Located in Pelzer, SC near Greenville, Happy Cow Creamery bottles high-quality fresh milk directly from their udderly happy cows. “Happy?”, you ask.? Well, they graze freely in Trantham 12 Aprils Dairy pastureland, farmed specifically with forage that’s meant to improve the dairy products from this happy herd. The cows aren’t confined and that helps them relax and enjoy each day. The farm has 29 pastures with natural shade and water in each. Cows spend most of their day foraging, relaxing and sleeping. Hey, that’d make me happy, I’m sure about that. Additionally, no injections of growth hormones are given, no antibiotics are fed to the cows, nor is the pastureland treated with fertilizers. All the feed for the entire herd (just shy of 90 cows) is grown in fields specifically for cow foraging! No baling, no fuss, no muss. Of course Tom Trantham has learned quite a bit over the years… Tom began practicing this method of farming in the late 1980’s and he’s developed much of it using his noggin. Tom credits much of it to complete accident, as you can see in this entertaining video. This is a sustainable farm that uses sustainable farm practices.
Raising dairy cows in this manner produces superior milk. Their milk contains more CLA than conventionally-fed cows as well as more balanced Omegas 3 and 6. It also has more beta carotene and natural vitamins A and D. And it tastes great too! The dairy produces white, chocolate, and strawberry milk as well as cultured buttermilk. It is unhomogenized, which means the butterfat rises to the top (just like your Grandma remembers!) They use an old-style method to pasteurize the milk, which protects the enzymes. Their milk is kept at 38 degrees or lower and only travels 48 feet from the cow to the milk processing equipment. All this adds up to high-quality milk.
So what can you do at the farm if you decide to visit? They offer tours for both young and old alike and everyone in between. There are group tours (20+) and small/family tours (under 20). They start up in late March each year and run through November (weather permitting). They’ve been offering tours for over a decade, and they love sharing the love they have for their farm and what they do with others. The tour lasts 1.5 hours. The cost is $8 per person and a reservation is needed. Reservations here.
Their farm store is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 7pm and on Saturday from 9am – 5pm. Here you’ll find Happy Cow Creamery milks, butter, ice cream, and specialty dairy products like cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt. They also sell locally sourced homemade breads, jarred veggies, pickles, sauces, dressings, condiments, as well as beef, chicken, eggs, goat products, lamb, pork, rabbit, ostrich and much more! This is no little farm-stand. This is a full-fledged farm store! There’s a seasonal photo booth set up outside the store… Don’t forget to get your SC Agritourism Passport stamped!
Happy Cow Creamery and
Trantham’s 12 April Farm
332 McKelvey Rd, Pelzer, SC 29669