Exploring Mississippi’s Diverse and Innovative Dairy Industry

Mississippi is home to a rich and varied selection of dairy products, showcasing the state’s dedication to quality and innovation in the dairy industry. Through the concerted efforts of educational institutions, family-run farms, and dedicated producers, Genuine MS® members offer an impressive array of dairy delights that cater to both local and regional markets.

Mississippi State University’s Dairy Excellence

At the forefront of Mississippi’s dairy innovation is Mississippi State University (MSU). The MSU Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES), alongside the Bearden Dairy Research Center and Custer Dairy Processing Plant, plays a pivotal role in advancing the state’s dairy sector. These entities work closely with students and researchers to tackle the technical challenges of dairy production.

One of the tangible benefits of their efforts is the high-quality dairy products available at the MAFES Store. The Custer Dairy Processing Plant produces a variety of goods, including whole milk, 2% milk, buttermilk, chocolate milk, butter, and an array of cheeses. Their 16 flavors of ice cream and the renowned Edam cheese are particularly popular among consumers. This collaboration not only supports the university community but also ensures a steady supply of fresh dairy products to the public.

Beason Family Farm: Tradition Meets Quality

In Philadelphia, Beason Family Farm combines traditional farming practices with a commitment to quality. This small-scale dairy operation focuses on milking registered Jersey cows that are primarily grass-fed. The milk is batch-pasteurized but not homogenized, allowing the cream to rise naturally to the top, which requires shaking before consumption.

Beason Family Farm offers whole milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, and four delightful ice cream flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and lemon. Their products are available directly at the farm and across various locations in Mississippi, ensuring that consumers can enjoy the farm’s wholesome and flavorful offerings.

Progress Milk Barn at Mauthe Farms: Generations of Dairy Excellence

Located in McComb, Progress Milk Barn at Mauthe Farms is a testament to enduring family traditions, now in their third and fourth generations. This farm prides itself on delivering fresh, wholesome dairy products to both Mississippi and Louisiana.

Mauthe Farms’ cows are grass-grazed, which enhances their health and the nutritional quality of the milk they produce. The milk is pasteurized but not homogenized, which preserves its natural creaminess and health benefits, such as higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

In addition to milk, Mauthe Farms specializes in cream cheese, cheesecakes, heavy cream, and various milk varieties. Their commitment to sustainable farming practices also helps reduce environmental impact, making their dairy products a healthy and eco-friendly choice.

Popwell Dairy: Organic and Reliable

Popwell Dairy in Tylertown exemplifies the success of organic dairy farming in Mississippi. This third-generation family farm produces approximately 20,000 pounds of milk every two days, all of which is certified organic. Popwell Dairy’s high-quality milk is supplied to Publix grocery stores, ensuring that a broader audience can enjoy their premium products.

T and R Dairy: Expanding Horizons

T and R Dairy, located in Liberty, is a shining example of growth and diversification in the dairy industry. Under the leadership of Mary Regan, the farm’s herd expanded from 50 to 140 head of cattle. The cows are milked twice daily and are free-range, ensuring their comfort and well-being.

In 2012, the Regans transitioned from wholesale to specialized milk products. Mary’s training at “cheese school” in Granbury, Texas, equipped her with the skills to create various flavors of cheese. With expert guidance, she perfected her cheese-making techniques, bringing a unique range of cheeses to the market.

T and R Dairy also bottles milk, makes butter and yogurt, and offers fresh eggs, cucumbers, peas, corn, and tomatoes at local farmer’s markets. Their commitment to providing fresh, home-grown products ensures consumers receive the highest quality dairy and produce.

High Hill Ranch: Goat Milk Products

Expanding beyond traditional cow’s milk, Mississippi also boasts excellent goat milk products. High Hill Ranch in Union, owned by Kathy Rickles, offers a diverse range of goat milk products, including milk, cheeses, soaps, and lotions. Achieving Grade A dairy status is a significant honor for the ranch, reflecting their dedication to quality.

Loch Ross: Excellence in Goat Dairy

In Tylertown, Loch Ross raises American Alpine goats, renowned for their hardiness and exceptional milk production. These friendly and curious goats provide high-quality milk used for both animal and human consumption. Loch Ross produces a variety of products, including cheese, caramels, and soaps, showcasing the versatility and quality of goat milk.

Mississippi’s dairy industry is a vibrant blend of tradition, innovation, and quality. From the cutting-edge research and development at Mississippi State University to the dedicated practices of family farms across the Magnolia State, Genuine MS® members offer a diverse selection of dairy products. These efforts not only meet the nutritional needs of consumers but also contribute to the health of the environment and the local economy. Whether you’re looking for fresh cow or goat milk, creamy butter, artisanal cheese, or delightful ice cream, Mississippi’s dairy industry has something to offer for everyone.