I toured Baker’s Golden Dairy in Columbiana County last week for a story on their operation.

Three weeks ago, they were given the clear to begin bottling milk produced by their cows.

Kevin Baker had the idea years ago to skip the processing plant and instead do it himself. Years went by and he raised his four children.

Then the idea resurrected itself. Kasey, the only daughter, decided cows were where her heart was after trying nursing school. So she enrolled in the Ohio State University and went to the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster where the plan got a second life through a school project.

When she decided she was coming back to the farm to work, the family hired a firm to develop their business plan for them and before long, the plan was in action.

After the construction was completed, the real work began on ensuring the bottling facility worked. After working most days 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., their work is starting to pay off. After only a few weeks short of the milk being on the shelf, there was a line for the milk when I walked in. I won’t lie, it was a surprise to see these grown adults standing outside the glass window anxiously awaiting their fresh milk.

When I walked in, the customers were telling me, they were almost done, just be patient, the milk is on its way.

I politely explained I was there to do a story for the Farm and Dairy and they started banging on the window trying to get someone’s attention.

The sight of people waiting for their milk is not new but it is reinvented. And all I could think was that it was just like the dairy’s theme that I read on the sign when I drove up the driveway, “Milk the way it used to be.”

The on-site processor is the first of its kind in Columbiana County.

The Bakers deserve a round of applause for thinking out of the box and deciding to go in their own direction in an effort to boost farm income.

The entire family, four adult children, daughter-in-law, Susan, and even Deb’s uncle, Don Ray, who was working to process the milk are working to make sure the idea takes off.

It was clear from talking to those in the processing area and the construction completed, the family has a plan and they are moving forward to make it a success.

I think Deb put it perfectly when she was talking about the family.

“Any farm couple that is successful has a family behind it,” she said.

For Baker’s Golden Dairy, that is evident. I think there is a lot of truth in that statement.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
View all posts by Kristy Foster Seachrist

Related posts: