Wright Dairy milk is produced right here on Canebrake Farm, a 200-acre pastureland farm named after nearby Cane Creek. Located in Calhoun County near Anniston, we are the only dairy producer-bottler-retailer in the state of Alabama. That means that we milk the cows here, we pasteurize and bottle the milk here, and we sell it fresh to you right here on the farm.
Most of our cows are Holsteins, the familiar black-and-white breed. They are popular with dairy farmers because they produce more milk than other breeds. However, included in our herd are some Jersey and Senepol cattle (both brown), and a few other breeds. Jerseys give creamier milk, and Senepols thrive in very hot weather, as we have here in the southeastern United States. Other breeds have various genetic traits that make them productive members of a balanced herd. We raise our own heifer calves for the future milking herd.
When you buy Wright Dairy milk, you know exactly where it came from. Only milk from the cows here on Canebrake Farm is bottled and sold here. Of the other milk sold in Alabama, only about 20% is produced in Alabama. The other 80% is trucked in from other states, sometimes as far away as New Mexico or Wisconsin. Why is that important? Read on!
Our cows are never given the growth hormone rBST, or any other artificial means of producing more milk. We are more concerned with quality than quantity. Visit our farm any day around 4 p.m. and you can watch our cows being milked in a clean, modern milking parlor. Drive by any other time and you will likely see our cows happily grazing in lush pastures.
Unfortunately, this is not what you will find in most large dairies. There the cows are confined to feed lots and given no opportunity to graze or exercise. They are fed whatever will produce the most milk at a minimum cost, and are (on many farms) given hormones for increased milk production. The nutritional value of a cow’s milk is determined by what she eats, and a cow’s overall health and productive lifespan is directly affected by her living conditions.
Our cows are primarily grass-fed, and supplemented with some grain. Milk from grass-fed cows has more CLA, Omega-3 fatty acids (“good fat”), beta-carotene, and other antioxidant vitamins than milk from primarily grain-fed cows. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is an anti-carcinogen (cancer fighter) in your body. Grass-fed cows produce milk with a naturally sweet taste, like the milk that many of our older customers grew up on. Grass-fed cows are also cleaner, healthier, and happier, and our farm is much more environment-friendly than the typical feedlot-type dairy.
Our milk is pasteurized in a low-temperature batch pasteurizer and then cooled to 40 degrees or lower before it is bottled, to protect the flavor. This is different from the large industry standard of high temperature short time (HTST) or ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization. Even though the batch process is slower, we believe that preserving the rich old-fashioned flavor is worth the extra time it takes.
Wright Dairy milk is not homogenized. Homogenization is the process by which the fat globules are “exploded” with intense pressure. They become suspended in the milk so that the cream does not separate from the skim. This is why homogenized milk does not require shaking or stirring before you pour it into your glass. While this may sound good, homogenization changes the way milk tastes and how it is digested by your body. Many people who think they are “lactose-intolerant” are really “homogenized milk-intolerant.” We have a number of customers who can finally drink milk (ours) again because it is not homogenized.
Also consider this: That “fresh milk” you buy in the grocery store may not be as fresh as you think. Considering the time required to be trucked cross-country, processed, bottled, and then trucked to the store . . . well, you figure it out! We milk our cows twice every day, and Wright Dairy milk is bottled several times a week from the most recent milking. That’s why we say that Wright Dairy milk is so fresh the cow hasn’t missed it yet!
Our philosophy is this: The more fresh and natural the product, the more delicious and nutritious it will be.
Wright Dairy whole milk and buttermilk have nothing added, because nothing has been taken out. Look at the ingredient label of the buttermilk you buy elsewhere, and you will understand why its taste and quality is so poor. Most of our buttermilk-loving customers say that they haven’t tasted buttermilk this good since their mothers or grandmothers churned it at home. Our 1% milk has some of the naturally vitamin-rich cream removed, so we fortify it with Vitamins A and D. The chocolate milk is made from our whole milk, with all its creamy goodness. You’ll agree that giving the milk jug a good shake before pouring is a small price to pay for milk this tasty and wholesome.
Fresh, natural good taste and old-fashioned quality!