PETALUMA, Calif. — Organic dairy pioneer Straus Family Creamery is proud to welcome three new rural West Marin farms as independent organic milk suppliers to the Straus brand, recognized for 25 years for award-winning premium quality organic dairy milk, sustainable farming practices and a mission-driven commitment to rural community revitalization.
All three new farm suppliers are headed by young families who see a bright future in organic dairy farming. The new farms are Silva Family Dairy, run by Louis and Marissa Silva, with 125 cows; Drakes View Dairy, run by William Nunes and Lianne Nunes-Taverna, with 85 cows; and JJ’s Family Dairy, run by Jayson Spaletta and supported by his brother Jeremy, with 100 cows.
Reflecting consumer preference for higher fat milk products, the predominant breed on these new farms is Jersey. Jersey milking cows are known for producing lower quantities of milk with higher percentages of milk fat, which creates a richer flavor and helps Straus Family Creamery meet the demand for products like butter, sour cream, and ice cream.
These new farms are joining Straus Family Creamery while the country faces a dairy farm collapse. More than 11,000 dairy farms have shut down nationwide between 2012 and 2018, according to USDA data. Organic dairy farms have been negatively impacted by the surplus of organic milk, which has caused farmers’ income levels to decline and farms to go out of business.
Fern’s AG insider cites the latest Census of Agriculture stating that one-third of America’s 3.4 million farmers are over age 65, with an average age of 59.4 years. In contrast, these rural West Marin young farmers, who are in their early 20s and 30s, see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. By adding these three new dairy farms, Straus Family Creamery is advancing its mission to sustain family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
“It is critical to sustain family farms and pass onto the next generation a viable organic dairy farming model that reflects the true cost of food and is part of the solution to climate change,” said Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery.
One of the new farms is operated by a brother and sister team that is continuing their family farming traditions in Point Reyes National Seashore. All three farms are building sustainable agriculture and climate resilience into their farming models. The new farmers have been inspired by Albert Straus’ goal to be carbon neutral on the Straus Dairy Farm by 2022.
The roots of Straus Family Creamery date back to 1994 when Albert Straus converted his dairy to certified organic, becoming the first organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus built a relationship-centered farming model which supports a financially-viable and environmentally-beneficial system. Straus Family Creamery’s suppliers receive more stable prices because the Creamery carefully manages milk supply with product demand, providing some insulation from a dairy farming crisis prompted by cycles of under and over-supply in the milk market.
“We respect Straus Family Creamery as a local company with integrity and values. A strong brand that is widely recognized means stability, which is important to us,” said Louis and Marissa Silva of Silva Family Dairy. “We’ve been buying Straus organic yogurt and ice cream for years and really admire the quality and taste. We’re so proud that our milk is now in the products we’ve always loved!”
The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary year and in mid-2020 will move out of the current Marshall creamery where its products have been made since 1994. With the addition of these new farms, Straus Family Creamery has a total of 12 certified organic family farms that supply organic milk. To learn more about the Creamery’s history and values, click here to watch a video.
About Straus Family Creamery
Based in Marshall, CA, Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering minimally processed milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. The Creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Dairy Farm, which is the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus Family Creamery, the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the United States, continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment. The family-owned business sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace. Learn about the Straus difference at StrausFamilyCreamery.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkedin.