What’s Goin On With The Price Of Milk??

April 3rd, 2009

Alan Reed Answers Your Most Burning Question:
“What Is Going On With The Price Of Milk?”

Over the past few days I have received a couple of letters asking why the price of milk has come down in the grocery store and Reed’s milk has stayed the same price.  It is a good question!
This past fall the price of milk in the grocery stores bolted higher than anyone had ever seen.  At Reed’s we also had to increase the price of our milk.
What Caused This?  The Cause Is Different For Reed’s Than The Grocery Stores.
Our price increased because the price of hay and grain went up drastically as well as all of our supplies.  We paid the most for hay and grain than we had ever paid; over double the normal cost.  This forced us to raise the price of milk so we could keep our bills paid.  We calculated our feed cost and the margin we needed, then raised the price of milk accordingly.
The grocery stores kept raising their prices because there was a shortage of milk in the United States  and the milk processing plants were paying a very high price for milk from the dairymen that produce milk for them.  The shortage was caused because there were lots of dairy products being shipped overseas and a lot of cheese being sold in the U.S.  This strong market created a shortage of milk in the U.S. and drove the price way up.
Then all of a sudden the economy went bad here and overseas.  Foreign countries stopped buying dairy products from the U.S. and sales of cheese in the States dropped, causing a surplus of milk and driving the price of milk down because of the surplus.  Consequently, the price that dairy farmers are being paid right now for milk is really low.  So low, a national economist said, “dairymen are losing $100.00 to $150.00 per month on every cow they milk.”  For us that means over $25,000.00 every month.  If milk were priced in the grocery store according to what it truly cost the farmer to produce that milk the price for a gallon of milk would be much higher than it currently is.  It is really a strange and crazy circumstance.
Why Is Reed’s Milk More Than The Grocery Store
One reason is because it cost us more to produce milk than most dairies.  The extent we go to in taking care of our milk cows.  We do not inject our cows with the artificial hormone that increases milk production.  The other reason is we are still feeding our cows last year’s hay which we paid a very high price to purchase.  We do not have any other choice but to keep the price of our milk up, otherwise we would be doomed to go out of business.
What About The Price Of Milk In The Future?
Right now we are still feeding last year’s hay that we purchase for a very high price.  We know the price of hay will be less this year starting with the new crop in July.  Until then it is very difficult for us to reduce the price of our milk.  We will continue to closely monitor all of our cost and when we start feeding new hay our hope is to be able to lower the price.  The benefit to you, for drinking Reed’s milk is drinking locally produced, wholesome, all natural milk that is the best milk for your family.
All of us at Reed’s Dairy will provide you and your family with the most wholesome, all natural milk you can buy.  It will never be the cheapest milk because you always get what you pay for when buying a dairy product.  We are half the cost of organic milk, yet you get all of the benefits of all natural milk.  At Reeds we truly are the Local Farmers Market for Milk in our area.  As you consider these things, it is easy to understand why Reed’s Milk is the best milk you can purchase for your family.
The local news channels and news papers have reported numerous times about the dairy farmers losing money because of the low price they are being paid.  DJ Dave from Phoenix Arizona interviewed me the other day about the price of milk.

Click the “play” button below to listen to that interview.

or click here to download the interview (mp3)

The Use of Herbs

January 6th, 2009

Over this past weekend I sent all of you on my email list a free book about using herbs and how they can help our bodies.   I use essential oils all of the time.   Our production manager and friend Milan Miller started me using oils many years ago and it is great.   This book talks about herbs and oils and what they can be used for.   Well, I was thinking we also need to know how to grow them for ourselves.

How To Grow Your Own Herbs

These days, herbs are an important part of most people’s cooking plans.   If you stop by your local store, you’ll see shelves of dried herbs and fresh herbs in the produce section.   These are great for use when you don’t have anything else, but dry herbs may be lacking in flavor, and fresh herbs can be extremely expensive.   What’s the solution for the cook who prefers something fresh and healthy?   Grow your own!   You’ll always have fresh seasonings on hand, and these plants are incredibly easy to produce.

The Easiest Herbs To Grow
Sweet basil, chives and other onion relatives, sage, rosemary, and other common herbs are extremely easy to go and can stand fairly difficult conditions.   Others, such as cilantro, fennel, and dill, have more complicated requirements for temperature, humidity, and potting space.   Mint is another incredibly easy herb that’s best grown in a pot or in its own closed off mini-garden.   In some areas, it turns into a weed and takes over the garden!

