In this Vlog Matt goes behind the scenes at the Miller Dairy Farm to show you how much work actually goes into getting a viable product onto store shelves.
The Miller Dairy farm is located about an hour and a half outside of Toronto in Creemore, Ontario. Matt has made the journey here to give you the inside scoop on a day in the life of dairy farmer. As someone who feeds people for a living Matt has been making many trips to the farms where he sources much of his food from to take a first-hand look at the process.
As we start off the video Matt gives us a short spiel on why he decided to focus on the dairy farmer in this vlog and extends a big thank you to Ontario Dairy Farmers for sponsoring the vlog and allowing him to bring his camera out to the farm to chronicle the ins and outs of milk production through the eyes of the farmer.
In the next scene Matt meets with John Miller and begins his journey into the heart of the dairy farm. Matt asks John about the family story and John tells him quite a tale. John relays to him that there has been a dairy farm there for more than 60 years. He tells him that his father started with Holsteins, a specific type of cow well suited to the dairy farm life. After some time he made the switch over to Jerseys which is the only type of cow they have on the farm now.
The first room on the tour that they stop in is the raw milk room. Imagine a large, industrial room with high ceilings filled with huge metal tanks, a massive amount of piping, and all sorts of specialized equipment. John walks Matt through the process of taking raw milk from one of the large tanks and seding it to the pasteurizer. Anyone with any milk knowledge knows how incredibly important pasteurization is from a safety perspective. As the milk is pasteurized it also homogenized at the same time. After those two processes are completed the milk goes into a large refrigerated tank where it waits it’s turn to be transformed into the Miller Dairy’s main product, ice cream.
Matt and John head into the part of the farm that processes milk into ice cream wearing hairnets and big grins. As they walk into the next room we see John’s son, Sean. After a brief introduction where Sean and Matt bump elbows Matt talks with him about the part of process he handles. Sean is working the ice cream mix tanks at the time and shows him a fresh batch of strawberry that is well on it’s way to being perfectly mixed. From the mix tank to the final product is in fact, quite a journey. The next scene we see Matt in finds him enthusiastically filling up ice cream containers with the other workers. After doing some time on the line we get a quick glimpse of the current ice cream stock levels in one of the farm freezers. It’s pretty clear that Miller’s Dairy is a major producer of ice cream in the area.
Next they head into the barn where they find a whopping 130 dairy cows. They use a free-stall setup on the farm that allows the cows to roam about in a community area and socialize or head into a stall and take a nap. According to John their dairy cows will lay down 16 to 18 hours a day. Many people would say that these cows have a pretty idyllic life. Matt asks what the cows eat and John tells him alfalfa hay, corn, and a grain supplement that is balanced by a nutritionist. Matt and John also discuss the reality that most consumers don’t realize there is often a whole entire family behind the production of their milk and other dairy products. The reason that the quality of the Miller’s products is so high is because they really care, it’s a family tradition.
Healthy, happy, well-cared for cows will always yield a superior product and these cows are looking so good they might as well be show cows. After touring the barn John decides it’s about time to see the crux of the entire operation first-hand, the milking. The milking room itself is huge and features rows of tall steel stalls with tubes coming down from the top. Each stall has a cow in it and workers diligently going from stall to stall connecting and disconnecting hoses from udders. The milking process happens twice a day, 365 days a year and takes approximately two hours to complete.
John gives Matt the lowdown on how the milking machine works, including showing him how to see the volume of milk coming out. After taking a few turns himself hooking up the machine to the udders Matt calls it a day and shares a little more ice cream with John before he hits the road. He thanks John again for the opportunity and the ice cream and wishes him well.
As always thank you so much for tuning in to this vlog. We sincerely hope you will enjoy it and share it with the people you know will appreciate it.
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