The process is simple - find a certain code on your carton and match it up on this page to a dairy. By the way, the website says that this works with most dairy items - sour cream, some ice creams, cheeses, yogurts, etc.
But when you look closer, it's not that simple. These aren't necessarily dairies they're linking to, but collection points. Katherine (at Our Report Card) noticed this too. I had bounced over to the link before I finished reading her post, so I noticed it when I realized that my father-in-law's small dairy in Wyoming wasn't listed. Then I looked again at the list for Idaho, and realized that of course it was too short to list all of the dairies (we have a *lot* of dairies in this area) around here. A few of the places listed in the Idaho section (which I've copied below) are dairies, but they are very large dairies with their own large tanks.
So all of these collection points are pooling together the milk of thousands of cows and you still don't know where your milk is coming from. I think it shows a huge disconnect from the source of your food when you don't realize (as I didn't for 20-odd years) that the carton of milk in your fridge could easily contain the milk from hundreds of cows. To me, that has the same 'ick' factor as finding out years ago that the burgers you eat at McDonald's could easily contain the ground up meat of hundreds of different cows (from many different countries, even).
So this is an interesting - and even useful in some ways - list, but it certainly doesn't tell you where the cows your milk comes from are from. I know that some of these collection points collect milk from different states. But it's a start, and what's more, it's an acknowledgment that the general public is starting to wake from a deep, apathetic sleep when it comes to their food. And that, my friends, is good news indeed, don't you think? It makes me hopeful.
I've copied the list here for Idaho, just in case it gets taken down for some reason.
Idaho - 16
|16-345||Best Whey Coop||Firth|
|16-24||Brewster West Llc||Rupert|
|16-371||Dairy Farmers Of America - Eastern Idaho||Salt Lake City, Ut|
|16-351||Dairy Farmers Of America - Magic Valley - Idaho||Salt Lake City, Ut|
|16-342||Dairy Farmers Of America - Treasure Valley||Salt Lake City, Ut|
|16-357||Glanbia Foods Inc||Twin Falls|
|16-366||Gossner Foods Inc||Logan, Ut|
|16-365||Gossner Foods Inc||Logan, Ut|
|16-40||Gossner Foods - Magic Valley||Heyburn|
|16-45||High Desert Milk Inc||Burley|
|16-381||High Desert Milk Inc||Burley|
|16-09||Horizon Organic Dairy (Idaho Farm)||Paul|
|16-380||Horizon Organic Dairy (Idaho Farm)||Paul|
|16-25||Idaho Milk Products||Jerome|
|16-348||Independent Milk Producers Llc||Twin Falls|
|16-11||Jerome Cheese Co||Jerome|
|16-340||Jerome Cheese Co||Jerome|
|16-361||Ken Hall Dairies||Terreton|
|16-354||Magic Valley Quality Milk Producers||Jerome|
|16-05||Meadow Gold Dairies||Boise|
|16-321||Northwest Dairy Assn.||Seattle, Wa|
|16-352||Northwest Dairy Assn. (Bulk Tank Unit) - Magic Valley||Seattle, Wa|
|16-341||Northwest Dairy Assn. - Treasure Valley||Seattle, Wa|
|16-350||Reed's Dairy Farm Inc||Idaho Falls|
|16-360||Snake River Dymen's Association||Pocatello|