Churchill County may or may not be the largest milk-producing county in Nevada, but it is the most diverse. The county can boast a variety of 16 cow and goat dairies.
The majority of the dairies have Holstein cows, usually black and white cows, and those ten operations produce most of our milk. The other three cow dairies have Jersey cows, mostly light brown with big soft dark eyes. The Jersey cows are known for the richness of their milk. There are now 3 goat dairies that are milking about 5,000 goats per day.
It is estimated the county produces about a million gallons of goat milk annually. The milk is shipped to California to be processed into cheese and yogurt. Goat milk can be a viable alternative for people or animals who do not tolerate cow’s milk.
There are currently between 11,000 - 12,000 cows being milked daily. By monitoring the daily amount of milk from each cow, farmers can keep a close track of how each animal is feeling.
The county’s diversity doesn’t end with the story of the cows and the goats. There is also one dairy that processes its milk and sells it in local stores. The Sand Hill Dairy’s products are varied in their own right and include non-homogenized whole and two percent milk, chocolate and strawberry milk, queso fresco, cheddar, and mozzarella.
Along with the dairies, agriculture is a stabilizing influence on the local economy because no matter what the selling price of the product is, the animals must be fed and cared for, equipment needs to be serviced, and fields need to be maintained. This provides our local businesses and their employees with continuous work.
Dairy products are not only nutritious, but sometimes they can have extra benefits. A scoop of ice cream can hit the spot on a Nevada summer’s day. But a half-gallon of ice cream can save a dinner party. Not buying that, are you? How about this? A while back I was hosting a dinner with chocolate cake for dessert. The cake, however, had other plans and refused to come out of the pan in one piece. I know, we’ve probably all been there and done that. But I had a large group of guests who were expecting a nice dessert with their dinner, not a pile of pieces. The half-gallon of vanilla ice cream that I had just purchased was still soft from the ride home. I folded the ice cream around the cake pieces and put them in the freezer. By the time we were ready for dessert, the ice cream had frozen, and the guests loved their ice cream cake. A dairy product saved dinner.
Never underestimate the power of dairy products or Churchill County dairies.
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