Driving past Anderson and through winding roads of lush, green rolling hills, you will arrive in Starr, SC, where Milky Way Farm is located! We recommend going at sunset, the views are stunning! As a 5th generation farm, Davis, his father LD, and the Peeler family have been supplying Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery with delicious raw milk since the beginning of Swamp time! We even sold out of Milky Way’s milk in preparation for the snow; that’s over 1,500 pounds of milk!
Milky Way has a total of 77 Jersey, grass-fed, and grain-supplemented cows that produce over 5,000 pounds of Grade A raw milk per day! Jersey cow milk is revered for its higher butter fat content, more nutritional fat-soluble vitamins, and an increased level of fatty acids. Basically, it’s really GOOD for you! In addition to all of the nutrients, raw milk retains lactose and lactobacteria that aid in our digestion. With the presence of these goodies, many lactose intolerant people are able to drink it! Davis and stringent testing tells us that is a completely CLEAN, SAFE, and HEALTHY alternative to pasteurized milk. Milky Way’s Jersey cows are milked twice a day, and when it’s time for milking for they are always on time!
So why can you get raw milk in SC and not in other states? The main reason is the worry of the spread of disease since it is not pasteurized. The safety is all about the source for both types of milk! Milky Way Farm is inspected every year by the FDA, the CDC, and SCDHEC. The milking process is very sanitary, the cows are super healthy and happy, and the product is treated well. Pasteurization is not needed when hygienic rules are being followed and a cow’s health is of the utmost importance.
Milky Way has to follow more stringent guidelines than a conventional milk farm and tests daily for signs of disease and bacteria. In addition to Milky Way’s milking machines being clean, efficient, and super high tech, they also test the milk straight out of the udder for contamination or illness in the cow itself. The milk is filtered and then cooled to 40℉ within seconds, it’s pretty cool! Davis has further prevented the chance of any spread or introduction of disease by having a closed herd since 2003.
Davis is a wealth of knowledge on the benefits of and legislation concerning raw milk sales in the US. He has a background in veterinary medicine and can answer any questions you may have. He also knows a thing or two about Australian Shepherds! Be sure to congratulate him on his newly appointed Chair of Young Farmers and Ranchers for the Farm Bureau! Not a fan of milk out of the glass? We have you covered with locally made gouda cheese made from Milky Way milk in the store! We are so happy to have such a passionate family at Milky Way Farm as part of our #swampfarmer family!
Photos courtesy of our talented #swampstaff: Betsy Bain, John Hedden, Doris Demkovich, and Ashley Simon