MVP Dairy, a partnership between McCarty Family Farms and VanTilburg Farms, has opened a new dairy in northern Mercer County, Ohio, creating 35 new local jobs. MVP Dairy produces fresh milk that is Non-GMO Project Verified for Danone North America, a leading U.S. yogurt maker.
The new dairy is home to nearly 4,500 cows that live in six free-stall barns. The cows are milked in a state-of-the-art carousel milking parlor, which benefits their health and well-being by providing a predictable and efficient milking routine, allowing the cows more time to eat, drink, sleep and socialize with other cows.
This is the fifth McCarty Family Farms’ dairy and its first in Ohio. The VanTilburg family, which resides next to the MVP Dairy site, are lifelong residents of Celina, Ohio, with a vested interest in responsible and sustainable production agriculture close to home.
The farm also features a patented anaerobic treatment cell system that significantly reduces waste solids, consumption of water and waste odor, with a recycling system that benefits the animals, crop care and the environment.
“Our desire to work with Danone started with their commitment to create more healthy and more sustainably produced foods,” said Kyle VanTilburg, co-owner of MVP Dairy. “Our family has been farming here in Celina for more than four generations, and we are passionate about using farming methods to ensure we are conserving the land and improving soil health for generations to come.”
In accordance with Danone North America’s strict animal welfare guidelines, MVP Dairy is certified by Validus, an independent audit firm with stringent requirements for socially responsible, scientifically based, economically viable long-term solutions for dairy animal care. The cows are monitored daily and provided routine health screenings. In addition, all employees are regularly trained in animal welfare and farm safety.
“We are constantly striving to provide our cows with first-class care,” said Ken McCarty, co-owner of MVP Dairy. “We know our cows’ well-being and sustainable farming practices bring value to the foods produced by Danone that are made with our milk so it’s important that we continue to push ourselves to do even better.”
Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, said, “We are very pleased that our partnership with the McCarty family, which began almost 10 years ago, now includes this state-of-the-art new dairy farm. The McCarty VanTilburg dairy is leading the way in highly efficient, sustainable agriculture and best-in-class cow care. The innovative practices employed at this dairy will undoubtedly inspire others to follow.”
MVP Dairy operates as part of Danone North America’s ‘cost-plus’ model, which benefits farmers through the establishment of long-term contracts that cover the cost of production, plus a profit margin for the farmer. This model is intended to smooth market swings and give farmers better protection over the long term, allowing more seamless generational transfers and a focus on investments for sustainability in areas such as soil health and regenerative agriculture, which are priorities for MVP Dairy and Danone North America.
The MVP Dairy also includes a 7,500-s.f. Learning Center featuring interactive displays that share the story from soil to cup on how milk and dairy foods are made, that will be open to the public. In addition to viewing the dairy farm’s 80-cow carousel milking parlor, guests can explore interactive games, displays, virtual reality experiences and a digital Danone grocery store to learn more about their dairy foods.