By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Milk produced by a small-scale Walton dairy farm has recently founds its way onto the shelves of the Sidney Great American thanks to community demand, nostalgia and one family’s effort to bring high quality, pure-and-simple milk to everyone.
Michelle and Paul Somers, owners and operators of Shadow Valley Farm in Walton, have been producing, pasteurizing and bottling their own milk since this past winter, though the pair’s agricultural roots run deep.
“I showed brown Swiss cows my entire life,” said Michelle Somers. “And over past 10 years my husband and I have been accumulating more and more animals. We built a processing plant right here on farm last year and in the beginning of December, we were up and running with milk [production].”
The milk, which comes in plain and chocolate varieties and gallon, half-gallon and 16 oz. bottles, has been available in Sidney for about two weeks. Somers noted, “The response in [the] Walton community has been amazing and we really wanted to get it over into the Sidney community because we actually had people in that area who were asking for it.”
Part of what makes the milk from Shadow Valley Farm so premiere is the cows. “The entire farm is brown Swiss cows,” shared Somers. And, for her, an affinity with the wide-eyed and tawny-hued breed dates back to childhood. “When I was 10 years old,” said Somers, “my father told me I could pick out any cow I wanted and have it as 4-H calf.” Recalling her introduction to the brown Swiss breed, Somers added, “They’ve got those big eyelashes and they’re all-white when they’re born and just so beautiful. That’s sort of where it all started.”
“Be sure to pick up this week’s edition at a store near you! Or for the latest local news, call or e-mail us today to arrange convenient home delivery each and every week.”