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Founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery Given Vision Leadership Award

Albert Straus Recognized for Pioneering the Organic Milk Movement in the United States

Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery, was awarded one of this year’s Vision Leadership Awards by the Specialty Food Association for spearheading the organic milk movement in the United States in the early 1990s. The Straus family farm was the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. A family-owned and operated business, the Straus Family Creamery was the first 100 percent organic creamery in the United States.

The Specialty Food Association honors industry frontrunners who have gone above and beyond in advancing food standards by creating social, economic and environmental impact through innovation and vision. Two awards are given in each of the three categories: Business, Citizenship and Vision Leadership. The six recipients received the awards during a special reception at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” said Straus, who in addition to being CEO of Straus Family Creamery, still operates his own dairy farm. “More importantly, I am pleased that it shines a spotlight on the important work of leveraging organic family farming to revitalize rural communities everywhere. I encourage farmers and ranchers in rural areas throughout the world to learn about the positive impact organic farming can have on protecting the environment, mitigating climate change and improving the health for future generations,” Straus added.

Members of Specialty Food Association and others in the specialty food industry made nominations for the leadership awards. National Supplier Relationship Manager Bob Meyer of United Natural Foods said that nominating Albert Straus was an easy choice. “He is a rock star, and he changed the industry.” Meyer added it was an honor to nominate him, and he’s ecstatic that he won.

A panel of judges composed of industry experts and influencers selected the honorees from more than 50 nominees across the three categories. Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association said, “In our growing industry, leaders like these are paving the way for other companies to succeed and become recognized names. It’s our honor to acknowledge their achievements through the Leadership Awards.”

Straus Family Creamery has a longstanding commitment to sustaining family farming. When Straus converted his family’s dairy to organic production in 1994, becoming the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi, he pioneered a model that reflects the true costs of milk production and promotes sustainable land stewardship. Founding the Creamery the same year, Straus sought to create a market for local, organic milk, and develop a community of organic dairy farmers in the region. Today, more than 80 percent of the dairy farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties are certified organic. Straus Family Creamery continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities and protect the environment.

About Straus Family Creamery

Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. Based in Marshall, CA, the Creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus dairy. Straus Family Creamery sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace. Learn more at www.strausfamilycreamery.com.

About the Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,400 members in the U.S. and abroad with resources, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at www.specialtyfood.com.

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

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The first step was to decide on an appropriate chassis, or “running gear.” Eventually I chose to go with the real deal, a wooden-wheeled gear with leaf springs rather than pneumatic tires. Wooden wheels last forever with care and are functional and look the part. I bought an antique delivery wagon that had been left outdoors as an ornament. I was able to reuse some of the wheels and wooden parts of the running gear.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

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In these days of standardization and the extensive use of metal wheels you might think there is little call for the centuries old craft of wheelwrighting, but the many demands on the skills of Gus Kitson in Suffolk, England, show this to be very far from the truth. Despite many years experience of renovating all types of wagons and wheels even Gus can still be surprised by the types of items for which new or restored wooden wheels are required.

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

A Pony-Powered Garden Cart

A Pony-Powered Garden Cart

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One of the challenges I constantly face using draft ponies is finding appropriately sized equipment. Mya is a Shetland-Welsh cross, standing at 11.2 hands. Most manure spreaders are big and heavy and require a team of horses. I needed something small and light and preferably wheeled to minimize impact to the land. My husband and I looked around our budding small farm for something light, wheeled, cheap, and available, and we quickly noticed our Vermont-style garden cart.

Planting Calendar and Other Diagrams

From Dusty Shelves: A 1943 calendar for seeding your vegetable garden.

How To Prune a Formal Hedge

How To Prune A Formal Hedge

This guide to hedge-trimming comes from The Pruning Answer Book by Lewis Hill and Penelope O’Sullivan. Q: What’s the correct way to shear a formal hedge? A: The amount of shearing depends upon the specific plant and whether the hedge is formal or informal. You’ll need to trim an informal hedge only once or twice a year, although more vigorous growers, such as privet and ninebark, may need additional clippings.

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

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Making a pair of tongs was a milestone for a lot of blacksmiths. In times gone past a Journeyman Smith meant just that, a smith that went upon a journey to learn more skills before taking a masters test. When the smith appeared at the door of a prospective employer, he/she would be required to demonstrate their skills. A yard stick for this was to make a pair of tongs.

On The Anatomy of Thrift Fat & Slat

On the Anatomy of Thrift Part 3: Fat & Salt

On the Anatomy of Thrift is an instructional series Farmrun created with Farmstead Meatsmith. Their principal intention is instruction in the matters of traditional pork processing. In a broader and more honest context, OAT is a deeply philosophical manifesto on the subject of eating animals. Fat & Salt is the third and final video in the series. It is the conceptual conclusion to the illustrated, narrated story that weaves throughout the entire series, and deals instructionally in the matters of preserving pork.

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

You are probably thinking why would I want to dry up a doe? If the plan is to rebreed the doe, then she will need time to rebuild her stamina. Milk production takes energy. Kid production takes energy, too. If the plan is to have a fresh goat in March, then toward the end of October start to dry her up. The first thing to do is cut back on her grain. Grain fuels milk production.

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

Rebuilding the New Idea Manure Spreader

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To select a Model 8, 10 or 10A for rebuilding, if you have a few to choose from – All New Idea spreaders have the raised words New Idea, Coldwater, Ohio on the bull gear. The No. 8 is being rebuilt in many areas due to the shortage of 10A’s and because they are still very popular. The 10A is the most recent of the spreaders and all three can be rebuilt. The 10 and 10A are the most popular for rebuilding as parts are available for putting these spreaders back into use.

The Horsedrawn Mower Book

Removing the Wheels from a McCormick Deering No. 9 Mower

How to remove the wheels of a No. 9 McCormick Deering Mower, an excerpt from The Horsedrawn Mower Book.

Building an Inexpensive Pole Barn

Building an Inexpensive Pole Barn

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The inside of the barn can be partitioned into stalls of whatever size we need, using portable panels secured to the upright posts that support the roof. We have a lot of flexibility in use for this barn, making several large aisles or a number of smaller stalls. We can take the panels out or move them to the side for cleaning the barn with a tractor, or for using the barn the rest of the year for machinery.

Hand Plucking Poultry

Hand Plucking Poultry

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I confess that I am cold-hearted and cheap. Though I love raising poultry, I hate spending time and money anywhere but on my little farm. So I process at home. If you are only raising a few birds for yourself, say 25 or 30 at a time, I recommend having a party and doing it all by hand. My journey backward from machines to hands started with a chance encounter with a Kenyan chicken grower visiting the United States. He finishes 15,000 broilers each year.

The Milk and Human Kindness Stanchion Floor

The Milk and Human Kindness: Plans for an Old Style Wooden Stanchion Floor

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The basic needs that we are addressing here are as follows: To create a sunny, airy (not drafty), dry, convenient, accessible place to bring in our cow or cows, with or without calves, to be comfortably and easily secured for milking and other purposes such as vet checks, AI breeding, etc. where both you and your cow feel secure and content. A place that is functional, clean, warm and inviting in every way.

McCormick Deering/International No 7 vs no 9

McCormick Deering/International: No. 7 versus No. 9

McCormick Deering/International’s first enclosed gear model was the No. 7, an extremely successful and highly popular mower of excellent design.

How To Prune

From Dusty Shelves: Pruning Guide from 1917

Journal Guide