DONAHUE, Iowa (CBS Local) — The number two dairy farm in the country for milk production is feeding its cows an unusual ingredient: coffee creamer.
“This is an oddball ingredient,” said John Maxwell, farmer and owner of Cinnamon Ridge Farms in Donahue, Iowa. “It does sound a little cannibalistic, but that’s not true at all.”
The cows are being fed half a pound of powdered coffee creamer a day mixed with other cow favorites like hay, which adds up to four pounds of milk per cow daily.
Maxwell says it makes the milk taste better. But that’s not the only reason he’s feeding it to his cows.
“There’s a lot of sugar in it,” Maxwell told WQAD. “This is energy in my hand, energy that produces milk. Sugar and all those carbohydrates produce milk.”
Cinnamon Ridge used to feed the cows chocolate cake mix, but found more benefits from the coffee creamer because of the higher sugar levels.
Maxwell said the practice is also good for the environment because his farm is eliminating food waste by taking in 2,000 pounds of creamer that would otherwise go to a landfill.
“Dairy sustainability defined for me is good for the planet, good for the people and its profitable,” he said.