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 Yacolt dairy continues to grow
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6857 Posts

Posted - May 06 2014 :  09:30:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Author: Viki Eierdam
Family-owned Spanish Sonrise Dairy, in Yacolt, has grown dramatically since it began supplying raw cow’s milk to area residents in 2011.

Owner Tina Rodriguez believes in feeding her cows nothing but grass hay with clovers, alfalfa hay and grain void of corn while they’re being milked. What began as a personal interest has become a successful venture.

“I wanted a milk cow and then I had a bunch of people who wanted the milk also,” Rodriguez said. “We started with two cows milking.”

That amount has increased to two bulls, 17 cows and 10 calves, seven of which are female. Both of her bulls carry the A2A2 gene which, according to Rodriguez, makes the cow and its milk healthier.

In researching this gene, it turns out that many online sources cite significant health benefits to A2 cows. In short, milk consists of cream/fat, whey and milk solids. The solids are made up of proteins, one of which is called beta-casein.

Somewhere along the line of history a peptide called BCM7 was created by way of a mutation. Cows with this peptide are referred to as A1 cows. Research suggests that BCM7 is pro-inflammatory which could contribute to a myriad of diseases and conditions, “including autoimmune conditions, heart disease, autism, schizophrenia and various neurological disorders.” While this sounds like cause for alarm, these same experts clarify that individuals with gastrointestinal issues are more inclined to experience the negative effects of BCM7.

On the flip side, studies are showing that A2A2 cows, or cows that do not carry the BCM7 mutation and are off-spring of both a mother and father cow carrying the A2 gene, produce milk with greater health benefits. One of those benefits is that consumers who exhibit lactose-intolerance due to digestive issues with A1 milk may find switching to A2 milk produces none of the same effects. The bigger one leading the charge in Australia and New Zealand, however, is substantially fewer cases of Type 1 diabetes in individuals who drink A2 milk over A1.

While these findings continue to be explored, Spanish Sonrise Dairy is supplying stores as far away as Hoquiam with their products. Yacolt Trading Post, Four C’s Produce in Battle Ground, AJ’s Market in Stevenson, Camas Produce, the Fisher’s Landing New Seasons Market, both of the Chuck’s Produce stores in the Vancouver area, Amboy Market, the Hoquiam Farmers Market and The Market Place in Aberdeen all carry Rodriguez’s raw milk from Yacolt. New stores continue to be added and Rodriguez says the growth has mainly been by word of mouth.

Spanish Sonrise Dairy believes in choices for consumers. Availability includes Jersey milk, A2A2 milk, skim milk, cream and mixed milk which could be milk from a half Jersey cow/half Holstein, for example. Rodriguez says that buying her milk gives consumers more bang for their buck. Jersey milk has a higher butter fat content so if someone buys a gallon, the cream can be skimmed off the top for home-made treats such as butter, sour cream or ice cream.

All the yearly testing, milking, bottling and labeling is done at Spanish Sonrise Dairy. When Rodriguez says her milk is local, she means it in the truest sense of the word. Her goal is to grow something for her children to inherit while supplying good quality milk to the public.

With so many local stores carrying Spanish Sonrise milk, Rodriguez does have people pick up directly from the dairy but she encourages calling first to be sure there’s a supply available.

“Even if they want to come out and see what we do, I recommend everybody know their farmers,” Rodriguez said.

Spanish Sonrise Dairy is located at 37800 NE 243rd Ave., Yacolt or check them out on-line at

From the Reflector:


3479 Posts

Posted - May 06 2014 :  7:30:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stories like these are so fun to read...Yacolt is just north of Portland, OR, so it isn't too far away to visit...someday, perhaps.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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6857 Posts

Posted - May 07 2014 :  06:56:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love (need) the inspiration. Here locally we have Sticky Fingers Farm ice cream. Their back story is wonderful:

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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