MTSU College of Graduate Studies senior graduation analyst and former fermentation science student Lyndsey Bennett and her young family arrived before 8 a.m. at the Main Street Saturday Market because “you’ve got to get here before all the chocolate milk is all gone.”
With 2-year-old son Eddie enjoying the chocolate milk his dad Greg Bennett, an MTSU alumnus, was letting him drink, the Bennetts and hundreds of others celebrated the return of the farmer’s market and second-year appearance of the MTSU Creamery, which joined more than 50 other vendors selling products May 22 at the Historic Rutherford County Courthouse.
The Main Street Saturday Market resumed its annual summer and fall season that will continue through Oct. 30. This year, there is no mask mandate as COVID-19 protocols have been lifted, said Linda Weeks, Saturday market manager.
For the first time in the two years the MTSU Creamery has been a part of the market, ice cream in a variety of flavors was available in 20-ounce containers, said Matthew Wade, MTSU Farm Laboratories director. The ice cream is a partnership with Two Fat Men Catering of Lebanon, Tennessee.
“It was a great day for us,” Wade said. “We did a tremendous amount of business today. The (Main Street) folks at the farmer’s market are so good to work with. We got to re-associate ourselves with a lot of alumni and local community people. What great supporters they are.
“We appreciate them coming out and backing our MTSU milk program, and buying the chocolate milk and even the ice cream we had today — that’s a first for us. We sold over three-quarters of the ice cream we had and people loved it. We didn’t even advertise it that heavily. If we had, we probably would’ve sold it all. Next week, we will. We’re just glad to be back. It’s a fun day, a good day and we’re glad we can be here.”
Chocolate, strawberry, sugar-free strawberry, butter pecan, vanilla and salted caramel are some of the ice-cream flavors. The cartons will sport new MTSU Creamery labels in the near future.
For Week 1, MTSU student workers brought 400 pints of chocolate milk, 219 half-gallons of chocolate milk, 60 pints of white milk and 40 gallons of whole while milk, Wade said. For sale, too, are MTSU Dairy Science Club T-shirts. Free coloring books are available for children.
The MTSU Creamery was such a hit in 2020 student workers made return trips to campus to pick up more milk each week.
Rising MTSU sophomore Sophie Buck was one of the musicians performing at the market. She plays fiddle and is a graphic design major who is minoring in music.
Fruits and vegetables, flowers, meat, bread and jams, jellies, honey, cinnamon rolls, fried pies and more — many that go great with cold milk from the Creamery are part of the Saturday market.
June Dairy Month kickoff
Wade, milk processing plant manager Steve Dixon and student workers Erin Coleman, Joshua Wade, Scott Ayers and Megan Sentel attended the June Dairy Month kickoff Friday, May 21, at Battle Mountain Farm in College Grove, Tennessee.
Hosted by Charlie Hatcher, the 38th Tennessee commissioner of agriculture and a veterinarian, the event comes less than two weeks before the start of June Dairy Month in Tennessee.
The MTSU Creamery provided white and chocolate milk for the kickoff.
“It went very well,” Wade said. “It was a day for showcasing the dairy industry. Our students represented us well. The speaker, Matt Niswander, had a participation moment for the students.”
Niswander, who is from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is a family nurse practitioner and first-generation angus beef cattle farmer.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)