ON THE FARM: Got Milk? The process of getting milk to grocery stores

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ST.JOHNS, Mich. (WLNS)—Many of us at one point in our lives have questioned: “How does the milk we drink get to the grocery store?” The entire process is well-organized, safe, and sterile.

The first step is to properly raise the animal with nutrition, nourishment, and a comfortable environment.
Cows eat corn, haylage, soy meal, distillers, grain, hay, cottonseed.

Carla Wardin, Co-owner of Evergreen Dairy, says in order to get milk, the cows must have a calf.

Wardin says each farmer has a different schedule of when to milk a cow. Cows are usually milked twice a day by using a milking machine.

Wardin says her local dairy farm supplies milk to the supply-chain grocery store, Kroger.

Wardin told 6 News that milking one cow takes about five minutes, and usually depends on the machinery the farmers are using, and the amount of milk a cow produces. The milking machine is supposed to mimic the way a young calf when it depends on its mother’s milk to grow. The machine creates a vacuum around the teat of the cow and lets the milk get released from the udder.

Wardin also recommends storing milk in a cool environment. On Dairy farms, milk is usually stored at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, or colder. Once the milk has been collected it’s stored in stainless steel tanks which she says are hygienically cleaned.

The milk is usually collected in milk tankers and transported to a factory where samples are taken to test for antibiotics, and various nutritional components in milk. When milk is approved it’s homogenized; pasteurized, packaged, and then transported to your local grocery store.

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