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Ray Jackson is a dairy farmer in western Logan County looking into the niche market of a2 milk.

The top stories of 2016

Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest and at the end of the year we like to review the top stories to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top. In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2016 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, the tough farm economy, all things draft horse, and farm technology also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months.

This week we will count down the 10 most popular stories of 2016, starting now with #10.

10. The intrigue of a2 milk

Joel Penhorwood cracked into the top 10 this year with his fascinating story on dairy farmer Ray Jackson in western Logan County who is looking to diversify his product with what may be a trend on the horizon for the industry — something called a2 milk.

Regular cow’s milk is about 85% water. The rest consists of lactose, fat, proteins, and more. About 30% of the total protein in that assembly is made up of beta-casein. Two variants of this protein are found in cow’s milk, a1 and a2. Cows are genetically predisposed to produce milk with either a1 or a2 proteins, though a new trend has recently raised the eyebrows of dairy farmers looking to cows that can produce a2 without any a1 beta-casein for a potential new niche market.

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