What Kind Of Soil Does It Take To Grow Herbs
Most herbs require relatively nutritious soil, but can be grown under varied conditions.  If you have soil that’s mostly clay or sand, you’ll need to mix in supplements like compost, manure, and other materials to improve it.   However, once you have a good soil, your herbs will grow with enthusiasm.   When growing herbs indoors, be sure to use a fertilizer to add nutrients back in.   Natural options are readily available and quite inexpensive.

Types of Beds and Soil Prep
There are many different kinds of herb gardens, from raised bed types to ordinary rows and even pots in the kitchen window.   The one you choose will depend on what you want to do with your herbs, how many you’re growing and on what scale, and whether you’re hoping to have fresh herbs available all year round or just in the summer.   A small garden right outside the kitchen door is another popular choice, since herbs can be grown in any sunny place with good soil.   You can create a bed in places where you couldn’t grow other plants.

Remember to prepare the soil well - turn it over and aerate it so that your plants don’t become weighed down.   Put any additives into it before you plant.   If you’re using pots, you may need to place vermiculite or other substances at the bottom of the pot to help the soil retain water.

Why Is Growing Your Own So Important?
Growing your own herbs gives you a way to be sure that you have access to fresh seasonings whenever you want them.   It also means you have control over the process and the quality - if you’re concerned about pesticides and chemical fertilizers in your food, you can just use natural alternatives when you garden.

You’ll also save money over buying dried or fresh herbs from the supermarket.    Properly cared for, many types of herbs are incredibly prolific.   Start with your favorites or some of the easiest types, then expand to the many healthy, medicinal, or exotic types available.    You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Happy New Year from Reed’s Dairy

January 1st, 2009

Well here we are, another year has flown by and we start a new one which will probably go faster than the last. Wasn’t it just coming up on 2000 and we were all worried about all of our computers crashing.  Seems like yesterday.

Last nigh we had a few friends over for a New Years Eve party.   Worked real hard to keep the party going until midnight so we could see the new year come in.   Now you can guess my wife and I, and our friends are over 40!!   Okay, okay maybe over 50.   Ha Ha

As I ponder this coming year I want all of you that support Reed’s Dairy how thankful we are for you.    I know we are still in business because of a very loyal group of customers.   This past year has been a challenge because of the price of fuel, hay and grains.   We can make it through things like this because of your support.

We promise to continue to provide farm fresh milk from local cows that are not injected with anything.   We want milk the natural way and I am sure you do also.

Thank you for supporting your local cows and have a great New Year.



Reed’s Skim Milk

December 27th, 2008

The other day I was in a sporting goods store, doing a little of my Christmas shopping (for me!!), and someone ask me, “Why is your skim milk so good?”  This is a question I am asked several times a week, so here is the answer.

There are three basic components of milk, the cream or fat, the non-fat solids (they contain your non-fat vitamins, minerals, protiens, etc) and water.  In order to have skim milk you must take out the fat.  In order to have great tasting skim you must leave the non-fat solids in the milk.  This way you have real milk taste, nutrition and white milk, not blue looking milk.

To leave the non-fat solids in the milk we separate our milk while it is cold.  This takes special separator and a lot more work.  Most of the milk companies separate their milk in the middle of the pasturization process when it is hot.  By doing this you remove the cream and also a majority of the non-fat solids.  Does not make the best non-fat milk.  We go to the extra work of separating the milk when it is cold becuase is leaves the non-fat solids in the milk and makes great milk.

Also our own cows make a big difference.  We can feed them the best feed and mix the ration so they produce lots of the non-fat solids in their milk.  At our farm it is all about the cows.  They are the workers and we take really good care of them.

 If you have not tried our non-fat or skim milk you must.  You will know why I get letters all the time from people saying it is the only skim milk they will buy.

Reed’s Dairy Milk and Why we DO NOT use artificial hormones!

