A return to tradition: Pandemic forces local business to adjust

A return to tradition: Pandemic forces local business to adjust
Kyle Valentini

Edward Keim raises Guernsey cows on his dairy farm near Wilmot. Guernsey milk contains more protein, cream, vitamin D, vitamin A and calcium than average white milk. The unique golden color of Guernsey milk comes from an unusually high content of orange beta-carotene.


Paint Valley Farms Creamery is a small group of farmers committed to producing the highest quality, best-tasting milk and dairy products possible. The best milk begins with healthy cows and goats.

Paint Valley Farms uses alternative, sustainable farming methods because they are passionate about their cows and goats and the environment that is their livelihood.

While no one could have imagined the impact the novel coronavirus would have on the economy, Paint Valley Farms was determined to continue production and the purchasing of milk from local farmers.

As local coffee shops were shuttered to curb the spread of the virus, Paint Valley Farms, a dairy provider for these local businesses, saw a 30% drop in sales. With no way to bring the excess milk to market before it reached its expiration date, Paint Valley Farms increased cheese production so no milk would be wasted.

Paint Valley Farms variety of cheeses are unlike any other in the region. They offer cheddar and mozzarella made with milk from the hardy and docile Guernsey cow. The high-butterfat, high-protein milk with a high concentration of beta-carotene lends a creamy flavor to any cheese. Paint Valley Farms also offers cheddar made with half cow milk and half goat milk.

A variety of goat milk cheeses including chevre, brined feta, gouda, vegetable, pepper jack and Mediterranean herb are available.

What started as a joint venture in 2012 to create a market for goat milk without having to transport milk to an outside processor grew quickly, mostly by word of mouth from satisfied customers, to include a full line of goat and cow dairy products that are now available in a host of local retailers in the region.

If your favorite store is not carrying Paint Valley Farms products, it’s time you asked.

Working directly with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Paint Valley Farms developed a cheese-making and dairy-bottling facility, the only one of its kind in the region.

The generator-operated facility is equipped to process, pasteurize and bottle both goat and cow milk along with cream.

Paint Valley Farms offers Guernsey whole milk with a creamy, old-fashioned taste and 2% milk. Whole mostly-Holstein milk is offered along with 2% and skim. In addition Paint Valley Farms offers rich chocolate milk sweetened with organic cane sugar. And of course goat milk, the product that started it all, is available.

Paint Valley Farms’ milk tastes better because it is minimally processed. “Everyone knows you can’t buy raw milk directly from the farm anymore,” said Aden Keim, the plant manager at Paint Valley Farms. “This is as close as you can get.”

In regular pasteurization, the standard method used by large dairy operations, milk is heated to a high temperature for a short time (161 F for 15 seconds). In vat pasteurization, the Paint Valley Farms method, milk is heated in small batches to a lower temperature for a longer period of time (145 F for 30 minutes) and then rapidly cooled.

Paint Valley Farms does not homogenize its milk. Homogenization is a process that takes any milk that has cream in it and breaks down the cream particles so they are the same-size particles as the rest of the milk. This is done by forcing the milk through a series of screens at high pressure. This process keeps the milk from separating and the cream from rising to the top.

“Milk that is not homogenized will separate,” Keim said. “You can see the cream float to the top. You get used to shaking it before you pour it. We believe nonhomogenized milk is more nutritious, easier to digest and it tastes better."

Paint Valley Farms is not alone in their thinking. Studies have shown this to be the case, and by leaving food in as whole of a state as possible, nature has the space to do what it intended.

Paint Valley Farms products can be found at many local retailers.

Wholesale products are available at the processing plant. To learn more about Paint Valley Farms, call them at 330-359-0304 or email paintvalleyfarms@gmail.com.

Paint Valley Farms’ processing facility is located at 13754 Lawnfield St. SW in Beach City.

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