Working With Amish and Mennonite Dairy Producers

Dairy Producers Tractor Pic

Our Dairy Producers

The milk used to make Kalona SuperNatural products is predominantly procured from small Amish and Mennonite farms within a 250-mile radius of Kalona, Iowa. The three main Amish/Mennonite communities located in this area are:

  • Kalona, Iowa

  • Bloomfield, Iowa

  • Memphis, Missouri

These communities are relatively self-contained, each with their own bishops and community leaders that help guide how each settlement will engage with the world and each other.

A Unique Working Relationship

We are very sensitive to the cultural concerns of our dairy producers. We go out of our way to accommodate belief systems, given the realities of the milk business and industry.

Typically, milk is picked up from farms every other day to ensure quality. Amish and Mennonite communities have a strong belief that Sunday should be a day of rest, doing only the very minimum amount of necessary work in order to keep the operation running. We accommodate this belief by avoiding milk pickups on Sundays. Though this results in much more work on the scheduling end, it’s worth it because it shows the producers that we take their cultural beliefs seriously.

Farms Operating With No Electricity

We also work with the fact that the Amish do not allow electricity in their communities. Dairy farms use a lot of electricity, so in order for these Amish farms to be certified grade-A we help them identify strategies that adhere to the regulations but also stay true to their beliefs.  Some strategies include recommendations:

  • for milking systems that are simple, effective and legal

  • for cleaning materials that can be used by small children

  • on design support for construction of new facilities or the retrofitting of existing ones

The Amish faith and community primarily try to exist in an 18th-century mindset while living in a 21st-century reality. We find this admirable and have inculcated their sensitivities into our business practices.

We are committed to helping small farmers make organic farming a viable lifestyle. We have encouraged their young people to stay with farming, and have provided a strong pay price from which they can support a small farm and family quite comfortably.

Phil Forbes, Kalona SuperNatural & Kalona Farms Farm Liaison