The next time you raise a cold glass (or the entire glass bottle) of Shatto milk to your lips, you should know that it's probably not only the best in the grocery store -- it's quite possibly the best in the world.
At this year's World Dairy Exposition, Shatto's root beer milk was named tops in the world in the Open Class Category. Second in that category? Shatto strawberry milk. The Osborn-based dairy's 2-percent milk also took second in the White Milk Category.
"It's hard to even believe. We're the local family farm. I grew up here. Oh, my gosh, how can we possibly get such an honor," says owner Barbara Shatto.
This isn't the first time that Shatto has been recognized at the annual
dairy exposition, which is held in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2009,
Shatto's Chocolate Milk was named third-best in the world. To celebrate this win, the Shatto Milk Company had an ice cream party on Monday.
"All of our employees are exçited about it, including our cows," Shatto says.
In addition to vanilla and chocolate ice cream, Shatto intends to introduce strawberry as the latest flavor. And root beer ice cream is also a possibility. It's a busy week for the Osborn dairy; new cheese vats are set to arrive on Friday.
"Our focus right now is on our cheese, although we're never going to do anything that jeopardizes our ability to make the best milk," Shatto says.
Sam Stella, a certified cheesemaker from Vermont, is one of the new hires. He's tasked with continuing to expand the line of cheeses. Some flavors continue to only be sold on the farm, so if you head over to the store there, keep an eye out for garlic and mushroom cheese curds.
Stella will work in the new cheese room when it's completed. It's part of a new building, which will also house offices, a country store, soda fountain, and milk bar, that Shatto hopes to have completed before the holiday season. The building will have a large front porch where future cheese parties could be held.
"September is going to be a booming month. We're really excited," Shatto says.