Delicious milk is only part of the story

My name is Glen Herud and I started Happy Cow Milk Company in 2014. The mission was to create a kinder, fairer and greener dairy system. The past nine years have been a real rollercoaster journey.

As a third-generation dairy farmer, I grew up on a dairy farm. I loved cows and I loved farming.

But I didn’t love the way the dairy industry was changing. Around the world, traditional smaller family farms are becoming unviable and are being replaced by much bigger corporate-style farms.

This trend is affecting all aspects of the industry from animal welfare to staffing.

My options were to conform to the industrial dairy model or exit the dairy industry altogether.

There should be a third option.

I was determined to create a more ethical and sustainable dairy model.

I leased some land and built a mobile milking shed. I started an old-fashioned, low-intensity, pasture-based farm. I planted diverse pasture species and adopted regenerative farming practices.

I sold my milk in reusable glass bottles.

But the thing Happy Cow Milk became most known for was that I left all our calves with their mothers.

At this point, I was pretty chuffed. My customers were loyal and passionate. Together, it felt like we were changing something really important.

But I’d only solved the first part of the supply chain. And it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get milk to consumers affordably. The cost of processing and distributing the milk was too high.

My cows may have been happy, but my business wasn’t.

In 2018, I admitted defeat and closed the business.

Facebook 2018 Shutting Down Message

What happened next brought me to tears and changed my life.

My customers and a growing tribe of supporters from around the world sent me kind messages and propped me up financially so I could go back to the drawing board and continue the mission.

My experience was not unique.
I was contacted by many farmers around the world who had also tried to process and sell their milk.
Sustainable dairy has to be profitable dairy.

So, I set out to design a super-efficient, on-farm milk processing system designed to allow farmers to sell their milk profitably.

I turned to our loyal crowd of supporters and sold shares in Happy Cow Milk 2.0. With these funds, we developed a custom milk processing and dispensing system which connects to a powerful software platform.

It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m feeling good that we’ve developed a solution with no compromises. We’ve done it together. With the help of so many people who believed better dairy must be possible.

Happy Cow Milk has relaunched and we are now selling milk in Hamilton and Auckland, with Christchurch and Wellington coming soon.

When you buy Happy Cow Milk, you are supporting a bigger movement that is enabling great family farmers around the world to farm in a more ethical, sustainable way and stay profitable.

I believe in happy endings and this story is only beginning.

I love hearing from you, so please get in touch.

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