The Local Producer Series is back and we’re continuing our in-depth look into farmers, vendors and more of the Llano Estacado region! In this edition, Pereira Pastures Dairy - an Animal Welfare Approved dairy that produces high-quality raw milk from grass-fed Jersey cows. Owner Albert Pereira, swears by his raw milk. He explains, in comparison to store bought milk, one glass of his raw Jersey milk has 20% more protein and roughly 15% more calcium. Who wouldn't want to try this dairy's milk based on those nutritional statistics alone?! Consider Pereira Pastures Dairy the next time you are making a grocery list. Below is Local Llano's exclusive with Albert Pereira about his business and how his farm is making a name for itself in sustainability alone.
Who is credited for beginning this local business?
"Albert and Veronica Pereira, we purchased our farm in 2006. It was in total distress and had been vacant and vandalized for 13 years. It took a little over a year putting it back together and bringing back to grade A standards. We worked a full-time job and at every available moment worked on the farm. We began with one jersey cow and no milk market. We have grown to nearly 200 total head from babies to mommas and over 1,000 customers."
Where can we get your products?
Which farmer’s markets do you frequent?
"Currently, Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market is where you can purchase our proucts. [We have] plans to attend Golden spread in Amarillo and Midland downtown farmers market this summer, 2016. We hope to gain access to a retail location in Lubbock very soon."
What is your best seller?
"Our licensed grade A raw milk is our best seller. Our chocolate milk is amazing and getting a lot of buzz on how good it is. We also offer root beer, orange Dreamsicle, French vanilla, and cotton candy flavored milk. No one else in West Texas offers this."
Do you practice any sustainable farming methods?
"We try and be as sustainable as possible. We graze on native pastures and bale as much extra hay as we can. We are a closed herd and raise all our own replacements on farm. We grow hydroponic wheat grass to feed our livestock between grazing seasons. We also raise pork on excess skim milk and whey from the dairy side of our farm. We try and utilize every available resource on our farm. We're currently raising a flock of Icelandic sheep for fiber and meat production, they will also graze on weeds and forbs that the cattle won't eat in order to naturally control weeds on our farm. Our goal is to have a truly biodiverse farm out here in beautiful West Texas. Offer the highest quality products with the smallest carbon footprint."
When is the busiest time of year for you?
"Summer when the markets start up. We work late into the night preparing a wide range of dairy products for the market: raw milk (like chocolate, root beer, orange dreamsicle, cotton candy and french vanilla flavored milk), cream, sour cream, buttermilk, kefir, feta cheese, and coming soon Artisan gelato. We will also have a large vegetable garden this year, high-quality whey/ skim fed pork, natural Icelandic wool yarn, and [we plan] to add high-quality Wagyu beef in the coming years."
What is your favorite thing about Spring?
"Spring calving, all the new babies and the increased production allows us to make so many delicious products. I love seeing all the animals grazing on the lush spring grasses."
"We are branching out this year with so many new items. And have experienced such growth that we're excited to get started."
Local Llano wants to extend a very big 'thank you' to Pereira Pastures Dairy for taking the time to let us in on the latest workings on the farm! For more information check out their facebook page. We hope that you will look into Pereira Pastures Dairy's extensive list of local products and support our local producers of the Llano Estacado.
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