On March 22, Kin Growers family farm of Rolling Fork, brought dairy to the Delta selling fresh milk from its own operation.“There is no other producer-processor like us in the Delta, so we feel like we have the opportunity to provide fresh milk to many people,” said Mindy Rutherford, a partner in Kin Growers. Mindy said that she and other family members have been delivering milk locally and attending farmer’s markets in Vicksburg, Greenwood, Madison and Livingston. You can also find their milk in restaurants such as Table 100 in Jackson, Strawberry Café in Madison, and both The Gathering and County Seat in Livingston.
Kin Growers started its business slowly, only selling whole milk. They have since added reduced fat milk and chocolate milk, which has definitely become a popular product. Bill Rutherford, Mindy’s husband and business partner, said he attributes the milk’s rich flavor and creaminess to the breed of cows they milk. “The eight Jersey cows we milk don’t produce a large quantity of milk, but it is above average when it comes to quality,” he said. According to the American jersey Association website, “Jerseys naturally produce the highest quality milk for human consumption.” Beyond their milk quality, Bill said the Jersey cows are gentle, which allows his grandchildren to help with the dairy. “I love that everyone can participate, my grandchildren help move the cows to and from the milking parlor, and some even help with the milking.”
Even with extra hands, Mindy said the dairy has changed farm life as they knew it. “We milk our cows twice a day at 6 am and 6 pm,” she said. “Then, we pasteurize our milk every two to three days, so we have to make sure we plan around that.” Even with the additional work, Bill and Mindy said they are very excited about this addition to their farm that was a year in the making. “I believe starting the dairy was something good that we could do for our family, our business and our community,” Bill said.
Established in 1971, Kin Growers is a family owned and operated row crop, commercial beef and dairy operation that also provides fresh honey, eggs, fruits and vegetables along with naturally raised pork and beef products. Located in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, they pride themselves on providing high quality products “Delta Grown to Your Home.”