APPLETON (WKOW) — It looks like a regular day of bottling milk at Lamers Dairy in Appleton, but every Wednesday there’s an extra person overseeing production.
Rabbi Yitzchok Miller said, "In the United States there are over 200 kosher supervising agencies, and some of them have different standards; some are more strict; some are more lenient. The rabbis that supervise Lamers kosher milk actually maintains the highest standard."
Rabbi Miller oversees milk bottling on Wednesdays when Lamers Dairy bottles the Kosher certified milk.
"Kosher production is just one day a week, and it fits in nicely with what we do. Of the stricter kosher products being made in dairy, out there, we are the only bottling plant in Wisconsin that does that," said Mark Lamers, President of Lamers Dairy in Appleton.
In Hebrew, the meaning of the word Kosher is – "Prepared properly." Contrary to popular belief, Rabbi Miller is not there to bless the milk. According to Kosher law, he must oversee and ensure that all of the kosher laws are being followed throughout the process. Rabbi Miller supervises the milking and seals the milk truck before it goes to the bottling plant, then inspects the seal before offloading the milk at the plant.
"Then they’ll transfer the milk over to a silo, and again the rabbi here will make sure that the silo has been cleaned and rinsed down. And then the milk, before it gets processed on the equipment here at Lamers dairy, the equipment needs to be kosherized," said Rabbi Miller.
Lamers Dairy was chosen because of its size and the quality Wisconsin milk.
Rabbi Miller said, "We hear all the time from visitors that come from New York that the Lamer’s milk tastes superior to anything that we have on the East Coast. So we feel doubly blessed that we have a company that is willing to accommodate our kosher requirements, but in addition, it’s really a top quality milk!"
Demand for kosher milk has increased by 20% in the past decade, and the kosher milk Lamers bottles are distributed to major cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Portland, South Bend and St. Louis.