Alabaster farm adds raw pet milk to product line
Published 1:25 pm Monday, February 20, 2023
By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter
ALABASTER – Alleluia Acres Heritage Farm, operated by Cam and Ahna Frye of Alabaster, has acquired several Guernsey dairy cows and has added raw milk to their line of organic products.
Guernseys are a hard-to-find breed, and part of the reason for seeking out that specific breed is the nutritional value of their milk—A2A2 milk, which contains a protein that is thought to be easier to digest than that found in regular cows’ milk.
“Guernseys contain more Beta Carotene in their milk, so it actually makes it a gold color,” Ahna Frye explained. “In the summertime, of course, when they are eating more grass, it’s even golder but it’s not your traditional white milk like in the grocery store. It is the old line of protein.”
Because the milk is sold in raw form, it is only sold as pet milk and not for human consumption, per the commercial license requirements—but that has not slowed the demand for the Guernsey milk. People stop by the farm on a daily basis and purchase milk by the half-gallon.
“We believe that our customer base should get to have a choice, and raw milk is the most natural form it’s in,” Ahna said.
The Fryes did not initially set out to get into the dairy business—they were already selling a wide range of products including pasture-raised pork and chicken, raw milk soap and pastured eggs—but shortly after their son, Holland, turned 1 in 2021, while the Fryes were utilizing the milk for their family, they realized what a demand there was for raw milk in the area.
Cam and Ahna purchased their first Guernsey cow from a breeder in Florida who had brought her herd down from Vermont, where some of the original lines of the breed are found. Following a post on the farm’s Facebook page, word of mouth spread and people became interested in purchasing the milk.
“Everybody was asking us if we were going to get into the raw dairy business at that point,” Ahna said. “We went and we purchased two more girls last fall. We had so much interest in people getting raw dairy from us that we ended up purchasing two more girls this spring from Tennessee, and then we will complete our herd for now with one more girl that will come out of the Tennessee Valley as well.”
That will make a total of six dairy cows, three of which are currently producing. Ahna said the cows produce milk for about 10 months at a time. On average, the Guernsey line will make 3 to 5 gallons of milk per day—smaller batches than one would get from a traditional dairy cow.
There is now such a long line of customers that those wanting to purchase the milk must fill out an online form to get on the waiting list.
“I tell her all the time, one thing my grandfather used to always say was, ‘The best way to be successful in life no matter what you do is to find a need and fill it,’” said Cam. “We’re continuing to find that there’s still a need. It’s daily right now, people signing up for the waiting list.”
Aside from the business component, the animals have filled an emotional need for Ahna as well. She said that as a little girl, she would constantly beg her dad for a horse.
“If I had realized how much I like dairy cows, I would have been begging for that all along because they fill my need for a horse,” she said. “You know, horses are loving and they come up to you and they are giant creatures. These dairy cows are the same way. Our big girl Ferrari, she’ll come up and put her head on your shoulder or she’ll give you a lick on your cheek.”
Anyone interested in getting on the waiting list to purchase milk may sign up online at AlleluiaAcresHeritageFarm.com. Alternatively, the Fryes may be reached on the official Alleluia Acres Heritage Farm Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.