PITTSTOWN, NJ (Hunterdon County) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher marked June as National Dairy Month as the USDA highlighted Spring Run Dairy in Hunterdon County, which features its own creamery and sells Jersey Fresh milk, as one of the industry’s success stories.
Spring Run Dairy is owned and operated by Dan Lyness. He farms 370 acres and started his operation 10 years ago. He opened the on-farm creamery and bottling facility in 2021, selling Jersey Fresh Cream Line Whole Milk brand at the farm’s market on Saturdays and Sundays. The Cream Line brand is also available at other on-farm markets.
“Spring Run Dairy has become a model operation with its creamery and its success is an encouraging sign for the dairy industry in New Jersey,” Fisher said. “The availability of Jersey Fresh milk is a wonderful example for National Dairy Month and shows the benefits our dairy farmers provide to our residents.”
Spring Run Dairy was nominated for the International Dairy Foods Association Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year representing New Jersey in the 25th annual competition. The application was based on the work in developing the operation, on-farm processing and Lyness’ cooperation with North Jersey Research Conservation and Development (RC&D) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The farm was one of 25 participants in a cover crop and tillage trial funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant administered through the USDA’s NRCS and implemented by North Jersey RC&D.
Lyness, a 2011 graduate of Delaware Valley College, gradually increased the size of his herd and built a tie-stall barn in 2013. The farm is home to 50 milking cows, a mixed herd of Jerseys and Holsteins.
Spring Run bottles about 25 percent of the overall production with the remaining milk going to a co-op. Lyness boasts about his milk’s high milkfat content, “real whole milk,” and its rich flavor. The small batch processing allows the milk to be pasteurized at a lower temperature, keeping more natural proteins intact, while still eliminating any harmful bacteria.
“I enjoy the entire process, from the genetics and breeding to milking and growing feed,” Lyness said when interviewed by the USDA.
Spring Run Dairy is also a participant in USDA’s Farm Service Agency Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program, which offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.
“DMC has been great, especially the last three years,” Lyness said. “It’s an insurance program I pay into, and it definitely helps out.”
Spring Run Dairy is scheduled to have its third annual open house on Saturday, June 10. The free event is set from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature milking and butter making demonstrations, hayrides, and other family friendly activities.
New Jersey’s dairy farmers produced more than 120 million pounds of milk and added more than $22 million to the state’s economy, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture from the USDA.
In addition to milk, New Jersey dairy farms and processors provide consumers with creams, yogurts, butter, cheeses, and other dairy products and maintain scenic vistas and open space, which enhances the quality of life for all state residents.
From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients to help lead a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse.
National Dairy Month started as National Milk Month in 1937 to promote drinking milk. It has developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions dairy farmers have made to the world.
To learn more about dairy products and the benefits they can provide, go to www.americandairy.com.