Daloris Jersey Dairy is a small, family run operation in Rigby, Eastern Idaho, United States.
According to their website, they try to keep things simple, healthy, clean and fresh and RAW MILK is now their specialty. They operate a small herd of only 60 cows and find the small, individualised approached one of the reasons the family owned business have been able to stay in business for over 30 years.
Daloris Dairy was started in 1986. Dale and Doris Mortimer started the dairy with just a few cows and a few children. Through the years, those cows turned into a beautiful herd of Jerseys and the family grew to four sons and four daughters, two of whom are still involved with the business. Dale was fortunate to grow up milking Jerseys with his dad, and says he is blessed to raise his own children doing the same. Dale’s son, Tyler has had the opportunity to stay and carry on the business.
Six years ago, they worked towards becoming a grade A dairy, which means they are now licensed by the state government to produce and sell RAW, unpasteurised milk. They have to meet certain requirements, such as having a somatic cell count of less than 400,000 per milliliter, a bacterial count below 15,000 per milliliter and a coliform count less than 25 per milliliter. Dale says that the coliform test is stringent and must be below 25 for the state of Idaho. He says that the first test that they sent in, came back as less than 10, and that’s when they knew that raw milk was doable for them. The coliform test is taken monthly on the state level by an inspector, who takes a sample out of a bottle ready for retail, or as the raw milk is being bottled, according to this article about the farm. Dale says milk testing is important to the sale of raw milk, because it assures consumers are purchasing a quality product.
Creating their own destiny
According to this article, Daloris Dairy sets their own prices. The raw milk market is a steady one. They currently charge $2.25 for a half gallon of milk in a glass bottle with a one-time $3 deposit per bottle. They also off milk in a gallon container selling for $5, however customers prefer their milk in glass bottles. They sell their Jersey milk from the traditional glass bottle for the purist taste. Dale said that many health conscious consumers have learned that the plastic jug ‘kind of
leaches’ into the flavour or the milk, where the glass does not. Initially they had difficulty finding a way to efficiently wash and reprocess the milk bottles, but they were able to have a steam clean machine built custom made, see the video below. This both washes and sanitises the glass bottles. Any milk that isn’t sold within a week is sent to the commercial market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and is made into cheese and other dairy products.
With the raw food movement becoming more popular, this dairy family enjoy sharing the many health benefits of the butterfat rich milk, and the beneficial microbes with those who want and need it. Dale said that they have received comments from customers who said the milk has helped eliminate their allergies, and that those who are lactose intolerant can enjoy the raw milk. They recently started a self-serve system: from Tuesday through Friday customers can buy milk 24 hours a day. Dale say the Jersey milk has a sweet flavour and the response and support from the public have been great. Many families in the area are large, and they want to get back to natural foods that have not been processed. Follow their story in these two videos:
A few years ago, two local news stations have done 2 minute each short stories on Daloris Jersey Dairy and can be viewed below.