The McCarty Family Farms team, from left: Ken, Clay, Tom, Mike and David.
McCarty Farms solely supplies Dannon yogurt plant
You could call Clay McCarty a benevolent dairy case stalker. Every time he walks into a grocery store, large or small, he heads directly to the dairy case and makes a beeline for the stacks of yogurt cups. He isn’t looking for odd flavors or new varieties—nor is he a yogurt junkie.
Rather, he’s picking up the Dannon yogurt cups and packs, scanning each for the plant locator code. His quarry: PLT 48.
That’s the code for yogurt produced in Dannon’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility. All of the milk that is used to produce that yogurt comes from McCarty Family Farms’ 7,200 cows in northwest Kansas.
Yep, all of it.
In Europe, Dannon’s parent company, Danone, has long championed its arrangement with dairy farms. "One of their core corporate values is to have a direct relationship with their dairy farmers," McCarty says. "They call it ‘cow to cup.’ They value their dairymen as true business partners."
So since April 2012, the McCartys—parents Tom and Judy and sons Mike, Clay, David and Ken—have been the sole supplier of milk for the Texas plant. Three tankers of condensed milk solids leave Rexford, Kan., each day and make their way 650 miles south to Texas.
The unique arrangement, among many other innovations, has garnered the McCartys the recognition of being named the 2013 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year. The award, now in its 15th year, is sponsored annually by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Dairy Today magazine.
The family will be honored at Dairy Forum 2013, sponsored by IDFA, in Orlando, Fla., later this month.
McCarty Family Farms received two nominations for the award. The first came from Dale Rodman, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture; the second from The Dannon Company, Inc., itself.
"Tom and Judy McCarty took a risk and moved from rural Pennsylvania to the plains of Kansas in 1999 to give their four sons the opportunity to fulfill their goals to be dairy farmers," Rodman says.
"Thirteen years later, McCarty Family Farms has become an innovative leader in the Kansas dairy industry and a key component in three western Kansas communities, creating steady jobs that are a boost to rural economies," he says.
- January 2013