December 20th, 2008

I am always looking for more information concerning the use of artificial hormones in milk cows.  I am still amazed dairymen are using those hormones.  I came across and article by Jean Lee and Randy Wei and they stated:

“Many dairy producers use rBGH as a way to increase milk production in their cows, resulting in up to 20% more production. However, the hormone causes udder inflammation in cows, which can lead to the contamination of the milk from secreted pus common in udder inflammation. Also, antibiotics used to treat inflammation have been discovered in trace amounts in the milk. Such contamination leads many people to wonder whether milk is safe for daily human consumption.In addition, milk produced by rBGH-treated cows has higher concentrations of insulin-like growth-factor-1 (IGF-1). Higher levels of IGF-1 have been indicated as a potential risk factor in prostate cancer.In 1998, Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported in Science that men with IGF-1 levels in the highest quartile of study participants were 4.3% more likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to men with IGF-1 levels in the lowest quartile. Such a small increase in prostate cancer risk may or may not deter people from consuming milk from cows treated with rBGH. “  Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.  We appreciate all of you that are our customers, thank you.Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.  We appreciate all of you that are our customers, thank you.Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.  We appreciate all of you that are our customers, thank you.

Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.  We appreciate all of you that are our customers, thank you.



Our total guarantee as always is we never use any type of artificial hormone on our cows.  Consequently this gives you milk that is all natural and free from anything that should not be in milk.  Our cows may not give us as much milk as a herd using rBGH but they are giving the right kind of milk and that is what we are committed to.  We appreciate all of you that are our customers, thank you.

Once Again the Food and Drug Administration Tries to Play God with Your Food

November 7th, 2008

The FDA is expected to approve milk
and meat from cloned animals
within a few days.
  Over the past six years the FDA has been wrestling with the questions of whether milk and meat from cloned animals is okay to eat. The Wall Street Journal announced the FDA is expected to declare the approval within the next few days.  What???
 Is there any out there now??
 I have read hundreds of articles concerning the testing of cloned animals and what has happened to them.  Besides their muscle structure diminishing as they age and other problems I was shocked at the thought of milk and meat on the market already from cloned animals.  The FDA had a voluntary ban selling milk and meat from cloned animals.  Most people doubt that milk from cloned dairy cows has not been sold with a dairies regular milk.
A closed herd like Reed’s Dairy guarantees you nothing from cloned animals.
A closed herd means we do not purchase any milk cows from anyone else, we raise all of our own milk cows.  Because we have been a little short on milk, many people have asked why we don’t buy more cows to get more milk.  This is why, we like a closed herd because we know exactly where our cows came from and they are healthy.  There are very few closed herds in the United States and to your advantage we are one of them.
You know the milk from Reed’s Dairy has not and will never come from cows that have been cloned.  Our customers tell me over and over how important it is for them to have natural food and to know where it comes from.  That is why they buy Reed’s milk.  We truly are the local Farmers Market for your milk.
How about a cloneburger for dinner?
We raise several of our own steers that we send to the butcher for our meat.  I also want to know where my meat is coming from.  If you want to have the same advantage we have on the farm with our meat give us a call.  For some reason we have a few extra steers right now that you could also have butchered.  All of the meat from a whole cow to much for your freezer?  Find friends or family members to split one with you.  We will be happy to haul it to the butcher for you.  Then you will know where your meat came from just like we do.

One big reason food prices are high

November 27th, 2007

I typically do not jump on my puplic soap box and rant and rave about things in the world.
My family will testify I save that for around the dinner table.  For this topic I can not resist
to say what is the truth.

One of the main products that has driven the price of all milk and foods in general higher and higher is the price
of corn.  We ship in a semi load about everyother week.  The  price of corn has way more than doubled
over the last 12 months.  This is due to the government subsidy for ethanol.  The Wall Street Journal
a few weeks ago had an article stating the energy used to produce ethanol was greater than the
energy received from ethanol.  So why is the government spending your tax dollars to keep
ethanol production in tack?

On Sunday the Post Register, Idaho Falls local paper, had a reprint from a column by the Kansas City Star
talking about ethanol.   Here are a few quotes from that article.

“Plants that produce corn-based ehtanol could drain valuable supplies of water now used for drinking.”

“People are buying more ethanol than ever.  But part of the reason behind the boom is that politicians
 - to curry favor with the Midwest - have given unfair advantages to corn-based ethanol.”

Ethanol gets and excessive 51 cents per gallon federal subsidy which gives it an unrealistic market
advantage.  That is your money begin spent to keep ethanol at the head of the alternative fuel list.
In doing so the price of all of your food is going up due to the price of corn.

