Battenkill Valley Creamery founder Seth McEachron is focused on providing the highest quality milk possible and it's working.
Great milk comes from happy, healthy cows—it’s as simple as that, says Seth McEachron, owner of Battenkill Valley Creamery. It’s an adage that has sustained his family-owned farm for over 100 years, all the way back to his great-great grandfather and the first 12 cows.
A lot has changed since then, with Seth overseeing a major shift in operations in 2006, bringing bottling capacity directly onto the farm so that they can milk, process and bottle onsite. A few years later, Seth took things one step further, adding home delivery service and further expanding the farm’s reach.
Seth’s herd of Holsteins, Jerseys and crossbreeds have earned Battenkill Valley Creamery milk the title of New York State’s highest quality milk, as ranked by Cornell University, but it’s the customers that really keep him going—and the knowledge that quality milk not only tastes better, but is better for us, too.
Read on to learn more about what motivates Seth and his happy cows.
In your own words, how would you describe yourself and what you do?
I’m the founder and co-owner of Battenkill Valley Creamery, as well as two dairy farms located in Washington County, where we process and bottle milk. I would describe myself as driven, passionate and curious—I’m always looking for the next project and ways to improve our processes and grow our company.
Tell us about how you got started. Are you self-taught or professionally-trained?
I went to Skidmore where I graduated with my bachelor’s in business and economics, and that combined with my previous career in finance, was instrumental in creating the foundation for starting Battenkill.
But as far as the technical processes of the plant, I was self-taught. I visited on-site plants where I learned things first hand and studied the industry, taking a hands-on approach during the building of the plant, learning the functionality of the equipment and the overall infrastructure.
Tell us about your process.
At BVC, everything starts with the health and wellness of our cows. Our milk is put through our processing plant where we use minimal processing techniques to help retain the integrity and quality of the milk. We then bottle the product and distribute to wholesale and retail accounts.
We take the utmost pride in the exceptional care of our animals and in return they provide us with the highest quality milk. In 2016, Battenkill Valley Creamery won the award for highest quality milk in New York State, and this was our second time receiving this honor.
What inspires you, in terms of your craft?
For us, it’s all about providing the local and regional community with high quality milk. The positive feedback we receive from our customers keeps me constantly motivated and excited for what lies ahead. I’m honored to be able to serve my local community.
Has Saratoga always been home?
Yes, I was born and raised in Salem, New York where our two farms and processing plant are currently located, then attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. After college I spent a few years working in the financial field in New Hampshire and Boston, before returning back to to upstate New York. I now live in Saratoga Springs with my wife and daughter.
What’s next for you and your business?
My immediate plan for our business is to continue driving our growth in order to meet rising demand. We are currently expanding our manufacturing plant and increasing our family of cows to do exactly this!