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Food/product safety as well as animal/human comfort and care are the focus of our operation. Because the size of the dairy herd is small, and we are working with a relatively small amount of product, fewer people are involved at both the milking and animal management ends, as well as handling product in the cheese room.

sungau lamancha 3606The dairy is a “Grade A” dairy which means our milk is sampled monthly by the state and is required to meet or exceed quality parameters. Standard Plate Count, Coliform Count, Somatic Cell Count (indicator of udder health of the goats) and detection of any “inhibitory” substances in our milk are monitored on a monthly basis. In addition to samples run by the state, we collect individual data/samples from each animal monthly to determine milk volume, butterfat/protein levels, as well as her udder health status.

Hot water for the facility is assisted with solar technology. We hope to be able to incorporate additional alternative energy options into our farm program in the coming years.

The milking parlor holds twelve goats at a time and they seem to enjoy using the access and exit ramp systems. They are given a small amount of dairy ration while milking. The individual head catch/feeder system allows the goat to look out the top upon finishing her ration, enjoying the site of other herdmates, the person milking, or gazing out the window views of the garden and pastures.

The parlor design enables all animal contact surfaces and milking equipment to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized following each milking. Monthly lab tests also insure our milking equipment is washing properly which is an integral part of our milk quality and herd health program.

The garden at the creamery is a wonderful venue! Plans are currently under way to offer a “Farmstead Dining Experience” series which will include a multiple course meal prepared by a guest chef. In addition to the meal (showcasing our award winning cheeses of course!), diners will tour the dairy, meet the goats (the main attraction!), and spend time with award-winning farming, dairying, cheese making couple, the Ashcrafts!

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Contact Details:

North Valley Farms
P.O. Box 698
Cottonwood, California 96022

Phone: 530-347-7151

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All photos not otherwise attributed are by Deneane Ashcraft.