In 1941 Arnold and Minnie Miller moved from the west side of McGregor, near today's location of SpaceX, to the Crawford area when the war department bought their homestead.
As many people did at that time, Arnold and Minnie raised and milked dairy cattle. They then sold the cream and the excess milk in Crawford.
In the early 1950's the Millers began selling their milk to a cooperative that picked up the milk at the farm and hauled it to a milk processor.
In the late 1960's, Arnold's son Billy began dairying with his father. After he married and finished school at A&M University, he and his wife Shorty continued to dairy.
In 1990 they built a state of the art freestall barn and milking parlor. Meanwhile they raised 3 children and grew their herd to over 600 head of cattle. Today, their youngest son, Craig, is now the third generation to own the farm.
Craig and his wife, Rhianna, came back to the family farm in 2005 after finishing their degrees at Tarleton State University.
After several years, Craig took the knowledge he had learned on the farm and started a bovine genetic consulting business. He and his wife traveled across Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma working with 10,000 head dairies to 1 cow family milkers.
Mill-King Dairy Transformation
Allergies Spur a Change
When Craig and Rhianna married, it was the family joke that Craig had brought a wife home to the family dairy and she couldn't even drink milk! Beginning in her teen years, Rhianna would develop a migraine anytime she drank or ate dairy products.
However after meeting many people that were consuming raw milk without negative side effects, Rhianna was encouraged to try it. She did.....with no migraine........and it began a transformation of the family farm.
From Co-op to Farmstead Processor
Along with the revelation that Rhianna could drink raw milk and eat raw cheese, the family decided that it was no longer possible to continue the traditional method of dairying by selling their milk only to a cooperative due to the low prices that dairy farmers were being paid.
In December of 2010, the family earned their retail raw milk license from the state and began selling that on the farm.
It was shortly discovered that there was a significant need for a milk that was a legal option for consumers who could not reach the place of production (i.e. the farm).
Low-Temp Non-Homogenized Milk
In late 2011 the family installed their first pasteurizer and began selling their low-temperature non-homogenized milk at farmers' markets and natural food establishments in Austin.
Today, you can find Mill-King milk in small mom-and-pop grocery stores to large grocers like Whole Foods Market, Central Market and Natural Grocers. Their milk is also used in high-end restaurants and coffee shops across the state. Their milk is also used by artisan ice cream and cheesemakers throughout the state.
They pride themselves on producing the best milk in Texas for consumers, chefs and restaurateurs.