Please click on the "Read More" tab to the right to read the minutes from the October 4 meeting of the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg.
President Jaclyn Adams presided over the meeting. Thanks to Freddy Walter who gave the invocation and to Lynn Walton who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jerome Brown and Brandon Hodges served as our greeters today.
Tracie Fowler introduced today’s guest. Chris Dunkley is a quest of Jerome Brown. 
Jaclyn thanked all of the members who volunteered, who stayed late and to those who made this year’s Bike-a-Thon a successful event. Jaclyn also noted that yesterday was Conrad Welker’s birthday.
Jaclyn then reminded everyone that even though Ryan Kelly was not in attendance today, he still needs speakers for the month of November.
James Mitchell then introduced today’s guest speaker, Kiahnell Smith who is the owner of Country Girl’s Creamery.
Country Girl’s Creamery (CGC) started in March 2010. Kiahnel began dairy farming in 1973 on family land. In 2009 Butch Smith joined the business introduced a new way of milking and marketing. They wanted a healthy alternative to “store-bought” milk., so they started Country Girl’s Creamery.
Kiahnell and Butch have different stories on how they came up with the name “County Girls Creamery”.  Kiahnell will tell you that the “country girls” are his herd of Jersey Cows, and Butch will tell you the “country girls” are his three daughters that show Jersey Cows in competition.
Because of the cost of feed increasing from $170 per ton, to over $300 a ton, Kiahnell decided the only way to overcome this cost would be to depend on more grass-feeding. They found this move didn’t just pay off financially, but their cows were significantly healthier. Cows are not designed to eat corn and other refined grains. They develop stomach problems, carry more harmful bacteria, experience more bloating, and sometimes stop eating altogether because of their discomfort.
The Smiths now raise small-bodied Jersey cows, which each produces about 5 gallons of milk per day.  With 116 head, they process about 580 gallons per day. The milk gets pumped from the milking parlor to the cooling room and then to a unique pasteurization process. CGC chooses to slowly bring their milk to 140 degrees, which differs from typical flash pasteurization at a higher heat which kills off many healthy enzymes and reduces vitamin content.
From there, the milk finds its way to farmer’s markets across South Mississippi, and is carried by many locally-owned grocers.  It is also sold from the farm to people or businesses that produce other dairy products (cheese, butter, cream, gelato, and more).
Country Girl’s Creamery hosts their annual Dairy Festival the first Saturday in October and it brings in more than 5,000 people per year.
Although they are not USDA certified organic, their products contain no hormones or other stimulants commonly used to aid in milk production. Additionally, their Jersey Cows graze on pesticide-free fields. Jersey milk contains about 20% more calcium than other milk and also has a higher concentration of Vitamins A, B1, and B2.
The milk is ALL natural and hormone free. The milk is pasteurized not homogenized to kill all harmful bacteria while still maintaining the health benefits and great flavor. The homogenization process breaks down the solids in the milk into particles too small to be absorbed and digested naturally. These small particles can be absorbed directly into our bloodstream which puts us at risk for many health problems including clogged arteries. By not homogenizing our milk, the fat is digested naturally which allows our bodies to receive its full nutritional value.
Country Girls Creamery also sell grass fed and hormone free beef. It’s a healthy and natural alternative choice to commercial brands. Their beef cattle are only fed grass and are very lean because they are Jersey cows.  You can buy the whole cow or half a cow. They also have pasture-fed chicken and pork products for sale that are all free of hormones and antibiotics.
Country Girls Creamery has tours of the farm.  Tours are available Monday through Friday and they can accommodate groups of any size.  Make sure to wear boots or tennis shoes because you are going to be walking all around the farm, and there will be all sorts of things that you don’t want to step in wearing flip flops and sandals.
If you are interested in purchasing dairy products, beef, chicken, pork or want to schedule a tour, please check out their website.  at or call Kiahnell or Butch at 601-606-1762.