Celebrating June Dairy Month: Rock House Creamery
Today, we celebrate June dairy month to pay homage to a vital component of a healthy diet (you need three daily servings of dairy per USDA guidelines), and to honor the dairy farm families and workers across our nation.
Rock House Creamery is a family farm, owned and operated by the Kelly family, who purchased the farm from the Johnston family who had been running the dairy since 1940. This year, Rock House Creamery’s chocolate milk won a Flavor of Georgia award. With a deep legacy and superior products, we wondered what drives operations.
We talked to two of the members of the Rock House Creamery team, vital to its operation – Jessica Kennedy, creamery manager; and Haley Gilleland, group tours and wholesale distribution.
What does your typical day look like?
“My typical day would start by sanitizing work surfaces and equipment and testing the milk for antibiotics processing days are spent heating and cooling milk, cleaning, preparing for cheese making or bottling. Every day is different at the farm. We have a schedule of course but I have to adapt to unforeseen equipment issues, field trips tours and visitors.” – Jessica
“I have learned there are no “typical” days! Some days I am showing field trip groups around the farm, and other days I am on the road going to different restaurants and grocers for sales, sharing the story of our farm.” – Haley
What is your favorite part of the job?
“Getting to watch students on field trips who have never been to a farm pet our calves, get eggs out of the chicken coup, see the fruits and vegetables we grow in the garden, and learn about where their food comes from.” – Haley
“My favorite part is educating the visitors that come through and perfecting our products. I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient and make our products even better.” – Jessica
Why do you do what you do?
“My love of animal husbandry led me to the dairy industry and I have since grown to love the people the farmers and animals. I want to get the true dairy story out there. Debunk the myths and share facts about the wholesome foods dairy provides. Rock House has given me the opportunity to hone my dairy nerdiness even more by becoming a cheese maker. I love farm life and helping solve problems on both the production and processing sides of our farm.” – Jessica
How does your background help you on the job?
“Studying animal science in graduate school taught me the importance of hard work, understanding the details as well as the big picture in various projects, and how to effectively communicate with consumers, taking scientific information and making it understandable. Also, my 4-H background as a camp counselor prepared me well for coordinating and helping lead our field trips and farm tours.” – Haley
Thank You Dairy farm families!
Today, and in celebration of June dairy month, we thank Rock House Creamery and the thousands of other dairy farms and families carrying on the tradition of providing our communities with delicious and healthy dairy products.