The SMC Guarantee
At South Mountain Creamery we guarantee - Responsible, Sustainable, Great Tasting Food for You and Your Family.
The Small Family Farm is an American Value, it’s a part of our history of sustaining ourselves, for being independent, loving our land and producing food in accordance with our values. That means taking care of our land so that it will continue producing for the next generation, caring for our animals and treating them humanely because it’s the right thing to do and producing the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious food by utilizing only the best practices in accordance with all of the above.
At South Mountain Creamery we raise our calves from birth. We milk our own cows and process everything right on the farm.
We grow our own crops to feed our animals -- dairy, beef and chicken and provide them with the best available living conditions.
Our cows have access to pasture or to their loafing shed. Our chickens are housed to organic standards, with outdoor access and plenty of sunlight. Instead of one hundred thousand chickens in our house, we have sixteen thousand, so they can stretch their legs and stretch their wings.
We pay careful attention on the farm side to soil conservation and biological preservation and development of our soils. We plant cover crops to build soil organic matter and protect the soil from erosion. We have implemented state of the art techniques for collecting, storing and applying our manure fertilizer. All nutrients are recycled on the farm and handled in a manner that is environmentally sound and protective of our waterways.
At South Mountain Creamery, we are transparent in everything we do.
Our farm is open to the public 7 days week. You can come see the cows milked, the calves fed, even the mothers giving birth.
We give back to our community through Ag education. We have tours daily for school children and adults alike.*
We are committed to continue the legacy of farming through education and also through land preservation. All of the Sowers’ land – now over two thousand acres -- is preserved forever in Maryland’s Land Trust. The Sowers’ farmland will never be developed or used for any other purpose – ever - but farming. The goal is, in fact, that it never ever leave the Sowers’ family.
Specifics On Our Practices:
SMC cares for our environment. In all of our farming and business practices, we make it our top priority to cut down on waste, recycle our resources, and utilize clean energy. Here are a few of the ways we’re minimizing our carbon footprint:
- One of our owners, Ben Sowers, is on the board of the Catoctin Soil Conservation District, keeping up-to-date on relevant issues that affect our soil, and technologies and tools to save our soil for future generations. Much of what is learned during his participation on this Committee is then translated into our farm practices.
- We recycle our milk’s glass bottles to cut down drastically on waste by saving what could be 17,000 plastic bottles weekly!
- Our Non-GMO soybeans, once harvested, are put through a soybean press to separate the oil from the hard shell. The shells are used for meal for our cows, and the oil is then dispelled to create bio-diesel which fuels our tractors and farm vehicles.
- Our delivery routes are carefully mapped out to cut down on unnecessary fuel usage and keep our trucks (and drivers!) running as healthily and efficiently as possible.
- We use completely energy-efficient lights in all of our office buildings, and shut down lights and electronic devices when they’re not in use.
- Our manure injector keeps nutrients in the soil and prevents runoff.
We know that our impact on the earth will affect all future generations. Visit our Sustainability Practices page to learn more about our Sustainable Efforts.
Our animals are treated Responsibly and Humanely.
From the time they’re born, we treat our animals with respect and care. Our animals are never given growth hormones and are only treated with antibiotics when they’re sick. If we do have to give a sick animal antibiotics, the animal is removed from the milking line (the milk is dumped) until they’ve recovered and the antibiotics have cleared from their systems. Our herd manager closely monitors all of our cows’ health on a daily basis, and works with an on-call vet to ensure they’re kept in heallthy. Our cows are given “free choice feeding,” meaning they’re free to roam our pastures and feed on our luscious grass or they may choose silage that we grow on our farm with Non-GMO seeds. We trim their hooves twice a month, soak their hooves to keep them strong, and their free-stall barn is full of rubber (soft) beds covered in lime dust in order to cut down on germs and keep them comfortable. Our chickens are cage-free and Certified Humane (R). We do all we can to ensure cleanliness, comfort, and freedom for the duration of our animals’ lives. We see this not only as part of our business, but as our responsibility. We strive to do the best work using the finest resources.
At SMC, we know the milkman is a nostalgic figure – and we love that about our business. However, our continuing mission is to utilize modern and cutting edge tools and technology. From our high-efficiency tractors, to our manure injector, to our robotic milking machine that milks 110 cows twice daily – we are up-to-date and advantaged my modern farming techniques.
We deliver All-Natural, Fresh Products Straight to You.
We keep it simple and fresh. How fresh? Glad you asked. We milk our cows twice daily. After each milking and within 24 hours, the milk goes straight from our cows into our state-regulated dairy production plant that's less than 50 yards away. When we process our milk, we carefully pasteurize it to preserve its healthy nutrients. Less than 24 hours after that, it’s made into our delicious array of dairy products: milk, ice cream, yogurt, butter, and more. And 24 hours after that, it’s on a delivery truck straight to your home. And that's just our dairy. With all our products, we keep it fresh, and we keep it natural. If you can read all the ingredients on our nutritional labels, we’re happy. We believe natural = more delicious + a longer, fuller life for our friends, families, and earth.
**South Mountain Creamery is responsible for the growth and harvesting of all of our non-GMO crops, reproduction and management of all herds, and the pasteurization and processing of our fluid milk and other dairy products. We also handle the packaging, marketing, and sale of all our SMC products. Our production plant is located just feet away from milking parlor and farm store right here in Middletown, MD. We believe that the freshest products come from a family of owners, staff, and customers that are all committed to a healthier and better lifestyle.**
We get products straight from the source.
At South Mountain Creamery, we work with a variety of vendors to provide you with an extensive selection of quality products. And we ask each of them the same questions: Do you use all-natural ingredients? Do you know the source of your food, and are those sources fresh and produced using humane and sustainable practices? Can we read the ingredients on your label? Will this product enhance our quality of life? If the answer is yes, then we will label the product as SMC Certified, your assurance that we’ve done our due diligence in finding the best products to offer you.
At South Mountain Creamery we are a company that is driven to create a better, sustainable future in our food services, in our products, and in our home delivery to you – from our soil to your home and your family. This is the SMC Guarantee.
Note: In compliance with the state of Maryland, we do not sell raw milk to customers. Click here to learn more.
*Simply call us ahead of time to book a guided tour and come any day for a self guided tour.