Down a winding, pothole-covered dirt road, nestled between 100 foot bamboo and lush coconut trees, sits a ten acre tropical farm in Jupiter, Florida. This hidden gem is a grass-based farm where owner Suzie and her family raise pastured poultry, pigs and cattle for meat and dairy. Students in Dr. Hope Myers Economic Issues class had the exciting opportunity to visit Jupiter Creamery on September 12, where they learned about business operations and how certain government regulations can shape how a company does business.
“At the Jupiter Creamery, my students saw how even a small scale, non-profit farm must follow certain regulations in order to operate. The students were surprised at how much thought and research went into the organization and maintenance of a dairy farm in order to stay in compliance of regulations as well as care for their cows. Suzie and her two children helped us understand how to ethically care for animals and at the same time run a non-profit company,” said Myers.
Dr. Myers says the dairy industry may be one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, and it was important to show her students how the United States regulates dairy operations. Laws regarding the sale of raw milk, like what Jupiter Creamery produces, vary from state to state. Its sale is permitted in Florida as long as the products are labeled “not for human consumption.”
Jupiter Creamery is a non-profit organization whose main focus is education. They offer milking demonstrations, hands-on animal events, workshops and volunteer opportunities.
“When we moved to this ten-acre farm, we originally were going to use it as a palm tree farm. As I wanted to produce my own food, I couldn’t find anyone with raw dairy, chicken, or pork- especially soy free and pastured. So I thought, ‘How hard can it be? Let me buy a cow,’ and that is how it started,” owner Suzie writes on the company’s website.
“We started with beef cows and a pig at first and then tried some chickens. The more I did, the more I realized I needed to learn. I figured things out as I went along by doing more research, reading, talking to anyone else who has farm in south florida or farms in general, and watched a lot of youtube videos.When you grow your own food you know exactly how your animals were kept, raised, fed, and you have control over what you are eating,” said Suzie.