|by Missy Mussman
CLERMONT, Ga. – The foothills of the mountains north of Atlanta, Ga., is not known for dairy farming, but Scott and Jennifer Glover are doing it.
“We knew we had to either move or do something to add value to what we already do,” Scott said.
Scott and Jennifer did add value to their dairy farm. Besides milking 65 cows in a double-6 herringbone parlor on Glo-Crest Dairy, they also run their own creamery, Mountain Fresh Creamery, with their daughter, Eliza Jane (11), near Clermont, Ga.
Scott is a fourth generation dairy farmer. His grandfather ran three different dairies when Scott was younger, but sold the cows in 1986, through the buy out program.
“I really got interested in it,” Scott said. “I knew I wanted to milk cows when I grew up. That is how I got started.”
Although the cows were gone, Scott’s uncle, Steve Crumley, was very involved with dairy and partnered with another dairy farmer.
“I helped my uncle on his dairy for several years,” Scott said. “I worked on a different dairy farm for a year, too.”
Scott eventually left the dairy industry for five years and started training horses. During that time, he met and married, Jennifer.
Scott realized his love for dairy.
“I realized I really missed the cows,” Scott said.
In 2000, a farm down the road from the Glovers became available to rent.
“We bought the cows and that is where we’ve been for the last 13 years,” Scott said. “The herd is 95 percent registered.”
“We started out fresh on our own,” Jennifer said.
One of the biggest changes the Glovers have been focusing on is efficiency.
“We have been trying to be more efficient in the way we manage our business,” Scott said. “We focused on cow care and cow comfort.”
“We take a lot of pride in taking care of our cows,” Jennifer said.
Their cows are housed in a 100-cow free stall barn. The stalls are mattresses with sand on top.
“We have done some modifications to it over the years to make it what it is today,” Scott said.
The Glovers have access to pasture, but they still rely on their freestall barn. They also feed a TMR consisting of corn silage, alfalfa they purchase from Kansas and a concentrate mix.
By 2006, the population was growing in their community and the Glovers saw a need for consumer education for the agricultural industry.
“This was just a great fit for us,” Scott said.
Scott and Jennifer started to focus on starting a creamery.
By July of 2011, the Glovers had opened Mountain Fresh Creamery, located six miles down the road from the farm.
“When we started the creamery, we were milking 125 cows,” Jennifer said. “We scaled back on the cows, so we would have more time to focus on the creamery.”
The creamery has a retail store and viewing windows that allow customers to see into the processing area.
“This gives us the opportunity to tell the customers about the dairy operation,” Scott said. “People can also witness the processing procedure.”
At the creamery, the Glovers produce non-homogenized and low temperature pasteurized products.
“By doing this, it allows us to share the differences between our milk and the milk at the stores,” Scott said.
The Glovers bottle whole milk, chocolate milk, low-fat milk, buttermilk, heavy cream and they make their own butter and ice cream.
“We try to keep seven flavors all the time and we do specialty flavors,” Jennifer said. “We have flavors that focus on the season.”
During the holidays, they have ginger bread, peppermint and eggnog. For the summer months, there are pina colada, banana split and key lime pie.
The milk is bottled five times a week, and they process 8,500 to 9,000 gallons of milk a month.
“The milk only comes from our cows,” Jennifer said.
The retail store at the creamery sells the creamery’s products, the Glovers’ ground beef and local products.
“There is a big push here for supporting local,” Scott said. “We have tied that in by selling products from other people in the area.”
The Glovers also sell their products to 25 small grocery stores and restaurants in the area.
“We focus on small, independently owned stores and niche markets because our product is a little different,” Jennifer said.
After 2.5 years of running the creamery, they have seen consumers interest in their farm.
“We found that a lot of people that come to the creamery actually want to come to the dairy,” Jennifer said. “They are so many generations removed, especially in suburban Atlanta where there are not a lot of farms left.”
The Glovers have done some farm tours at the farm since they have won the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Cream of the Crop award for the last 12 years and are one of the highest milk quality herds in the state of Georgia by maintaining a somatic cell count of 100,000 and a rolling herd average of 24,500 pounds.
Seeing this demand from their consumers, Scott and Jennifer are hoping to tie in agro tourism.
“We are not set up for that at our current location,” Jennifer said. “We want to have a place where people can see that our cows are treated well, and see cows that are treated appropriately are more content and produce a higher quality milk.”
Currently, the Glovers are buying more land, working on an expansion with hopes of milking 200 cows and purchasing a new farm.
The Glovers market their products through many different avenues and are now on Facebook and other social media venues and also have a website.
“We knew the power of social media,” Jennifer said. “This allows us to let people know what’s going on at the farm and educate them about the importance of milk and dairy in their diet.”
Off the farm, the Glovers are active with their local church, the Dairy Youth Foundation and serve as members on the Chamber of Commerce. Scott is a member of the Georgia Milk Producers board and Jennifer is an assistant principal at an elementary school.
Despite being busy with the farm, creamery and off farm activities, the Glovers are happy to be dairy farming and running their own creamery.
“Customers thank us for being here and the hard work we do. It makes us feel good,” Jennifer said. “We see that our work is appreciated, noticed and is not taken for granted for just being a farmer.”
“We want to continue to grow the creamery and provide the highest quality milk anywhere,” Scott said. “We are producing food for the world. It makes me proud to get up everyday and do what I do.”