Our Story

Pristine by Nature. Clean by Routine. Consistent by Design.

High Desert Milk was founded in 2001 by six dairy producers with aspirations to create a stable market for their milk and to develop high quality dairy products. Since building our facility in 2008, we have continued to grow and develop in both quality and number of product offerings.

High Desert Milk's families farm the land, operate the dairies, manage the truck fleet, and own the manufacturing plant. Through vertical integration High Desert Milk can control and monitor all aspects of the supply chain and offer the customers transparency the cleanest and the freshest products in the market.

At High Desert Milk we know that quality milk begins with quality feed. Our dairy families' farms provide locally grown fresh feed. Dairy cows are fed a total mixed ration which is closely monitored and adjusted for animal health, nutrition, and welfare. High Desert Milk's in-house lab aids our dairies by providing real-time data. This data shows how nutrition is affecting cow health, milk quality and helps develop improved nourishment. In addition, all of our farms participate in Idaho's first in the nation FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program, focusing on animal welfare.

High Desert Milk Transport picks up fresh milk at each dairy multiple times a day and delivers it directly to the plant. Since our dairies are larger, often time a truck will pick up milk at a single dairy before bringing the milk to the plant. High Desert production practices allow for guaranteed clean, flavorful milk products. An average of 60 loads of milk arrives at High Desert Milk throughout the day. That is approximately 4.5 million pounds, or 525,000 gallons of milk processed daily. Each load is tested to confirm its high quality, tests include temperature, antibiotics and titratable acid. When the milk passes the tests, it is quickly unloaded to one our silos where the milk is kept below 40F until it can be processed. The trucks tanker as well as milk silos on the farm and in the plant are washed daily and are continually ready store milk safely. Since all our dairies are within 45 miles of the plant, milk typically doesn't sit at the dairy or in the plant for longer than 24 hours.

At High Desert Milk our farm fresh milk is made into 4 powder products: Nonfat dry milk, Skim milk powder, Buttermilk powder, and MPC (Milk Protein Concentrate).

Nonfat Dry Milk

The process of producing nonfat dry milk starts with pasteurization. Raw whole milk is pumped from our silo to our High Temperature Short Time (HTST) pasteurizer. Pasteurization reduces pathogenic bacteria making the milk safer to consume. We use a high temperature for a short time to preserve the fresh milks flavor and functionality. As a part of the pasteurization process the milk is separated creating 2 streams: skim milk and cream. The skim milk continues in the process while the cream is stored in silos for butter making.

After pasteurization, the skim milk passes through a Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit to concentrate the milk. Before drying, the milk needs to be further concentrated to make the drying process more efficient. The evaporator uses vacuum to create the gentle boiling process to remove water and concentrate the milk from 10% to 50% solids, while maintain milks functionality. To conserve energy, we recycle and recapture heat and steam from the process recovering approximately 700,000,000 lbs. of steam a year. In addition, we use a hot well to be able to heat the milk to create different heat-treated products: Low heat, medium heat, and high heat milk powders. Each type of powder has unique functionality that allows them to perform well in applications from fluid milk, ice cream and cheese, to baked goods and candies.

After concentration, the milk is pumped to the top of our spray dryer. The dryer is a large, heated cone with recirculating hot air that instantly evaporates the water leaving dried particles that can fall to the bottom for collection. Separatory funnels called cyclones separate the air from powder and bag houses help us recover as much powder as possible, as well as help to filter the air so that it can be returned to the environment. High Desert Milk subjects itself to rigorous testing to confirm that we aren't releasing any milk particle into the air. In all our heated processes we reuse heat to reduce the amount of energy we use and making a more efficient process.

The powder ends in a fluidized bed that helps to cool the powder before it is sifted and packaged. We offer a variety of packaging to better serve our customers, from 25kg bags, to 2200 and 3200 lbs. totes. Each lot of powder is tested to confirm it meets our high standards for quality.

Skim Milk Powder

The process for making skim milk powder is very similar to Nonfat Dry Milk with one important difference. We standardize the milk so that the protein in the final powder will be 34%, which is important in a lot of international markets.

Milk Protein Concentrate

Milk Protein Concentrate is our latest addition to High Desert Milk with the plant being commissioned in 2021. Milk Protein Concentrate is made by filtering skim milk to remove sugar, mineral and water to make protein a greater percentage of the solids. After pasteurization and separation of the raw whole milk, the pasteurized skim milk continues onto MPC production. First, the skim passes through Ultratfiltration (UF) membranes to remove lactose. Our cold filtration process preserves our high quality and great flavor and helps prevent bacteria growth during the process. Once we have achieved the correct protein ratio, the milk is pumped from the UF to our Nanofiltration (NF) skid. During NF, we remove more water to prepare for drying. The NF is used in a similar fashion as the evaporator for our NFDM process. NF creates a superior product as there is less heat damage to the proteins making them more functional for applications like cheese. During filtration, milk is concentrated to approximately 30% solids before drying. Our MPC can be produced in a range of protein from 70% up to 80% protein.

Our new Hi-tech two stage dyer allows us to dry our MPCs at lower temperatures to maintain quality, flavor, and functionality of the milk proteins. Our cooling bed precisely cools the MPC preserving our high quality from the farm all the way to the final product. We similarly offer this product in 20 kg bags as well as totes.


