Radiance Dairy is an organic, pasture-based dairy farm located near Fairfield (SE Iowa). During spring, summer and fall, the cows get fresh pasture twice a day, after morning and evening milking times. The farm has 60 paddocks (small pastures) that the cows are rotated around, allowing the grass time to rest and regrow each time after being grazed. The cows do receive a small amount of grain during milking, but the majority of their diet is grass (hay in the wintertime).
Radiance Dairy products are produced on the farm, in a small processing plant. Francis and Susan Thicke are owners and operators of Radiance Dairy. We have four employees from the local community also helping with taking care of the cows and processing the milk.
Some features of Radiance Dairy products are 1) They all are organic. 2) The milk is not homogenized, so the cream rises to the top (shake before pouring). 3) The milk is vat-pasteurized at low temperature (145 F for 30 minutes), not at high temperature. 4) The cows get most of their diet from grass and other forages (the milk turns a rich yellow during the grazing season). Milk from cows on grass is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids, known to be nutritionally beneficial. 5) The cows are never kept in confinement facilities--even in winter they have access to pasture areas. 6) The cows at Radiance Dairy are Jerseys, which have a higher than average level of solids (protein, butterfat, and milk sugars) in the milk, giving it more body and flavor. 7) The whole milk is not standardized to 3.25% butterfat, as is the convention in milk processing, so the full butterfat content of the Jersey milk (5.0 to 5.5%) is in the whole milk. 8) Because Jersey milk has higher protein and milk sugars, our customers tell us that the skim milk (with all the fat removed) has more body and flavor than other skim milk on the grocery store shelf.