By modeling their work ethic before the men at the Recovery Center, and by providing vocational opportunities for those in their community, the staff of Sharpe Land & Cattle strives to implement Godly principles in every aspect of their business.
Heartland Dairy started production on April 7, 1997 with a $7 million dairy operation. The Dairy provides supervised work for men and women housed at Heartland Recovery Centers and job opportunities for people in the surrounding communities.
The Dairy experienced unprecedented growth from its original 20 cows to more than 3,000 cows at the end of 1998. Only four months after its launch, it became the largest dairy in the state. Currently the Dairy has about 4,500 cows milking, with several thousand more cows in the fields.
The Dairy utilizes the most cutting-edge technology available to date. It houses one of the first rotary carousels in the United States, a technique that has been widely used in New Zealand. Using this technology, the Dairy is able to milk up to 60 cows at one time. The process is ongoing; cows enter the carousel in single file and occupy individual stalls. Once the cows are on the carousel, employees disinfect the milking utensils and the cow’s udder, attach the machine, and milk the cow.
After the rotation of the carousel, the cow exits and another cow is herded onto it in place of the one that has just exited. The entire process takes 8-10 minutes per cow, milking approximately 350 cows per hour.
Through this process, the Dairy is able to produce 24,000 gallons of milk a day per 3,000 cows. The milk is sold to companies in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, who produce bottled milk, cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese and ice cream. The Dairy also operates a 20-cow carousel in the nursery facility, and has recently added a bottling plant -- Heartland Creamery -- to its list of ventures.
By bringing an operation of this magnitude to Northeastern Missouri, the Dairy has been able to provide positive economic growth to the area.
In keeping with its goal to provide work for those in the surrounding community, the Dairy employs a total of 60 men and women from the Recovery Center and the surrounding community to milk cows, feed baby calves, raise heifers, and feed cattle. Another benefit to the community is the tax dollars poured directly back into the area where the Dairy is located, and into the State of Missouri. Heartland is committed to return abundantly to its community.
Besides continuing its extraordinary growth, a loftier goal for the Dairy is maintaining a high standard of work ethic, working with excellence, and instilling this standard in its employees. It is this focus that sets Heartland Dairy apart from other large dairies in the United States and fosters the continuing prosperity of the Dairy.
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