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Cheese Making Up the Ahtanum—The
Plant of the Creamery Company—Yield
of Milk-The Cow Stock-Size and
Amount of Cheese-Value of Grasses-
The Future of the Dairy Business, Etc.
—Mr. Frazier Does the Talklnsr.
This week I ran across J. M. Frazier,
one of the largest stockholders in the
Ahtanum co operative creamery com
pany, whose plant is located some eight
miles from North Yakima up the fertile
valley of the Ahtanum. He proved just
the man to give The Ranch public some
of the details of cheese making so far as
the business has been developed in this
"Mr. Frazier, what was the cost of the
Ahtanum plant and of what does it con
sist?" was the first leading interrogatory.
"The plant represents an investment of
about $3,500. It consists of a pretty
complete outfit of approved cheese-mak
ing apparatus and a modest building
suitable for the purpose."
"You have milk cans, cheese presses,
separator, etc., etc?"
"Certainly; and a Babcock milk tester
by which we purchase our milk."
"When did you begin operations?"
"On the 10th of last June we began
taking the milk of 230 cows. We are
prepared to handle 5,003 pounds of milk
per day, but have not been able to get
near that amount. We shall do much
better this year."
"Do your patrons reside near the
"The majority of them do, but two or
three of them are nearly ten miles away."
"How many times per day do you re
quire a delivery of milk?"
"Once a day—in the morning. All
our patrons have plenty of water for keep
ing milk cold, and it generally ar/ives in
"How is the yield of milk, and what is
its percentage of cheese and butter ele
"Well, the fact is, the cows of this
country are not of the best. They are
principally native stock, pure and simple.
No effort, except in rare cases, has been
made to grade them up by the use of
dairy blood. Then our farmers allow the
calves to run with the dams, which is
poor dairy practice. The yield of milk
therefore is small. My own cows aver
aged twenty pounds of milk per day for
"How much cheese do you estimate is
the yield from 100 pounds of milk?"
"We calculate about 11 Jo pounds
cheese and 10 l.j pounds when cured."
"What size of cheese do you find sells
"We make them to weigh 24 pounds,
using a 14-inch hoop. This size seems
to nearest meet the demand."
"At what aiie do you sell?"
"We kept noue longer than thirty days,
Rnd we found ready sale, a large portion
TOWN - AND - LANDS,
"Tie Norton Pasata."
D. R. MCGINNIS,
of our make being taken right here'a
North Yakima, though we filled orders
from Pasco, Walla Walla, Spokane, El
lensburgh, Cle Elum, Tacouia, Pnyallup
"You find no difficulty about a mark
"Oh, no; we could have sold double
the quantity. We would have customers
for 2,000 pounds today if we had the
"And you received good prices?"
"We never sold a pound for less than
12*o cents and usually received IS, I*."
"What did you pay for milk?"
"Our price was $1 for 100 pounds,
and our patrons seemed fully satisfied
that they were getting their proportion
out of the business."
"Will you tell me sonething about the
process of cheese mak ing?"
"We weigh the milk as it comes in
and pour it in;o the big vat. When all
the milk is in we gradually raise the tem
perature to 83 degrees and add a little
color and rennet at the rate of 1% ounces
to 2,500 pounds of milk. When r^ady,
cut the curd, run the temperature up to
100 degrees; salt, using 5 pounds to I.OQJ
pounds of milk. It requires about six
hours to get in readiness for the press,
that is, by that time thewhe/is drawn
off and the curd is ready for the squeeze."
"You say the milk reached you in good
condition from the farms?"
"Yes; we had but one really bad de
livery during the season. That was sour,
but was used. It caused floating curd
and the loss of the whole batch. It
should have been kept out, of course."
"Are the wild grasses here good for a
full flow of rich milk?"
"Some of them are very good. The
milk from cows fed upon them gives
about 4 1 0 pounds of butter to the 100
pounds. Alfalfa milk yields about 4
pounds of butter to luO pounds of milk,
but cows fed on alfalfa will yield fully
one-third more milk. Late in the season
the milk is richer in butter fat and ca
sein, but the yield is considerably less."
"You have made some butter at the
Ahtanum creamery, 1 have heard?"
"Yes; we made some late in the fall.
It was gettig cold and our factory was
not supplied with a heater, or we should
have kept on making cheese until the
close of the s-eason.
"When will you begin operations this
"About the Ist of April; and we expect
a large increase in milk. Farmers are
anxious to bring in milk, and every man
who can borrow a cow will be with us."
"You think the outlook for the dairy
business good here, do yon?"
"This is the best dairy country on the
western coast. It is much better than
California, for land is cheaper here; so is
feed of all kinds. Yes, the future is
bright for both the cheese and butter
makers. We have so much faith in it
that I think our company will open a
branch for butter making at North Yaki
ma before many months. The firm that
gets in here and handles the butter made
by the fanners, and the egg crop, paying
cash for the products, will make money.
You see, as things go now the small
farmer is practically debarred from a
cash market. He cannot ship his pro
duct, for the quantity is too small, and
the storekeepers here almost universally
pay in trade."