Grass-fed might be the movement of the moment for some, but for the Joseph family, it’s become their entire mission.
But that’s just the short story. The longer story spans 12 years, and consists of the usual hard work and challenges that accompany the average farmer’s plight and will to survive and succeed. It began in 2003, when Tim and Laura Joseph purchased a 250-acre dairy farm. They had zero experience (had never even milked a cow!), but received a speedy education when 64 mooing animals trotted off a trailer onto their land one year later. Before they knew it, the Josephs were conventional dairy farmers on a serious mission to adopt organic practices. “We’d always felt that organic was more in line with our values and what we considered important when it came to food product,” Tim told us.
After transitioning their cows to a 100% grass-fed diet, they noticed very swift improvement in the animals’ health. And it wasn’t just the cows that benefited from a strictly grass-fed diet—it was also the customers who now received a more nutritious product, as well as the farm, which benefited from the increasingly fertile land that resulted from the positive impacts of grazing.
In light of their success, the Josephs started looking into further expanding their business to more than just milk. When the opportunity arose for them to renovate and convert a neighbor’s old barbecue restaurant into a yogurt-making facility, Tim leaped for the chance to try something new. But it was probably the worst time for the Josephs to take a chance on a yogurt company, as the economic recession of 2009 had hit them hard. “With our last open credit card, we bought a 30-gallon pasteurizer, got licensed by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, and sold our first products on May 2, 2009.” After countless rounds of taste testing by their four young sons, a crowd-pleasing yogurt recipe was created: Maple Hill Creamery’s ‘Cream On Top’ original flavor, which has now become their most popular product.
Due to the success of the creamery, and the hard work involved to keep it afloat, the Josephs made the difficult decision to sell their family farm—their focus now solely on Maple Hill Creamery. “The most rewarding part is that we’ve been able to help other family farms prosper and continue dairy farming in New York state,” Tim said. “There’s literally nothing more rewarding than a farmer thanking you for saving his farm. It chokes me up every time because our family truly knows what it feels like to struggle through that experience.”
Today Maple Hill is the only third-party certified, grass-fed dairy brand in the U.S, meaning their cows and calves are never fed grain or corn and eat a 100%-forage diet all of the time. “Since working with FreshDirect, our brand awareness in the New York City area has grown tremendously and customers genuinely appreciate the fact that we’re a certified 100% grass-fed dairy production company. To us, business ‘success’ is defined by a company’s values and production practices, but also by the satisfaction of the customers who purchase our product!”
Shop Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass-Fed Organic Yogurt here.