News from the Noteworthy: Clark Dairy and Creamery Builds on a Century of Farming

News from the Noteworthy

Clark Dairy and Creamery
Builds on a Century of Farming

The Clark Dairy Farm and Creamery, located near Delhi, dates to 1907. It is operated by fifth-generation dairyman Kyle Clark, in partnership with his father, Thomas. In an earlier era, the farm also ran a creamery, long closed, where their milk was packaged for local retail sale.

After graduation from SUNY Morrisville in 2018, where he was introduced to modern creamery operation (and automated milking), Kyle began refurbishing the old creamery as a niche experiment. Opened in 2020, demand took off, partly because of the pandemic-related shortage of milk in local groceries. Soon he needed to install a refrigerated self-serve stand, where more than 200 gallons now sell out daily.

Clark Creamery also self-distributes to more than 60 grocers and restaurants across several counties. It sells whole milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, whole cream, half and half, and butter. The creamery currently packages over 600 gallons of milk daily and will do more with upgrades of milking and creamery equipment.

Kyle offers reasons for Clark’s success. Aficionados of the milk say it is “sweeter” and “fresher tasting” than “factory milk.” In a single blind taste test, our Sustainable Otsego group was clearly able to differentiate Clark’s milk, describing it as “creamier” or “grassy.” This difference is partly attributable to Clark Creamery’s traditional vat pasteurization method of 30 minutes at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to typical bulk high-temperature pasteurization and ultra-pasteurization processes, ranging from 160-280 degrees Fahrenheit, for briefer periods of time.

Milk produced on most area dairy farms is aggregated for bulk processing and the milk likely has a store brand name but is otherwise anonymous. Commercial high-temperature pasteurization is used because it makes packaging faster and prolongs shelf life, both of which are assets for mass production. But those are not issues for Clark products, which are single origin and routinely sell out in days. Clark’s customers know exactly where the milk is coming from, that it is impeccably fresh, and are happy to pay a little more for this local and better-tasting milk.

The creamery has five full-time employees, and the farm has five, including Kyle and his father. Yet, as in many farm jobs, Kyle finds it hard to recruit needed employees. His solution is to build an entirely new barn with automated milking. The 280 cows will not be restrained—but they will stay indoors, have comfortable, padded resting stalls, and move about freely. They decide when to be milked, then move into the milking stalls to be milked automatically and are then rewarded with grain supplements. They wear collars that track frequency of milking, body temperature, feed consumed and signs of general health. The collars also alert farmers to individual cows’ possible health or milk production issues. Today, the new barn foundations are in and the wood for construction has been cut and milled on the farm. Construction is ongoing and Kyle expects the new barn to be in use this summer.

In a time when small, independent dairy farmers are struggling to survive, Kyle Clark, his family, and the Clark Dairy Farm and Creamery are inventing a way to prosper for another century. Visit to learn more.

Authored by Sustainable Otsego. Since 2007 we have promoted ecologically sound practices—locally, regionally, and nationally. Our platform calls for sustainable living, economic independence and home rule. Visit us at or

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