I agree corn-based ethanol should be part of the alternative fuel options, although it should be more
market driven.  Other products such as perennial grasses, wood chips and wheat straw are cheaper
ways to produce ethanal.  Why not help products that will make less expensive ethanol?  Politics is why,
and we are paying for it.

Okay, okay…. I am getting off my soap box.  Guess what got me started on this?  I just paid my corn
bill for last week!  My family will apprecaite you letting me get this out of my system before I go home.
We will have a quite dinner tonight.

Thanks for supporting your local cows;  no federal subsidies involved.  Just pure wholesome milk produced
without the use of any artificial hormones injected into our cows.

There are two interesting problems happening at your local dairy. Let’s bring you up to date on what is going on.

October 25th, 2007

Reed’s Dairy is working hard to bring you affordable, all natural milk.

Problem One: Got Milk?? No We Don’t!!!

Since we only bottle milk from our own cows we have a limited amount.  We often talked about what we would do if we sold more milk than we produced; never thought it would happen.  We considered finding milk that was the same as ours, no artificial hormones, no antibiotics and the cows given the ultimate care.  As I searched around we did find some milk that was what we needed; although, it turns out that milk in this valley is short.  Not enough to take care of all the demand for cheese and other dairy products.  Dairy co-ops have contracts all over the western states and there is not enough to fill those contracts.  So there is no milk we could even purchase.

Many people have asked why we have run out of milk.  It was only a few months ago we were selling over a thousand gallons of bulk raw milk a week to another cheese plant.  I believe what has happened is all of us are more concerned about the food we are eating.  We want to get back to real food with nothing artificial in it.  Since our milk fits into this category our sales have increased to the point we are using all the milk we have.  Each of you want pure, all natural milk and that is why you are buying Reed’s Dairy milk.

We are spreading our milk around as much as we can.   I had a suggestion to put a big milk meter on the side of our building showing how much we had!  Probably will not install the meter but we will do all possible to provide you the milk you need.  We have over twenty cows that are calving in the next 20 days.  That means we will be able to start milking them which will give us some more milk.  We will keep you posted on our milk situation.

Problem Two: Higher feed prices, bottle prices, everything seems to be going up.

Over the past eight months we have seen the price of corn more than double.  We feed lots of corn every day.  The other feed products that we use have also increased dramatically.  Besides the feed cost we also have seen the price of the milk bottles increase over 60%.  We received two price increase notices within the past ten days.  Oil goes up and the price of our petroleum based bottles increases. 

The other factor that has caused a real struggle is the increase in minimum wage.  We are  paying all of our fulltime employees considerably more than the minimum wage and even our student employees were above that amount.  When the increase happened, we had to raise our pay scale for the lower paid part time help.  This resulted in a tremendous increase in payroll.

This is why you have seen price increase after price increase.  It makes me frustrated.  We will keep doing all we can to provide you with our all natural milk and keep the price affordable.



“For Those of You Who Want Fresh, Natural Milk with an Absolute Guarantee your Milk Comes from Cows That have Never had Any Artificial Hormones Injected in them Reed’s Dairy is Your Dairy.”

January 16th, 2007
When it comes to the the best tasting, healthiest, most dependable & reliable dairy in eastern Idaho… don’t just buy milk, let Reeds Dairy bring you a fresh taste of heaven, fresh every day! At Reed’s, we’re here to serve you.Think about how much it costs for a “quick trip to the grocery store just for a gallon of milk. Besides the gas used in your car, how about the other things that just jump into your hand while walking back to the milk cooler? Sugar-laden soda pop, high fat junk food, or those other products you just could do without. Our customers tell us over and over how much money they save with home delivery because they are not enticed to impulse buying in the grocery store. You also can plan ahead since you are only billed at the end of the month.And what about the timesaving? We all have better things to do than stand in the express line waiting to purchase our milk. You will have much more time to do some of those things you have always wanted to do; craft projects, play with the kids, or just take a break. With Reed’s home delivery, your milk will be waiting in an insulated door box on your step. There is a way for life to be easier!
We Deliver Savings
“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread… three billion to one.”

~Erma BombeckThe book Eating Well says each trip to the store will take 24 minutes and $32 will be spent. Other consumer group research shows over $40 is spent on impulse buying when you go to the grocery store!