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Dairy Farm Sisters Share Undeniable Devotion to Sustainability and Innovation

by Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD | Jun 4, 2018 | 0 comments

Marcoot Sisters to be featured on two podcasts during National Dairy Month

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Not only do Amy and Beth Marcoot share a last name, but the sisters also share an undeniable devotion to a style of dairy farming which is guided by sustainability and innovation. In celebration of National Dairy Month, the Marcoots will tell the story of their seventh-generation family owned dairy farm, Marcoot Jersey Creamery — located near Greenville, Illinois — on two high-ranking podcasts: Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, airing June 4; and Gastropod, airing June 19.

The Marcoot sisters’ story is one worth listening to, especially during a month dedicated to celebrating dairy farmers and the dairy products they produce. From animal care to on-site food production, to the design of their facility and their efficient use of natural resources, the Marcoot sisters have taken steps to ensure the land on which they farm will be here for generations to come.

In 2010, the Marcoot sisters expanded their family’s dairy farm legacy by making their first wheels of cheese. Today, in addition to cheese, which is made solely from the milk of their primarily grass-fed Registered Jersey herd, they have embarked on further innovative dairy product development. Not wanting to waste any resource on the farm, they began to make five flavors of Fruit and Whey Ice, which is a frozen dairy treat made of crushed fruit and fresh sweet cream whey which their animals produce. The Fruit and Whey ice provides a healthier alternative to consumers who enjoy frozen treats – with each pint containing three servings of fruit, 12 percent of daily protein and 20 percent of daily calcium based on a 2,000 calorie diet — not to mention is an example of dairy’s versatility both as an ingredient and a finished product.

In addition to sustainability and innovation, the Marcoot legacy matters to the sisters. When their father, John, came to them in 2009 to announce he and their mom, Linda, were ready to retire from dairy farming, he gave the sisters the option to continue running the dairy — then named Marcoot Jersey Farm — or pursue their own interests and attend college. While the two originally planned to choose the latter, they soon realized they belonged on the dairy, where they could continue the family’s farming heritage. Today, their father continues to manage the Jersey herd.

Educating the public about dairy farming is also important to the Marcoot sisters. There are numerous learning opportunities for guests who visit the farm. The creamery has large viewing windows where visitors can watch as cheese is made and guests are also able to visit the calves, housed near the creamery. Outside their Country Store — where guests can purchase Marcoot Fruit and Whey ice, farmstead cheeses, as well as ice cream and honey also made on the farm — guests can sit at picnic tables and watch the Jerseys graze in the pastures.

The Marcoot sisters’ podcast appearances are part of the Undeniably Dairy campaign, a national effort led by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy — who has partnered with nearly 40,000 family farms, processors and dairy brands — to spotlight the many people across the country who are devoted to dairy. The month-long celebration will rally communities from coast to coast to salute people’s passion for dairy and remind consumers that the dairy community loves making dairy just as much as consumers love to enjoy it. In addition to podcasts, the effort will leverage large-format murals, events and special activations to spotlight dairy devotees from every part of the farm-to-community chain.

Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD
Manager, Corporate Communications at Midwest Dairy

As a registered dietitian and nutrition spokesperson for Midwest Dairy Council, I work on behalf of dairy farmers to communicate the benefits of dairy nutrition. In addition to Dairy Makes Sense, I am a blogger for The Dairy Report.

I write from the perspective of a working mom who recognizes the challenges families face when sorting out nutrition information and putting healthy foods on the table. Dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt - all proven to play a critical role in overall health and development – take center stage in my family’s meal plan. As a runner who always is training for the next big race, I also write from the perspective of an athlete. I understand the important role nutrition plays in fueling an active lifestyle and believe that dairy helps me perform at my best.

My education background may be considered non-traditional in the field of dietetics. I have an undergraduate degree in journalism. After graduation I decided to go back to school to study nutrition and become a dietitian. I joined the Midwest Dairy staff eight years ago. Before that, I worked as a hospital dietitian and a weight management coach.

I'm originally from Pennsylvania, but Kansas has been my home now for more than ten years. Favorite pastimes include traveling east to visit family, cooking, and doing anything outside - especially distance running or chasing after my nine year-old son.

Let’s talk more about dairy nutrition, health and fitness! Follow me on Twitter @scundithRD.

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