Mauthe's Progress Milk Barn

McComb, MS

Spring 2014

Nominees Chosen by Community Development Lenders

We are the Mauthe Family. We own a dairy and are on-farm processors. We were the first dairy in the Louisiana/Mississippi area to reduce the carbon footprint of our milk in 2001. Today, we sell our milk only within a hundred mile radius of our farm. Commercially our milk travels from our farm to either New Orleans or Mobile, Alabama. 

Getting started was not easy, but it's who we are and what we do. We started back with only three cows! We never lost hope, and with two grown daughters who wanted to work the farm and raise their children here, we knew we had to make the farm succeed. The key to the Milk Barn's success lies with working with a community development bank, such as Hope Credit Union. We certainly didn't have the numbers needed for a large lending institution. Through Hope, we were able to expand to ten cows and grow our market area. It also, helped us regain the confidence in ourselves as dairy farmers and producers. 

In 2005, we closed due to Hurricane Katrina. To continue our family legacy and heritage we started our dairy back in 2010, again with Hope's help. We currently milk 40 Jersey cows. This breed can handle the southern heat. And we have both daughters here on the farm with their children, fulfilling their dreams with their hearts in farming and their eyes on the future. 

We bottle the majority of our cow’s milk in returnable glass bottles. We figure in one week we prevent about 500 plastic bottles from ending up in the landfill. The remaining containers we use in a week are a #1 plastic and can be recycled.

We use organic practices on our farm. We don’t spray any pesticides or commercial fertilizers. Our cows are 100-percent grass-fed. We also grow about 700 pastured chickens a year to help with our fertilizing, and spray the cheese whey and any outdated milk on the pastures. 

Winning this prize would enable us to implement a pump and irrigation system on our oxidation pond. This will help improve our soil and build a better foundation for our grass. We would also like look into to installing solar photovoltaics for the farm.