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The new generation of milk making

The Clover Stornetta company is one of the fastest growing dairy co-ops in the state.


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One company, one man and one product. Apart, they are merely separate drops in a bucket. But together they are part of new, dynamic group of individuals making a difference in how we get our favorite dairy products.

Jarrid Bordessa and Bob Carmozz are the new generation of dairymen in California. Both are part of multi-generational farms on the North Coast of California and both supply one of the fastest growing dairy co-ops in the state--the Clover Stornetta Co. The company started in 1977 with five Clover Dairy families partnering with Al Stornetta and his bottling plan, thus creating Clover Stornetta. Today the operation is still run by the same families, along with 21 family farms, including Bob's and Jarrid's.

"That is a real point of pride for us working with those family farms. They are a fascinating group of people. A lot of them are third and fourth generation families that have located to this beautiful area. It's a wonderful area called Sonoma in the North Bay. It's a natural greenbelt for dairies," Marcus Benedetti, president of Clover, said.

Progressive, innovative and very successful, Clover Stornetta has helped its dairy farmers remain competitive, thanks to a system it called "the North Coast Excellence Program." That means that milk is independently certified to come from cows humanely treated while being farmed on land using sustainable practices. All of that makes for some pretty happy farmers, customers and, yes, happy cows.

Continuing the tradition of supporting family operations and farms across California is a special man named Michal. But around Palo Alto, he's known by a different moniker. "Michal the Milkman," is how he's known around Palo Alto. Everyday, Michal can be found hand delivering dairy goods throughout the Peninsula and San Francisco Bay Area, breathing life into a nearly obsolete American tradition.

Early every morning, Michal loads his truck and takes to the neighborhood streets delivering milk, butter, eggs, yogurt and an assortment of dairy products to homes across the Silicon Valley, doing so like a Norman Rockwell portrait.

Michal leaves Clover Stornetta milk cartons in the hands of young children who scamper to their front door at his call, and when his clients are not at home he places orders on front porches, by back doors, under shady trees and sometimes right in the refrigerator.

"People really open up and share their lives with you," Michal said. "I don't call it work; I call it getting up and going to visit with my friends."

From cows to cartons to customers, California's milk business is in good hands--proving that great milk does indeed start with great cows and great people.

For more information about Michal the Milkman, visit www.michalthemilkman.com

For more information, visit www.cloverpetaluma.com


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