Area dairy farmers create new high protein milk drink

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers
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Updated: 5/06/2013 9:07 am

Having healthy eating choices available really starts at the farm. And in this case, the dairy farm. In a big effort to get closer to the consumer and provide a unique and nutritious product, nearly 100 local dairy producers have come together to form the Select Milk Producers CO-OP, and in doing so have an exciting product now available called Core Power.

"We developed this Core Power and it's a high protein, lactose-free, shelf stable product. We marketed it originally for post workout recovery to the triathlons and marathons and things, but as we've been getting it out there on the market we've been noticing people using it for other things like a quick morning breakfast on the run and in hospitals for patients that can't ingest whole food, they're finding a place for this as well," Brandon Bouma, a Plainview dairyman said. 

The fresh milk drink offers up to 42 grams of protein per serving at only 240 calories. Plus consumers can be assured of the local origin and responsible farm practices.

"We're taking the initiative to get out there and explain that this milk is produced locally from the dairymen in a very responsible way," Bouma said. "Here on the bottle it states that we have to operate under Fair Oaks Farms code of sustainability, traceability, transparency, animal welfare, and cow comfort and that's something the consumer needs to know and we want them to know."

Core Powers starts at the dairy. On his Plainview dairy called Legacy Farms, Bouma milks 6,500 cows then sends the milk on to the Artesia, New Mexico processing plant.

"We have patented filtration process which removes the lactose, the sugars from the milk and that's what creates this higher protein," Bouma said. "Once Core Power leaves the processing plant, because of the a-septic packaging, we're able to have a nine month shelf life on it. It's shelf stable and it doesn't have to be refrigerated."

Core Power is now available at several local supermarkets and stores like United and Market Street, continuing the local marketing of fresh ag products.

"It's much higher in protein, and the 26 grams of protein that we have is essentially three times that of a regular glass of milk. And a big advantage that we have over all of our competition is number one, it's fresh milk from local farms and nobody in the country can say that today. And number two, we only have one ingredient, and that's fresh milk," Bouma said. 

And to come at a time when things have been pretty tough in the ag production world, Bouma said that Core Power is giving hope to the Select Milk Producers CO-OP dairy farmers.

"There's no doubt the drought has affected us, it's affected our cost of production, it's been devastating to the dairy industry actually," Bouma said. "And this is a little shining light at the end of the tunnel because we're creating new demand, we're creating new products, we're spurring different growth through our industry in spite of these rough times."

Select Milk Producers have teamed up with Coca-Cola to offer Core Power world wide under the brand Fair Oaks Farms. A local agriculture product helping consumers make smart choices.

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