PHOTOS: Comer predicts Udderly Kentucky will expand state’s dairy herd

Walmart to sell 100-percent Kentucky milk

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 8, 2013) — 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.

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He made the announcement at Walmart in the Hamburg area of Lexington.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, third from left, Walmart regional buyer and market manager Tino Soto, left, cut the ribbon on Udderly Kentucky. They are accompanies by representatives from Kentucky dairy farms and Prairie Farms, the facility that will process the milk.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, third from left, Walmart regional buyer and market manager Tino Soto, left, cut the ribbon on Udderly Kentucky. They are accompanies by representatives from Kentucky dairy farms and Prairie Farms, the facility that will process the milk.

Udderly Kentucky milk is 100 percent sourced from Kentucky dairy farms and completely processed in Kentucky. A 7-cent-per-gallon premium will be returned directly to every participating Kentucky dairy farmer.

Comer said he hopes the project will help increase the number of dairy farmers in Kentucky, which has dramatically declined since 2000. There were 1,500 in 2000; today just over 800, he said.

Udderly Kentucky milk is trademarked by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and processed by Prairie Farms Dairy in Somerset, Ky. The facility processes milk from 105 Kentucky dairy farmers in the region. Prairie Farms is offering Udderly Kentucky milk in whole, 2 percent, 1 percent 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 Comer proposed the 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.”

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 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.

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