Zane Trace FFA gets “taste” of dairy production at Snowville Creamery

Members of the Zane Trace FFA  recently went on a tour of Snowville Creamery. Snowville Creamery is located in Pomeroy, Ohio, and makes dairy products from grass grazed cows. These 35 members were all in Mrs. Johnston’s animal science, food science, or leadership class. Attendees in animal science came to focus on how the cows there grazed in open fields, as well as to see how Snowville milks their cows. Food science came in order to learn about how the milk and yogurt is made from the cow, to the carton. Leadership students went to learn about the agribusiness portion of Snowville.

Once there, students learned about how the business started, from one farm selling milk to Snowville, to eleven now. Students then split into groups, with one group going in to the milk testing and analysis lab, and the other going to the portion of the building where raw milk is processed into retail milk. In the lab students learned how tests for bacterial growth in samples of both raw and pasteurized milk are conducted. The pasteurized milk is randomly taken off the production line for testing. Additionally the students had the chance to see how milk is analyzed for protein, fat and other nutritional components using a state of the art machine.  All of this data is important for the dairy to know for each batch of milk they are processing because it will determine what types of ratios must be used to create certain milk products such as 2% milk and half and half.

Zane Trace student Reina Fukushima stands next to the milk bottling line at Snowville Creamery

Zane Trace student Reina Fukushima stands next to the milk bottling line at Snowville Creamery

While some students viewed the lab, others toured the part of the building where receiving, pasteurization, blending and bottling takes place. All cattle that provide milk for Snowville are grazed on grass or fed hay for their diet.  This results in unique flavors and components such as higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in the milk. The grass grazing is also more sustainable than corn-based dairy production. Snowville pasteurizes their milk in a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time than other dairies and does not homogenize the fat in their milk in order to provide maximum taste.  This also preserves more of the beneficial enzymes that are present in the milk.

After touring the facility, students got to try out Snowville products with the owner of the business, Warren Taylor, and their tour guide John Stock.  Mr. Taylor explained the unique selection of yogurt flavors that Snowville produces, and also the benefits of dairy products from grass grazed cattle. Every member who went had a great time, came away with a full stomach and learned more about dairy processing and products.

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