy Farms

Mid-Missouri's Local Dairy Farms

Mac & cheese, ice cream pie, cheeseburgers, spinach & artichoke dip: other than being insanely delicious, these meals all have something in common: dairy!  Missouri is home to many dairy farms and dairy processing plants that provide milk and milk products to Central Missouri and beyond. 

In 1937 National Milk Month began as a way to promote drinking a nice cold glass of milk in the hot summer. Since then, the event has evolved to National Dairy Month and is celebrated each June. Each year, the average American eats 276 pounds of dairy. Here's a look into some of the companies that help make all those products! 


Central Dairy


How can we talk about National Dairy month without including Central Dairy? In 1920, Dot Sappington founded Central Dairy right here in Columbia, MO. Seven years later, Sappington opened his first store in downtown CoMo (the building still stands and is currently occupied by Downtown Appliance). The Jefferson City location followed in 1934, and the Central Dairy Ice Cream Parlor became a staple of JC. Available flavors at the parlor range from your standard Pralines-n-Cream and Rocky Road to specialties like Tiger Tracks and a Hawaiian split, checkout their site to see what other flavors are available. The old style Ice Cream parlor is even known to have a busy season due to the influx of school field trips they receive once the weather begins to warm up. So if you are craving some cold ice cream and a retro location this is definitely somewhere to head this month. You can also find Central Dairy products at most major grocery stores in the area.


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Aurora Organic Dairy Processing Plant


The Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) processing plant opened its doors in Missouri in April 2019. AOD grows a portion of their own organic fed and pasture as well as manages eight locations where they raise and milk their cows. From there AOD has two processing plants, one located in Columbia, Mo., the other in Colorado. The Columbia plant is one of the very few plants in America that makes shelf- stable organic milk products through their unique process of owning both dairy farms and processing facilities. Checkout their site to learn more about their dedication to organic integrity. 


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Shatto Milk Company


The Shatto Milk Company is a family business that began in the late 1800’s. Since then, it has moved through three generations to become the known brand it is today. In 2003, the Shatto Milk Company made their first farm-fresh delivery to 10 retail stores after a nationwide shift in milk production by dairy cooperatives. They maintain 350 dairy cows on their farm in Osborn, Mo., each producing around 6 to 7 gallons of milk a day. Tuesday through Saturday farm tours are available for $6 per person where you even get the opportunity to milk to a cow! You could even sample some of their amazing products ranging from cotton candy flavored milk, to dill flavored cheese curds. Checkout their site to see any upcoming events or how to reach them to schedule a tour. 

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Prairie Farms


Prairie farms was founded in 1938, and is actually a collection of more than 800 family farms across the Midwest. The nearest one to Columbia is in Brookfield, Missouri. Prairie Farms is also known for the ‘Our Caps, Your Cause’ program. Each bottle cap comes with a code that can be redeemed at 5 cents per code that can be counted toward the buyer’s favorite charity. For National Dairy Month, Prairie Farms has doubled that donation to 10 cents per code! Once an organization reaches a 1,000 point goal, Prairie Farms sends the organization a $50 check. They have over 1,000 charities for you to select though for donations or you can submit one of your own favorites to be added to this list. This program has led to over $185,000 in donations! To learn more about this project visit Prairie Farms Website.


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Ozark Mountain Creamery


A local favorite, Ozark Mountain Creamery is a family run business that started in 1957 by Phillip and Dora Fry. From there it has moved down to their sons and their sons families to continue operations today. Now they operate in Mountain Grove, Mo where they grow 90% of the feed for their cows and manage them. On top of that the Fry farm is less than 1/8th of a mile from the creamery for processing so it is truly some of the freshest milk available in mid-Mo. One thing that is unique to their process is of using low-temperature vat pasteurization, they have even found that through using this process they have had many lactose intolerant clients say that they can finally enjoy milk. So fellow lactose intolerants this may be the exact thing you have been waiting to find to learn more about this process visit their website where they break it all down. 


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Dairy Farmers of America 


As dairy processing and manufacturing has changed over the decades, 4 major dairy cooperatives came together to form Dairy Farmers of America in 1998 under the shared goal of creating high quality raw milk for their consumers. Today, the Dairy Farmers of America has over 13,000 members and 46 locations that they operate. They work to provide stability so that none of their members have to worry about getting their products sold or competing for best pricing for you and consumers. They offer programs such as price risk management tools that help members to increase profitability and efficiency. This corporation also makes investments on behalf of its members; and they receive returns both in monetary compensation and new markets for their products. Thinking about joining but need more information? Visit their site to learn more. 




We are glad there are so many local companies making that delicious dairy we all love. This article leave you wanting dairy? Tag us on Instagram @savorcolumbia if you snap a picture enjoying some of your favorite dairy products this National Dairy Month.


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