In this episode of the Progressive Dairy Podcast, hear about a nonprofit creamery in Chewelah, Washington, that was started “for the community, by the community.” Host Kimmi Devaney visits with Stacy and Virginia Thomas – a husband and wife team who own and operate one of the three local dairies currently shipping their milk to Columbia Community Creamery. They both do a lot more for the creamery than simply shipping their milk there, and in this episode, you will learn all about what those roles look like, how and why the creamery started and the role it has played in strengthening their local community while providing a more direct connection to local agriculture.

This episode is brought to you by Dairy Management Inc.

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Season 6, Episode 6

Here is a breakdown of the episode:

  • [~1:50] Why the community wanted to start a creamery 
  • [~4:10] Why the board chose to form a nonprofit
  • [~5:45] How a nonprofit creamery operates differently than the processors that most people in the dairy industry are familiar with
  • [~7:15] About the three dairies shipping milk to the creamery
  • [~8:30] The role employees and members of the three dairies play in the creamery’s success
  • [~12:10] A description of the creamery’s products
  • [~14:25] About the new a milk dispenser in the creamery’s store
  • [~16:45] Their process for determining where to sell their products, aside from the creamery’s store
  • [~18:50] A2A2 genetics
  • [~21:30] The community’s response to the creamery
  • [~23:50] How the creamery has “energized” and “reinvigorated” the local dairy industry
  • [~29:10] Stacy and Virginia share what they enjoy most about being part of the creamery
  • [~30:30] Future education and outreach
  • [~32:10] Mentors and other helpful resources
  • [~36:20] How the creamery has helped the three dairies involved prioritize work-life balance
  • [~37:40] Rapid-fire questions

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