Founded over 80 years ago, Turkey Hill only needed enough milk to provide fresh milk and ice cream to the towns near our dairy. Today, we sell our milk and ice cream to people in 38 states, so that means we need a few more cows.
We rely on the hard work and skills of our local dairy farmers to provide great, fresh milk to our dairy each day. It is the local dairy farmers we thank and respect so much. So we'd like you to meet a few of them. Check back from time to time and you'll see who provides milk for your ice cream. Turkey Hill is dedicated to its heritage and the heritage of those who make Turkey Hill successful.
Welcome to Brubaker Farms
Brubaker Farms in Mount Joy, PA were recognized as the most innovative farm in the nation in 2011. This innovative farm focuses on three areas; food production, cows and milk and energy production. Brothers Mike and Tony Brubaker are raising their families side by side to accomplish these goals.
No-till planting has become a recent growing trend in farming, and is the only method used at Brubaker Farms. The farmers leave the old crop remnants in place, while using a special tiller to plant new seeds amongst the old crop roots. This prevents erosion, which is a common environmental concern.
Another interesting fact about Brubaker Farms is their use of hops and barley byproducts from a local brewery. After the hops and barley are processed for beer, the substance left over is nearly 30 percent protein, which is then added to the silage used to feed the cows.
The Brubaker family prides themselves on the utmost care they provide for their cows. The barns in which the cows live are designed so they can move freely, from the drinking and eating areas to their specially made cow mattresses. These mattresses are made from pieces of cut up rubber and weigh hundreds of pounds, while another generous layer is added on top of the mattresses to further the cows' comfort. All areas of the living space are cleaned regularly while the cows are in the milking parlor.
Two to three times a day, the cows are milked by milking machines that attach to the cows' udders. These milk machines automatically detach when the milking is complete, and before the cows leave, the farmers make sure their udders are sanitized. A cow can produce around eight to ten gallons of milk every day.
Those familiar with Turkey Hill Dairy know our windmills can be seen from miles away, but at the Brubaker Farms, their energy is produced from under the ground. Manure and food scraps from Elizabethtown College are used in a digester that is heated to 100 degrees. Once the desired temperature is reached, the mixture begins to produce methane gas, which then travels through pipes to supply energy to a generator. This supplies enough electricity to run almost the entire farm. The undigested material is 99 percent pathogen free, and acts as the bedding on top of the cows' mattresses. In addition to the digester, the Brubaker's have installed solar panels to the roof of the cow barn. This energy is either used by the farm or sold to a power company.
A final impressive fact about Brubaker Farms is their onsite educational program. They transformed a section of their barn into a classroom; they offer tours and also provide field trips to local schools and colleges. There are numerous topics covered, including where milk comes from, biology and other farming sciences.
The Brubaker Farm tours their expansive Mt. Joy property by appointment.
Photos from Brubaker Farms
Click a photo to see it larger.
Watch their video
Fresh, local milk goes into our ice cream.
Turkey Hill uses 340,000 to 350,000 pounds of milk a day. So where do we get that milk from? Almost all the milk comes from local dairy farms within a 40 mile radius of Turkey Hill Dairy. That is about 6,000-7,000 local cows! Hover your cursor over the milk bottles on the map below to see the names of the farms that are hard at work for Turkey Hill Dairy.