Elon Dining Heads to the Farm
Caroline Redick-Sustainability Coordinator
Recently, we took a tour of Carolina Culture’s farm in Bahama, North Carolina. We have started to carry Carolina Culture yogurt products in our stores and dining halls, so we jumped at the chance to learn more about this local dairy!
Carolina Culture is North Carolina’s first yogurt dairy farm, owned and run by Cindy Hamrick and her family. Their herd of Animal Welfare Approved Jersey cows are chosen for grazing ability, high quality milk fat, and sweet gentle demeanor – “They’re like big puppies,” says Cindy. With just 30 cows, Carolina Culture is able to keep a close watch on herd health and happiness.
Year round pasturing allows the cows to move freely and socialize. The herd’s specialized diet of grasses and vegetable shoots creates sweet, nutrient rich milk, which gives Carolina Culture products a delicious flavor with little to no added sugar. The yogurt, kefir, and smoothies are made with all organic ingredients, and probiotics specifically designed to target necessary parts of the digestive system.
Cindy and her family are driven by a commitment for farmland conservation and food security. With 15 acres in operation, the family feels a strong responsibility to manage their land to maintain soil health and productivity into the future. By partnering with other small dairies in the area, they’re able to maintain the best possible herd genetics. Inputs are purchased as locally as possible, from tractors to turmeric. Farm profits are shared with team members, creating opportunity for a next generation of farmers to thrive in an inclusive and resilient local food system.
After a day of touring Carolina Culture, meeting Cindy and her team, milking the Jersey cows, and seeing the care and hard work that goes into making this product, we’re even prouder to offer Carolina Culture products in our dining program! It is local partnerships like this that really make us appreciate the food that we enjoy every day. You can find Carolina Culture smoothies, yogurt, and kefir in Clohan Hall and Fountain Market!