Quality milk starts with healthy cows.
Oregon is known for excellent milk and consistently ranks among the top five states in the nation for milk quality.
The recipe for high quality milk starts with healthy cows on the farm. Dairy farmers care about their cows and work hard to make sure each cow receives a nutritious diet and has safe, comfortable places to live and exercise as well as preventative medical care.
Dairy cows are milked two to three times a day. The milking equipment and milk lines are cleaned and sanitized every day before cows step in to the milking parlor. Dairy farmers use a food-grade soap-like solution to clean the udder before milking begins.
The udder is cleaned and dried before a milking machine gently collects milk from the cow. It doesn’t hurt cows to be milked and they actually find it comfortable. In fact, a cow chooses to give her milk.
Milk is one of few foods that is never touched by human hands. It flows from the milking machine through the milk line to a large, stainless steel, refrigerated tank, where it is cooled to 40°F. The milk is picked up by a milk truck every day or every other day. The milk is sampled on the farm and tested for quality and safety.
The milk truck takes the milk to a processing plant where each load of milk is again tested for quality and safety. If the milk doesn’t meet standards it is destroyed so it never reaches your table.
The milk is pasteurized at the processing plant. That means the milk is heated up to destroy any harmful microorganisms that might exist. The milk is also homogenized which gives it a smooth and consistent taste and texture. Homogenization is the process of breaking up the fat into little pieces. These processes do not affect the nutritious qualities of milk, and assure consistency in all of your favorite dairy foods.
The milk is bottled, or goes on to make butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt or other delicious dairy foods.
All dairy foods are transported in refrigerated trucks so foods arrive chilled and fresh; ready for you to enjoy.
Dairy farmers and milk processors follow the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). It was created by the U.S. Public Health Service and sets the standards for milk facilities on the farm, milk transportation, pasteurization, product safety, equipment sanitation and product labeling. All processors also follow the FDA’s established “Good Manufacturing Practices”.