Photo Story: Morning Fresh Farms

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A holstein calf at Morning Fresh Dairy Farm poses for a shot Feb. 4, 2022. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

Greg James, Photographer

Article & Photos by: Greg James

For the Graves family, dairy farming has been a way of life for over a century. Since 1894, Bellevue’s Morning Fresh Dairy Farms has been producing milk for the greater Northern Colorado area. To this day, the farm has continued to keep tradition alive, bottling the majority of their milk and cream products in glass bottles on site and hiring a fleet of milkmen to hand deliver milk to customers. 

 

It all started when founders William C. and Arista Graves moved from Illinois to Denver in the early 1890s by train to escape the sweeping epidemic of tuberculosis. For the next few years they traveled all around Colorado in a rented covered wagon. One place stood above the rest in the eyes of W.C. Graves, the Poudre Canyon. He purchased 294 acres in Bellevue, the very same land that the dairy farm sits on today. 

A collection of antique milk bottles from the past of Morning Fresh Dairy Farm’s business sit in a display case Feb. 4, 2022. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

 

 

The family has remained here ever since and has strong ties to the community with many family members graduating from Colorado State University. Dr. Robert Graves got his veterinary degree from CSU while Helen Whiting Graves graduated from Colorado A&M and became a school teacher. 

 

 

 

The current Graves generation has brought vast improvements to the property and business; increasing the number of cattle on the property as well as renovating the Pleasant Valley Schoolhouse. They have partnered with Australian-based yogurt company, Noosa, allowing them to build a factory on site that produces 200,000 pounds of yogurt each day.. They also added a new rotary system of milking their cows aptly named the “Moo-Go-Round,” which allows Morning Fresh to milk each of their cows 2-3 times per day, producing 10 gallons of milk per day from one cow. From it’s adventurous beginning, Morning Fresh Dairy Farms has gone above and beyond the otherwise normal profile of a dairy farm, creating a healthy environment for the many cows that reside there, and an opportunity for the community to come together over locally sourced dairy products. 

 

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  • The facilities of Morning Fresh Dairy and Noosa Yogurt sit underneath the foothills of the Poudre Canyon Feb. 4, 2022. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Taylor Geslinger accepts a kiss from a Holstein cattle calf at Morning Fresh Dairy Farms Feb. 4, 2022. Geslinger and her sister Jacy traveled from Denver to get a tour of the Morning Fresh Dairy Farm in Bellevue. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Cows at Morning Fresh Dairy ride around the aptly named ‘Moo-Go-Round’, an apparatus which allows for the cows on property to be milked in a time efficient manner Feb. 4, 2022. The cows are allowed to stop the milking process at any time by kicking their left rear leg back and are able to move semi-freely once in the machine to see their fellow members of the herd. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A young Holstein straches itself at the Morning Fresh Dairy Farm Feb. 4, 2022. The farm has 2-6 calfs born every day into their herd of milking cows. The farm separates the mother and the baby calf at birth so that the baby can be given proper nutrition in the early days of its life before it is reintroduced to the herd. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A Morning Fresh Dairy Farm employee adjusts the milking apparatus on one of the nearly 1500 Holstein cattle at the company’s Bellvue dairy farm Feb. 4, 2022. Each cow is sent through the ‘Moo-go-round’ 2-3 times per day. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Several delivery trucks prepare to be loaded at the loading dock of Noosa Yogurt’s Australian Yogurt facilitiy in Bellevue, CO Feb. 4, 2022. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The cattle at Morning Fresh Dairy Farm stand in the stalls of their milking machine on Feb. 4, 2022. The milking machine process takes 5-10 minutes to go through for each cow. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The mixing room at Morning Fresh Dairy Farm Feb. 4, 2022, where the various batches of their milk are ultra- fast pasteurized as well as homogenized to ensure maximum freshness and quality. In addition to producing whole milk, Morning Fresh also produces a range of speciality flavors and seasonal monthly flavors such as Chocolate, Root Beer Float, and February’s ‘milk of the month’ Strawberry milk. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Colorado State university Veterinary student Lidia Baldonado pets a Holstein cattle calf at Morning Fresh Dairy Farms Feb. 4, 2022. Morning Fresh Dairy Farms holds tours for the public to see the inside of their operations. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

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