Agriculture Commissioner James Comer today officially unveiled "Udderly Kentucky" milk, a new Kentucky Proud brand launched today in 32 Walmart stores in central and south-central Kentucky. "Udderly Kentucky" milk is 100% sourced from Kentucky dairy farms and 100% processed in Kentucky. In addition, a 7-cent-per-gallon premium will be returned directly to every participating Kentucky dairy farmer.
"Udderly Kentucky" milk is trademarked by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and processed by Prairie Farms Dairy in Somerset, Kentucky. This facility processes milk from 105 Kentucky dairy farmers in the region. Prairie Farms is offering "Udderly Kentucky" milk in whole, 2%, 1%, and skim varieties in gallon sizes.
"This initiative has the potential for more direct farm impact than any program in Kentucky Proud history," Comer said. "A lot of people don't know that milk that is processed in Kentucky may still be milk that is shipped in from surrounding states. I want to encourage all Kentuckians to seek out the Udderly Kentucky' label and buy a product that puts money directly in the hands of our own dairy farmers."
"When Commissioner Comer and his staff suggested this partnership with Walmart, we knew it was right for these farm families and for the Kentucky community that we serve," said Tino Soto, a market manager who has served as regional buyer for Walmart. "Our company has exactly the same mission as your Commissioner: Increase farm impact and net farm income on our shelves. Udderly Kentucky' is one more addition to our line of Kentucky Proud products that range from Purnell's breakfast sausage and WindStone Farms jam to Weisenberger Mill flour mixes, central Kentucky produce, and much more."
"Prairie Farms is a processing facility owned by farmers, so this is a natural fit for us," said Mike Chandler of Prairie Farms. "We work with more than 100 area dairy farmers, and I'm so excited we will directly impact them by offering Kentuckians a product that goes from the farm to the table while never leaving the borders of the Commonwealth."
Commissioner Comer said "Udderly Kentucky" milk was soft-launched two weeks ago in the initial 32 Walmart stores to assure that all shelves were set and the distribution pipeline was flowing efficiently. The test markets for "Udderly Kentucky" milk included Walmart stores in Barbourville, Bardstown, Berea, Campbellsville, Columbia, Corbin, Danville, Frankfort, Glasgow, Georgetown, Harrodsburg, Hardinsburg, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Leitchfield, Lexington, London, Manchester, Middlesboro, Monticello, Nicholasville, Richmond, Somerset, Stanford, Tompkinsville, Williamsburg, and Winchester. A list of locations where "Udderly Kentucky" milk is sold can be found at www.UdderlyKY.com.
Three participating Kentucky dairy farm families are featured in initial marketing materials. Tony Compton of Fairplay in Adair County; Dante Carpenter and his daughter, Elise, from Russell Springs in Russell County; and Patrick Patterson from Long Cedar Dairy in Nancy promote the product in advertising and store materials. More Kentucky farmers will be involved in subsequent marketing efforts.
Funds for marketing were made available through the Kentucky Proud program, which receives its funding from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board. The Board works to diversify Kentucky's farm economy and provide more opportunities for growth. The number of dairy producers in Kentucky has declined by almost 50 percent since 2000.
For more information on "Udderly Kentucky," participating farmers, and benefits of the program, visit www.UdderlyKY.com.