Hudson Valley Fresh
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Believe it or not, all milk is not the same. We believe in producing the highest quality milk possible. Let us tell you why the quality of our milk puts heads and shoulders above the rest:
- Udderly good – Good udder health is essential for producing premium quality milk. Bacteria, like E. coli, can cause several commonly known cow ailments like mastitis [painful inflammation of the mammary glands] and udder infections. Somatic cells are leucocytes (white blood cells) which mobilize to make sure the milk is free from these infections. Each tank of milk is tested for Somatic cell counts (SCC) – an essential test that monitors the health of the herd. Elevated somatic cell counts are an early indication of infection and unnecessary pus in the milk itself.
- The federal government’s legal limit on bulk milk is 750,000 cells per milliliter [mm] – most industrial AND organic dairy farms have an average of 420,000 cells per milliliter. The somatic cell count of every one of Hudson Valley Fresh’s farms is under 200,000 per mm at all times — and actually the range is from 45,000 to 160,000 per mm, which is unheard of in the industry. The average SCC for all farms is 110-120,000 per mm as a group. This all means that we offer far cleaner milk than you will find anywhere else. There is no better milk bottled that has that quality standard. And the lower the somatic cell count, the better the taste. Our low SCC counts are what make for a more flavorful latte, ice cream or cream cheese. The labs at Cornell University will back us up.
- Strictest Quality Standards, Always – We are vigilant in our adherence to the strictest quality standards possible. On a monthly basis HVF voluntarily mandates additional testing of each cow via the Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA) for the same SCC criteria. This information is on a national registry for public viewing.
- Hay, Hay, Hay – A varied diet makes happier cows and better tasting milk, and HVF cows get fed a combination of alfalfa, oats, barley, soybeans, corn silage and lots and lots of hay. Large commercial farms often give less hay as it is costly to produce and requires more labor to distribute. A diet rich in hay is better for a cow’s immune system [and incentivizes the cow to chew her cud more – we count 32 chews per mouthful!] Hay and healthy chewing combined means more omega-3 fatty acids in the milk, and a better ratio between omega 3 and 6, providing a better overall quality cream.
- More Omega 3’s – Omega 3’s are crucial for normal growth, brain function and development and are known to reduce inflammation and can lower the risk of heart disease as well as other chronic diseases. Low somatic cell counts [SCC] means more omega-3 fatty acids, because their immune system is not being stressed in the same way as cows with an SCC of 450,00- 600,000 cells per mm, a common condition in milk today, whether it is in glass, plastic or cardboard containers.
- No rBST, rBGH, ever – HVF never has and never will use artificial hormones like recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) or recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which are used in cattle to stimulate milk production for a large proportion of America’s commercial milk supply even though the the Food and Drug Administration has approved its use since 1993. [rBST and rBGH are used to stimulate milk production which unnaturally increases short term milk output through stimulation of the pituitary gland, and avoids the natural gestational cycle of the cow.] Cows that have been injected with rBST and rBGH have been known to develop many reproductive problems like infertility, birth defects and fetal loss. While the health risks for humans continue to be studied, HVF chose to avoid artificial hormones altogether to ensure the absolute highest quality of milk that is available on the market today.
- We process all our milk at Boice Brothers Dairy in Kingston, New York. Our milk is the only milk they process and we never co-mingle our milk with milk from any other farm. That ensures taste and quality. We guarantee that Hudson Valley Fresh milk is from Hudson Valley Fresh farms. What other dairy can say that?
- From our cows to your store in 36 hours– we want our milk to be as fresh as possible, so our milk arrives at your store within 36 hours after leaving the farm (unlike conventional milk which can take up to a week.)
- We are NOT ultra-pasteurized – for optimum flavor and quality, we do not ultra-pasteurize our milk. We pasteurize for only 20 seconds at 166 degrees. That’s in contrast to much of the industrial AND organic milk which is ultra-pasteurized, meaning heated to 280F – changing not only the flavor of the milk but the nature of the protein. Milk with higher somatic cell counts need to be ultra pasteurized as heating the milk at this temperature breaks down lipase and protease, undesirable enzymes which rise proportionally with the somatic cell count. This process unnaturally extends the milk’s shelf life, rendering it flavorless.
- We meet the strictest standards of Kosher law and are certified kosher by KOF-K Kosher Supervision, one of the foremost Kosher certification agencies in the United States.