Fresh Yogurt, Really Fresh
Country View Dairy in Northeast Iowa's Fayette County is the state's only on farm yogurt shop. Dave and Carolee Rapson have been milking about 150 Holsteins since 2002 when they moved to Hawkeye from Michigan. In 2009, when the prices they were paid for milk hit all time lows and feed prices tripled, they knew they needed to diversify to stay in business. After much research, the opted for yogurt. they started making it in 2011 and have expanded from 15 stores in Iowa to 200 retail locations in seven states.
The entire process takes 24 hours from cow to finished carton. The Rapson family milks their cows three times a day and the milk is sent through a 200 foot pipe that connects the milking parlor to the processing facility. This spring,
they opened an on-site store that also sells soft-serve yogurt. While in the store, customers are able to watch through an observation window as the yogurt is being made.