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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Rutter’s Dairy Working Toward a Sustainable Future

May 26, 2017 10:04PM ● By Gisele Rinaldi Siebold

Rutter’s Dairy is a family-owned and operated business in York that has been serving the community for more than 90 years with high standards and a keen understanding of the importance of supporting the local community. Their vision isn’t just focused on maintaining the local landscape of today—but also the world of tomorrow—by following sustainable practices.

When the Rutter family began farming, sustainability wasn't just fashionable, it was a means of survival. Today, the Rutter's Dairy plant works to continue conservation efforts in addition to partnering with local farmers aiding the cause. Rutter’s plastic bottles are 100 percent recyclable and both the plant and warehouse save energy by using LED lighting. Improved manufacturing processes have reduced trash output by 40 percent. A modern truck fleet with the latest technology results in fuel efficiency and emissions reduction. Milk is sourced only from local farms in Central Pennsylvania––mainly York, Adams and Franklin counties––to reduce transportation costs and fuel waste.

Local farmers also contribute to the sustainable partnership. Recycled water keeps cows clean and healthy. Manure is recycled as fertilizer and bedding. Farmers keep their cows happy with ample food, clean water and exercise because happy cows produce more milk.

“Our farmers really do care, and we really do care about our farmers, their cows and our customers,” shares Rick Miller, director of sales at Rutter’s. “Because of this relationship and our high standards, the freshness of our dairy products speaks for itself.”

Rutter’s provides fresh, local, organic milk that does not share the same kind of expiration dates as national brands because the Rutter’s process is fresh and does not use high-temperature ultra pasteurization. Rutter’s gently pasteurizes their organic milk with the same method used for their premium milks.

The dates on Rutter’s milk are 17 days versus the national brand dates of 30 to 45 days. The simple reason behind this is that no matter what kind of pasteurization process milk undergoes, once it is opened it goes bad at about the same rate. Rutter’s feels that aggressive, high-temperature pasteurization affects the taste, and the company believes fresh milk tastes better.

Their traditional chocolate milk recipe includes real sugar––not high-fructose corn syrup––and real cocoa powder. Their fresh half-and-half is made with fresh milk and fresh cream. The epitome of a homegrown business, Rutter’s milk has gained a devoted following throughout Central Pennsylvania. Fans have voted Rutter’s to the top of the Best Milk category in the York newspaper’s annual reader’s poll, Best of York, for 14 consecutive years.

Rutter’s takes feedback from their customers seriously, and invites the community to provide their comments and suggestions online.

Rutter’s Dairy is located in York. To provide feedback, email [email protected]. For more information, visit

Gisele Siebold is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings, South Central edition. Connect with her at [email protected].