dairy production

At the end of this month, 27 Indiana dairy farms – some small, some big – are nearing the end of a 90-day notice that their contracts with national distributor Dean Foods will be terminated.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

  

Indiana has a shortage of farm veterinarians -- and that strain could get worse in January when new rules for food animal antibiotics use take effect.

The change will mean more demand for veterinarians in rural Indiana.

One of those vets is Tom Troxel. He takes care of dairy cows, and he and his wife Luann also run a small dairy farm in LaPorte County.

By just before 8 a.m., the first part of their day is already over: the cows have been milked, and Luann is feeding the last of the calves.

Guy Montag / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mapper-montag/1290056869/

A Purdue University study may have big impacts on the dairy supply chain.

Purdue researchers confirmed that a new process, similar to pasteurization, adds weeks to the shelf life of milk.

 

To pasteurize milk, you heat it up to 72 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. That kills enough bacteria for the milk to last about two weeks before it goes bad.

 

The new process heats pasteurized milk in droplet form -- for less than a second, to about 60 degrees.

Antony Oliver / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leithcote/

A new milk bottling plant outside Fort Wayne will be among the largest in the nation, and the state is hoping it's just the beginning of much-needed growth for Indiana's dairy industry.

The state made dairy processing a priority almost exactly a year ago. The goal? Use more of the milk that’s produced, and increase its value before it's shipped away. A first step -- the 250 thousand-square-foot Walmart plant, announced last week and set to open in 2017.

Officials aren't saying yet just how much raw milk it'll turn into bottles of white and chocolate.