“The dairy farms in our community were in trouble…and needed some help…”
– Bill Evans, Owner, Kalona SuperNatural
Twenty years ago, a small group of Amish dairy farmers in Kalona, Iowa met to discuss their dream to sustain their families, community, and way of life. For over 150 years, they had farmed their lands organically and resisted the dairy industry’s push towards factory farms.
Their families drank raw milk straight from their small herds of 10-20 cows. They wanted to share this same fresh, farm-fresh milk with customers beyond their community. But the big organic dairies refused to drive trucks to their small farms, instead sourcing milk from massive operations.
The farmer’s ability to sustain their families and communities for another 150 years was in jeopardy…
So the farmers built their own creamery to bottle their organic milk themselves. They pasteurized the milk at low temperatures to preserve its natural benefits.They used clear bottles so customers could see the cream. They refused to homogenize it to smash the cream or add synthetic vitamins and chemicals. Their cows living conditions were so healthy they didn’t even need vaccines.
The milk was unlike any on the market and customers loved it, but soon there were new challenges that threated their survival…
Struggling to Survive…
Within two years, the farmers struggled to run the bottling plant and navigate regulations and technology they were unfamiliar with. They faced cutthroat competition from big corporate dairies with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets promoting unhealthy, ultra-processed products.
They just wanted to be dairy farmers and milk cows…
So they asked their neighbor, Bill Evans, to own and operate the plant – to do whatever it took to preserve their belief in real dairy, organic farms, and their community.
Bill and his team were committed to the original vision of supporting small family farms and happy, grazing cows. They wanted to keep the milk as close to raw and minimally processed as possible, without additives or preservatives.
So Bill packed his truck with milk (and his kids) and drove around winning over local stores. A few buyers at Whole Foods and Hy-vee fell in love with the products, and it looked like the farms and company was saved.
But, once again competitors aggressively undercut the Kalona SuperNatural brand, buying up shelf space and bombarding shoppers with ads for “cheap” “grain-fed” and “ultra-pasteurized” milk loaded with synthetics.
The competition’s goal was market share – not the survival of small family farms.
Kalona SuperNatural and the farmers’ dream was again in jeopardy…
Old Ways Become New Again
The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge but got people thinking…
Consumers became interested in “food as medicine.” Families cooking at home looked for healthier, more natural grass-fed options. With big store supply chain disasters, many people turned toward buying food from small farms and local sources. Others sought out farms that focused on being environmentally sustainable through regenerative farming practices.
But the team faced another challenge…
Many consumers did not want to go to stores frequently and so selling truly “fresh” products, with a short shelf life became difficult. Many competitors rushed to ultra-pasteurize milk to extend shelf life, but Bill and his team resisted do switch to Ultra High Temp Pasteurization – keeping pasteurization low and shelf life short at 19 days to preserve freshness.
Thankfully! – and soon, raw milk fans, homesteaders, keto and carnivore dieters discovered that Kalona milk was the most natural, best sourced and closest to raw milk and dairy products they could find in stores.
They told their friends in person and on social media. Our simple, minimally processed kefir, yogurt and cottage cheese also grew in popularity, led by health-conscious shoppers.
Smart, conscious consumers desire to support real dairy and the small farms that produce it has begun to create a revolution in the food industry.
What you did – telling your family and friends, and sharing our posts on social media – is the reason our farm families will be able to sustain their family and farms for generations to come.
Today, Kalona SuperNatural still sources milk from…
many of the same small farms and neighbors. We help preserve their community’s organic farms, lifestyle and values.
Our success provides other small towns, farms and dairies a model for sustaining their way of life and rural communities.
With milk more natural than 99.9% sold nationwide, we make it easy for people to put their values into action and support our farmers’ dream with each purchase.
Please let us know what you think about our products and tell your friends about us.
We are grateful for your support.