McCarty Family Farms in Rexford, Kan., and the Dannon Co. announced on June 12 a new and unique collaboration between the companies. Milk from the McCarty Family Farms’ dairy cows will be used to make Dannon yogurts at Dannon’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant. In addition, McCarty has started an environmental sustainability initiative project that is reducing the environmental impact of milk shipping by reusing the water that is removed during the condensing of the milk.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, U.S. Rep. Tim Hueslkamp, Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman and Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George helped the companies commission the milk condensing operation.
“I applaud McCarty Family Farms and Dannon for entering into a successful partnership that benefits farmers, the small businesses that support farmers, consumers and the community as a whole,” Brownback said. “This partnership is a fabulous example of how agriculture can create good-paying rural jobs with the potential to spur significant additional job creation in the future.”
Dannon, which is the leading selling yogurt maker in the United States, and McCarty were both seeking ways to reduce the impact of volatility in milk pricing and to continuously improve on environmental sustainability. This new relationship enables McCarty to fully understand their customer’s needs in terms of milk quality, as milk quality is impacted based on farming practices.
Since the partnership was initiated, more than 50 jobs have been created in rural Kansas, doubling the size of McCarty to more than 100 employees. The construction of the milk condensing operation required more than 55,000 hours of labor.
“Creating jobs that are sustainable is key to the future of areas like rural Kansas and the agricultural community,” said Ken McCarty, a fourth generation dairy farmer. “Additionally, as the dairy has grown, my brothers and I and the rest of our team have sought and found ways to improve our environmental sustainability, including reducing water use, improving our cow herd and using manure to fertilize crops. We’re young and ambitious and looking for additional environmental sustainability initiatives, which are always either underway or being planned.”
“Dannon began working with the McCartys in 2011 in order to reduce the impact of the volatility of the price of milk and reduce the impact of the company’s environmental footprint and find ways to create a closer, more direct relationship between the farmer and the consumer,” said David Lainchbury, vice president of Dannon’s sourcing and supplier development. “The relationship we have today with the McCartys and the milk condensing operation represent early results of our ongoing and ambitious goals. We are proud of this partnership and hope others will see the benefits of this process.”