Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Meet your dairy consumer: Santa Claus

PD Editor Fredric Ridenour Published on 07 December 2012


HOW WE MET: It all started when I heard some sort of clatter out on my lawn last year. Springing from my bed and grabbing my eight-iron (I’ve never trusted my nine-iron), I tiptoed down the stairs to catch what I thought was an intruder rustling around in my living room. Imagine my surprise to find the Jolly Old Elf himself putting goodies under the Christmas tree. I offered him some homemade chocolate chip cookies and he was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions.



Santa Claus
  • Santa Claus

  • Age : Many, many years
  • CEO and Transportation Specialist, St. Nick Enterprises

Last time you visited a farm?
That would have been about 10 minutes ago. Nice family. Left out cake.

How close have you ever been to a dairy cow?
I’ve definitely touched cows before. Heck, I was outside of Duluth in ’77 and the owner of the home had forgotten to put milk out with the cookies. Fortunately, there was a small dairy nearby and I was able fill my thermos with a little unpasteurized libation.

What dairy products do you most frequently buy?
Are you kidding?! All of them! Milk is the official drink at my company. The wife makes these fantastic cookies called Butter Rings around the holidays. I can pound a couple dozen of those. And every Monday is “cheese platter day.” I love ’em all, except for that Morbier cheese – I just can’t get past the odor. But the elves over in electronics love it.

Why do you consume dairy products?
It does a body good! I may be quite old, but my bones are in great shape.

How many gallons do you buy in a month?
I’d say we go through about 7,500 gallons per month. You ever see that show “Ice Road Truckers”? We’ve got one of those fellas makin’ the trip 12 times a year.


What is a good deal for a gallon of milk?
To be left alone in a dark refrigerator until its temperature reaches 33ºF.

How much is too much to pay for a gallon of milk?
I make it a point to never buy milk in downtown Los Angeles or New York. Those prices are goofy!

What is your favorite or most frequent time/place to consume dairy products?
First thing in the morning and right before I hit the sack at night. And about 73 times in between.

If one-on-one with a dairy farmer, what question would you ask him or her?
Have you been naughty or nice? Ho, ho, ho! I love that one.

What word would you use to describe the work of a dairy farmer?
Amazingly-difficult! When it’s hyphenated, it counts as one word.

Positive industry image
It really is the correct choice when it comes to drinks and snacks. The billboards with smiling kids and a tall cool glass of milk is the right direction to go. And they even asked me to do a “got milk” commercial a few years back. That was a blast.


Negative industry image
For whatever reason, there are some people out there who think cows never get dirty. And then they think that a dirty cow can’t give good milk. It’s really silly.

Who do you trust for information about your food?
Mrs. Claus. She’s always keeping track of my diet and making sure I’m getting the right caloric intake. I just can’t afford downtime.

How many cows are there in the average herd in your area?

Eight. Wait … I thought you were asking about reindeer. PD


Fredric Ridenour

Progressive Dairyman