With all the cream generated in the previously mentioned process we added the ability to make butter in 2013. The process starts by bringing pasteurized cream to one of our 2 butter churns. In the churn the butter is whipped to form butter curds and enters a separation section to separate the butter from buttermilk. We then smooth the butter and pull a vacuum on the butter to create a smooth and consistent product. During this step, brine or flavors are added. We can produce butter from 80-83% depending on request. From there our butter flows to one our filling lines. Our butter is available in bulk 25 kg boxes, 1lb. solids or 1lb. quarters.

Our butter never uses whey cream and is never frozen on site so you can enjoy fresh, natural (Sweet Cream) butter, and a flavor that stands up to all national brands for quality and flavor. High Desert is the First & Only Idaho Preferred Brand Butter. Our size, staff, and equipment allow us to customize products upon request.

Buttermilk Powder

Buttermilk is the coproduct of butter making. Our buttermilk is pasteurized and passes through the same evaporation and spray drying process as our milk powders. Buttermilk is higher in fat than NFDM with 5-7% fat, with a rich buttery flavor. Our buttermilk powder is available in 25kg bags.

At High Desert Milk we offer products that are Grade A, Kosher, and Halal certified. High Desert's production process and commitment to clean, fresh milk allows our company to offer one of the lowest thermophilic spore-count powders available, with the option of heat stability in many our powder products.

Our dedicated state certified lab technicians validate the cleanliness of our equipment, from the dairy throughout the plant, and all the way to shipping containers that move High Desert's products around the U.S. and to the world. Lab personnel certify all products meet and exceed USDA quality standards. High Desert Milk's combined efforts benefit end users by supplying products with exceptionally low SPC (Standard Plate Count) and thermophilic counts.

High Desert Milk has adopted protocols to increase cleanliness and efficiency, which allows us to meet BRC level AA and exceed state, federal, international, and most importantly customer standards.

Our dedicated shipping department ensures that product is loaded properly and arrives safely at your facility. Our enhanced traceability allows us to follow the milk from the dairy all the way to each individual truck load.

Thank you for joining us at High Desert milk. We are passionate about what we do and hope you can see all the hard work and dedication that goes into our products to make each one of them world class.

High Desert Milk Groundbreaking

How We Began

HDM Ground Breaking
Ray Robinson - one of the cofounders of High Desert Milk - begins his first dairy.
Six dairy producers found High Desert Milk - building a business of pharmaceuticals for their animals and creating a market for their milk that better matches federal pricing.
First Load of Milk
After many years of planning, High Desert Milk breaks ground for a world-class milk plant.
The milk plant receives its first truckload of milk, the milk dryer is started, and the company delivers its first load of non fat dry milk.
HDM Plant Expansion
High Desert endures the highest construction costs in history to date as well as very low milk prices brought on by the Great Recession.
High Desert Milk butter is announced, construction on the butter plant is completed and butter production begins.
Expansion continues - consumer line for butter begins.
MPC Dryer Expansion
Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) is announced and constructions starts on a new dryer. MPC production starts the following February. High Desert Milk begins experimenting with direct-consumer sales by creating an R&D department that begins making new products.
Demand for High Desert Milk products grows and High Desert announces and starts construction on the new cream cheese plant.


As stewards of the land, high desert owners not only use the most environmental practices with their land and animals, but also in the process of making their milk products. Here is a brief mention of the ways that High Desert and its owners have been able to take care of our planet Earth thus far.

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It's common knowledge that cows produce waste from the corn, hay, barley, and other feed sources they eat. Natural solid and liquid waste still contain nutrients that nature can extract. Our dairies compost and then recycle the waste back to the soil for the nutrition of future crops. These nutrients are then re-consumed by our cattle, which emulates a natural ecosystem.

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The natural waste from our cows can digested before it is recycled to produce methane gas. This natural gas can be used to generate electricity. Built for this purpose, digesters currently in use on our farms will generate enough electricity to power over 15,000 homes!

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Using the hills to their advantage, the windmills that occupy land owned by our founders produce on average 2.41 million kWh/month, or enough to power over 2,700 homes!

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85% of the water used in our processing plant comes from the milk we dry in the plants machinery. We capture and recycle water by distillation, and reverse osmosis. Once reused in cleaning the plants equipment, we clean the water again prior to returning it to the environment.

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The processing plants evaporator produces a lot of steam. Through advanced environmental technologies, the energy (or heat) in this steam is recycled 16 times instead of consuming more energy in the form of natural gas or electricity, ultimately leading to a smaller energy footprint.

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The large exhaust stacks of the plant are emitting over 99.81% pure water (or steam) that has been reused multiple times to conserve energy. We are proud of our environmental record, and continually look for ways to improve upon it.

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High Desert Milk is mindful of our environmental stewardship as we grow. With each investment in our operations, we have invested in environmental protection. Our recent plant expansion included, almost a million dollars for larger technically advanced and more robust holding, digesting, and cleaning ability. Making our environmental footprint even smaller.

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Many of the products used at High Desert Milk - such as metal and paper products - (i.e. cardboard) are compacted and recycled on a daily basis.

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High Desert buys local. Dairies that supply milk to High Desert Milk are positioned within an average 30-mile radius (vs 50 mi. national average). This helps the environment through reducing fossil fuel usage to transport raw products by 40%.

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Technology is being adopted continually in our plant as well as at High Desert family dairies and farms. By using automated systems to produce our products, we have become more efficient with the inputs used. Currently over 1,000 of our cows are milked by robots, increasing cow comfort… It's true, by allowing cows to be milked voluntarily, they are truly more content. High Desert Milk is committed to pioneering technologies to create the healthiest products for you while sustaining a healthy environment for everyone.