A Dairy Farm

1 decade 7 months 3 days ago February 23, 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:01:05 PM CST in News

About 160 cows are milked, not by hand, but by a computerized vacuum system sucks the milk straight from each cow's udder throughout the morning.

The milk travels through cooled pipes into storage containers. From those tanks, it travels next door to the processing plant where it will eventually be bottled and shipped across northwest Missouri.

"After we have it separated into the different butterfats that we want, we run it through our pasteurizer and homogenizer to homogenize and pasteurize the milk," said David Cline, Shatto maintenance supervisor. "As it fills up the bowl of the filler, he's feeding bottles on over there that have been washed and sanitized. It'll feed them around. Caps are fed onto it. The caps are then pressed down on there to make sure it's sealed tightly. Then it's stacked up and moved on directly to the cooler."

This milk company said it's already more successful than most small dairy farms.

"The business plan said we wouldn't sell all the milk for the first 7-8 months, and we've done it in the first month," said President and CEO Robert Shatto. "Two months later, we bought 80 more cows, and we've actually had trouble keeping up ever since."

But, it wasn't easy.

"We almost gave up because we were having trouble," Shatto admitted.

Now, he said, customers love the company's first-rate product.

"We're bottling milk this morning that came from the cow this morning, and some of that milk will probably go to town tomorrow," Shatto added. "I tell the little kids that the milk's so fresh you can hear it moo. Tourism is part of it I never dreamt of, but we're having 500-700 kids a week come through this place."

Visitors are welcome to watch the milking process and can sample flavors such as root beer and creamsicle. You can even spend time with smaller members of the herd.

Shatto's milk is free of growth hormone. The company's glass bottles help preserve the taste and keep it colder than traditional containers. Shatto milk is sold only in the Kansas City area, but the company plans to expand.

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