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Now You Know: Fun Facts About Trinity Valley Dairy

In the spirit of National Dairy Month happening until the end of June, U.S. dairy farmers from South Carolina to California will introduce people to local farms and the families who run them. So it’s only fair that we open our barn door, too, turning loose of facts that you might not have known about Trinity Valley Dairy.

  • In college Branden Brown studied the electrical trade and once was employed by CSX Railroad.
  • As a kid, Branden told his mom he would grow up to be a dairy farmer, despite having no real exposure to agriculture other than the vegetable farm he grew up on.
  • Branden’s wife Rebekah Poole Brown studied nursing, although she’s now heavily involved with the baking side of the business and helps market the brand’s growing product line. The couple has two children: Landen and Lillian.
  • Rebekah’s brother Derek is a fitness model.
  • Sue Poole, Rebekah’s mom, also creates baked-from-scratch goodies for the family business, including her popular soft pretzels, cheesecakes and buttermilk doughnuts that are sold onsite and delivered to New York City homes, much like their milk.
  • Trinity Valley Dairy is the exclusive supplier of milk for the Manhattan Milk brand. TVD also provides them with farm-fresh eggs, honey, maple syrup, grass-fed beef and cheese curds.
  • Trinity Valley began bottling its own products in 2014. The year before, Rebekah’s dad, Ken, who was running the farm, learned about a South Carolina dairyman who was closing shop for an unbeatable price. The family had occasionally mentioned making their own milk products, even bottling milk and opening a general store. This was their chance. They simply had to take it, and they did.
  • Trinity Valley Dairy is barreling into its fourth year in business and will soon debut a new product line that coffee lovers will flip for.
  • Their milk is sold in 40 retail stores around the region, as well as at the farm. Rumor has it that a Seattle coffeehouse chain, known worldwide for its handcrafted coffee drinks, may want to use their stuff, too.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times

The average cow produces enough milk each day to fill six one-gallon jugs — about 55 pounds of milk. Interestingly enough, a Holstein named Robthorn Sue Paddy holds the record for producing the 59,298 pounds of milk in one year.

Chocolate Milk: Your New Ride Or Die Buddy

There’s little debating that our chocolate milk is liquid goodness. But more and more research claims that it is liquid gold for the body, too, especially for endurance runners and cyclists.

For proof, we point to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. In all fairness, it was small in scale and partially funded by the dairy industry. But dietitians say the results should help to counter the notion that trendy, expensive supplements are way better than whole foods when it comes to athletic performance. They also note that milk contains key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, in quantities that sports drinks can’t touch.

Here’s the skinny: Trained endurance cyclists exercised for 4 hours to complete exhaustion. Two hours later they consumed equal amounts of chocolate milk, Gatorade or Endurox, a popular post-recovery protein powder, and peddled again. Participants tested each product over three separate days. Researchers measured several factors, including time to exhaustion and heart rate.
Of particular interest? Chocolate milk proved just as effective, if not better, in terms of recovery than specialty sports drinks with the same number of calories. In fact, cyclists who drank chocolate milk during the second round of exercise biked about 50 percent longer than those who drank Endurox, and just as long as those who drank Gatorade.

By comparison, the findings suggest that chocolate milk has the perfect mix of carbohydrates and protein to help refuel tired muscles. Clearly, chocolate milk is far from magic, but research has shown that it performs as well or better than pricey recovery drinks. It also is loaded with nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, which are often lacking in a runner’s diet. Chocolate milk generally cost about one-third less that most sports drinks, and the taste, well, is that really up for discussion?

Related Articles: Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink?

Did you know that compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles? Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat to prevent dehydration. Plus, it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.

Move Over, Bach. Our Cows Like Chuck Berry

Dairy farmers have long suspected that playing music gets cows in the mood to make more milk. Now there’s research to back that claim, although its findings are inconclusive.

As early as 1930, researchers at the University of Wisconsin asked the Ingenues, an all-girl band, to serenade bovines at the school’s Madison-based dairy as part of an experiment to determine whether music boosted milk production. Little else but a photo, now part of the Wisconsin Historical Archives, was published. Seventy years later, a widely reported study by the University of Leicester in the U.K. found that cows produced 3 percent more milk when they listened to mellow music. Among their favorites: “Everybody Hurts,” by R.E.M., “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel and “What a Diff’rence a Day Made” by Aretha Franklin.

Slow and steady and 100 beats per minute seemed to get the milk flowing, the 2001 study found. Faster music had little effect, however. The jury is still out on exactly why, and it’s not likely we’ll ever know. Replicating a controlled, large-scale experiment needed to nail down actual science is through-the-roof expensive.

But one thing is certain: Calm, content cows produce more milk, music or no music at least from our experience (which helps explain why performers in England tested the theory at a local farm with their rendition of Shakespear’s comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor). The result? More milk.

A 2014 American music experiment proved more promising, however. That year, musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra visited the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary to play the violin, guitar and oboe for rescued animals Kayli, Maybelle, Mike and Maribeth. Amazingly, the typically shy cows fell for Bach and helped give birth to the Bovine Music Appreciation Society.

It’s hard to say whether Trinity Valley’s cows are that sophisticated. Admittedly, we’ve never tested Beethoven, Mozart, Bruckner or Brahms. Our barn radio plays Christian, country, rockabilly, and rhythm and blues because that’s what co-owner Branden Brown listens to most often.

Simply a guess, but their favorite artists are probably Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Patsy Cline, Amy Grant, Sandi Patty, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and George Strait in no particular order.

In all seriousness, however, it is important to note that cow comfort and high milk yields go hand in hand. Cows that are comfortable are less stressed, eat more, experience fewer health problems and are less susceptible to injury. The traditional methods for keeping cows happy aren’t complicated: feed them well, keep the temperature comfortable and give them room to move around, Brown says. “And if music keeps them mellow, well, ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ it is.”

Video Bovines Fall for Bach

MOOdy cows are never a good thing…
We milk our cows 2 to 3 times a day. And they actually like it. If cows aren’t milked regularly, they get agitated and grumpy because an overly full udder is uncomfortable.

We’ve Made It To New York City

The Modern Milkmen

"It’s always a treat to see them. I have to beat the ladies away from my door!" Check out these two modern day milkmen who are delivering fresh milk across our area. More:

Posted by CBS New York on Friday, February 17, 2017

What our milk get from the field to families in the Big Apple.

Trinity Valley Dairy has hit it big big as in Big Apple New York City big. So if you’re in the area and drink milk, white or chocolate, labeled Manhattan Milk Company, what’s inside actually is produced from our cows and bottled on our farm.

Manhattan Milk is a truck-to-table delivery service founded in 2007 when Frank Acosta and Matt Marone made it their mission to bring back the milkman. The iconic blast from the past has been a huge success. Deliveries to the Big Apple are made once a week to customers’ doorsteps and businesses, sometimes with a wink and always with a smile the same kind of service that appealed to people in the 1950s, although orders can now be made online and with a credit card.

Currently, Trinity bottles about 250 gallons of milk for Manhattan, and then ships it to New York City for weekly distribution to roughly about 100 people in the Big Apple.

Pass the chocolate...
People who ate the most chocolate a day — up to 3.5 ounces — had a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 23 percent lower risk of stroke than those who ate no chocolate. The researchers then lumped the data in with nine other studies that measured chocolate consumption and heart disease. The combined pool involved nearly 158,000 people.