The year was 1819. James Monroe was president. Alabama become a state. Queen Victoria and Walt Whitman were born. But, more importantly, for the milk lovers of Western Pennsylvania, William Edger started a small farm and dairy operation which is still in business, now known as Harmony Acres Dairy. It's currently operated by William’s great-great-great-great-grandson Jeff Orr and his wife Jen.
Of course, many things have changed over the last two centuries and seven generations—including an effort to sell directly to consumers who love Harmony Acres’ rich and all-natural creamline milk. By partnering with Market Wagon, Jeff and Jen have found a significant revenue source and a much larger customer base without having to worry about the logistics. That’s no small thing with two small children and a third due any day.
Jeff manages about 250 milk cows, divided into two herds. Every cow has to be milked twice a day. There are also calves, heifers and crop production to oversee as well.
It had always been a dream for Jeff and Jen to have a direct-to-consumer business to supplement the milk they provide to larger wholesale operations. Part of the motivation came from the consistent stream of people stopping to see if they could buy milk directly from Harmony Acres Dairy.
They decided to make their dream come true right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, an event which devastated the supply chain for sourcing milk bottles as well as timely milk processing. But, finally, in May 2021, they were able to offer their own milk for sale for the first time since William Edger started the dairy 202 years earlier.
The Orrs partnered with Market Wagon about a month later. The online platform has been vital to their success by taking care of the delivery logistics.
“Delivering milk is a hard thing to do,” says Jen. “It must stay cold and is a very temperature-sensitive product. Market Wagon has made it easy.”
Market Wagon also has helped Harmony Acres Dairy develop a loyal and much larger customer base stretching as far away as Ohio and West Virginia who don’t necessarily have time to make the drive to the jug hut in rural Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. That’s where Jen is in charge, along with overseeing bottling operations and milk deliveries. Though, the family rule is, if you’re at least 3 years old, you’re old enough to help!
Harmony Acres sells creamline milk. That means it’s minimally processed and pasteurized at low temperatures. In other words, it’s produced the way nature intended!
“It takes longer since we gently raise the temperature and then slowly lower it to kill the harmful bacteria,” Jen said. “We make sure to leave the good bacteria and keep the cream in the milk to make it as close to nature as possible.”
It does mean that every bottle needs to be shaken to mix the all-natural cream back in with the milk. But Jen and Jeff promise that the flavor is unforgettable and worth every shake!
Harmony Acres offers white creamline milk as well as chocolate creamline milk. They also dabble in a rotating offering of decadent seasonal flavors including strawberry, orange creamsicle, cookies & cream, and mocha. Right now, another fan favorite is for sale: chocolate peanut butter creamline milk. And keep your eyes open on Market Wagon because Baby Orr is due any day and once he arrives, Harmony Acres will launch a new flavor to help celebrate!
Creamline milk isn’t all though. Jeff and Jen have a few other products for sale on Market Wagon including delicious cheddar cheese curds.
So, just like that hit from KC and the Sunshine Band, shake, shake, SHAKE your milk and help keep an udderly legendary farm like Harmony Acres Dairy going for another 200+ years and 7 generations.