Food

Fresh from the Pasture in Portsmouth

An Aquidneck Island dairy cooperative that's the cream of the crop

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If you’re looking for local milk from nothing but Rhode Island cows, Rhody Fresh is your source. A collection of eight small dairy farms work together to produce high quality milk products that are available all over the state. Each farm raises somewhere between 30-100 pasture fed cows on their individual land – never an artificial growth hormone in sight. All the milk from these eight farms goes into making Rhody Fresh milk products and 100% of the profits go back to the individual farmers.

Rhody Fresh was started almost ten years ago as a response to federal regulations on dairy farmers that was quickly putting small Rhode Island dairy farmers out of business. When the farmers got together and began selling their milk cooperatively, they not only made fresh, healthy milk available to the public, but they were able to save a number of small family farms that would not have made it otherwise. Success all around.

Cheese is the latest dairy product to come from Rhody Fresh. Each member farm contributes milk to produce a butterkase cheese. Butterkase is a mild semi-soft German cheese that pairs well with beer or wine. In addition, the Rhody Fresh farmers are producing their own butter. It’s butter. It’s local. What could be better?

Rhody Fresh owes a lot to its president and Portsmouth farmer, Louis Escobar, who put up part of his farm as collateral on a loan that helped get Rhody Fresh going. Louis is passionate about saving Rhode Island dairy farms and about his involvement in Rhody Fresh. The cooperative’s dairy products are found all over the state in shops small to large, along with farmer’s markets too.