WFCF Storybit : Riverview’s Louriston Dairy

Do you enjoy pizza, cheeseburgers, maybe even a little mac n’ cheese?  If you are nodding your head yes than you’re guilty of being a cheese lover like the rest of us.  We just happen to know a few friends that support the super delicious cheese industry starting at the source.  This week we introduce you to Riverview’s Louriston Dairy.  A dairy who has a special passion for not just dairy cows, but the agriculture industry as a whole. In fact, they even work with some pretty popular food chains and products that we bet you would easily recognize.  So, this week let us tell you a little about Louriston’s story that’s sure to put a cheesy grin on your face!

The Story

What began as a family-owned crop and beef farm all the way back in 1939, has grown into a multi-faceted, ever-changing partnership. In the mid-1970s, the family farm business was incorporated under the name of Riverview. This new company continued farming and raising beef cattle for two decades until 1995 when the company’s business structure changed to a partnership.  This new structure allowed several community members to invest in the new 800-head dairy operation, complete with a double-24 parallel parlor. Over the following years, the vision of an adaptable, integrated agricultural operation continued to grow as more dairy operations, beef feedlots, agronomy systems, and construction crews were added. Today, Riverview as a whole is predominantly owned by it’s employees! These employees are constantly striving to provide a respectful, ethical work environment, ensure animal health and comfort, enhance the productivity of the land, and add value to the communities in which they live and work.

Riverview’s Louriston dairy is full of passionate, forward-thinking people.  Their farm size allows them to focus on their individual expertise to best care for the cattle, people and their land.  The cattle in their care are treated respectfully and provided with everything they need.  This includes quality feed, clean and adequate water, plenty of space for resting and moving, and a stress-free environment in all areas of the farm. Providing a quality and safe product for consumption is important to the team at Louriston, which is why they raise all of their own cattle. Calves are born on the farm and raised to be dairy cows. 100% of their milk is used to make cheese… yum!

Today, Riverview’s Louriston dairy works with multiple cheese processors.  Bongards Cheese is the only “Brand” you would find at the grocery store; however, you might come across their cheese elsewhere.  For starters, some of their cheese could be found with a “Kraft” label on it.  Other cheese they make can even be found on your burger at Burger King or McDonald’s.  Have you been to a Pizza Ranch recently?  If so, some of their cheese might even be on your pizza.  Some of the lactose sold from the cheese processing is also found in MARS M&M’s and other candy.  One of the processors Louriston works with even sells cheese for the Nacho Cheese Dorito powder! Clearly they are providing a quality product which is reflected in the brands they support. It is evident that the verification guidelines the operation follows and their dedication to their employees sets them apart in a very competitive industry.

Verification 

Today, Riverview’s Louriston location participates in the Validus Animal Welfare Review Dairy (AWRD) verification process.  Remember, Validus is a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc.  The Validus program includes comprehensive audits and assessments to ensure proper practices when it comes to the animal’s well-being and environment.  The program requires ongoing auditing and recertification on an annual basis.  In addition to being Validus certified, they also implemented their own program on the farm called Be Kind.  The goal of the program is to reinforce the commitment to the well-being of their animals.  At Riverview’s Louriston dairy, animal care is essential for the viability of their business. Their focus is to provide essential ongoing training to all employees to ensure animal care it taken very seriously.

Why Verify?

Each year farmers find better ways to care for their livestock, and Riverview’s Louriston dairy is no exception.  Technology has played a key role in enhancing farm and livestock care.  This means providing the best living environment for the livestock.  Through the partnership with Validus, they have been able to stay informed of new guidelines and processes that help keep their farm top notch.  What Validus does for consumers is important because it helps tell the story of where their food originates and the process it goes through.  As farmers, they have always been dedicated to livestock care, environmental stewardship, food safety, quality, and employee care. They feel it is important to work with Validus to help educate consumers and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their food.

At Riverview’s Louriston dairy, passion is key to their success.  They believe humane treatment of their livestock is a passion, an attitude, and a necessity.  They strive to have employees and owners that are passionate about agriculture, farming, and their communities.  To learn more about this innovative group of farmers be sure to visit their website or follow them on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

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