Feeding time at Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc.
June 2017: Just a short distance from Tulsa, up the Will Rogers Turnpike in Claremore, lies a treasure trove of health and history. Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc., established in 1923, continues to produce high quality, all natural milk and dairy products.
“It’s all I have ever known, and I enjoy it…I enjoy the customers and being able to provide such a healthy product.” Befittingly, Diane Williamson and her husband, Don, took the plunge, becoming the official owners of Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc. in 2016.
Diane is a third generation dairy farmer at Swan Bros. Her grandparents, Ruby and Harley Swan, Sr., originally started the dairy with only one cow and a lot of determination. Her father, Harley, Jr. and his wife Dorthy took over the dairy after that. Now, the Williamsons have stepped in to fill those big boots. Just like the generations before, the Williamsons’ grown children are fully engaged in the business. Their daughter, Ashley Hollingsworth, is currently studying to be a veterinarian. The Williamsons’ son, Jason, along with their son-in-law, Zach Hollingsworth, are currently full-time employees, participating in all aspects of the daily business from caring for the livestock, milking and production to oversight and management of the dairy.
A sampling of the fresh dairy products available for purchase at Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc.
The dairy spans 135 acres nestled amid rolling, green hills. The fields are home to close to seventy head of dairy cattle. Additionally, the equipment required to run the dairy—produce, bottle, package and sell the products— is vast. “Milking starts around 3 a.m. and lasts, with set up and clean up, until around 7 a.m. seven days a week,” explains Diane.
So, how much milk is produced each day? It depends on the season. Generally, the highest production comes in spring and fall with as much as 550 gallons of fresh milk being produced in a single day!
Most important to the Williamsons is the quality of each product offered to the public for consumption. The cleanliness of their equipment and facilities as well as the overall health of their livestock is top-notch. So high are the standards of Swan Bros., in fact, that it is one of only two dairies in Oklahoma certified to offer raw milk for purchase by the public. “Raw milk is richer, tastier and all-natural with no added preservatives or colorings,” opines Diane. The cattle are not subjected to growth hormones, nor is the grazed pastureland treated with chemical pesticides. Unlike other larger, corporate operations, the livestock graze freely in open pasture, only being held within a pen or barn during milking times.
The raw milk, fresh from farm to table, is available for purchase in whole and low-fat varieties, exclusively, onsite at the dairy. Customers will also find cheeses that are crafted from the Grade A milk, including varieties of cheddar, colby and mozzarella. The cheeses may be purchased onsite or ordered online and shipped.
Raw milk is bottled straight from farm to table.
Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc. is also an active member of the Made in Oklahoma Coalition and the Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association and serves as a vendor at the Rose District Farmers Market in Broken Arrow on most Saturdays, April thru October, as well as at other local events.
Proud of their homegrown heritage and the goods produced, the Williamsons hope to raise awareness of the dairy industry during June which is National Dairy Month. To that end, Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc. will host a limited number of tours on select dates, beginning in June and running through August. The tours will need to be reserved and paid for in advance in that space is extremely limited.
For a taste of health and a glimpse into history, make the short trip to Swan Bros. Dairy, Inc.
Zach Hollingsworth bottle feeds a calf.
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