The Borden® Brand: 150 Years Strong.
There's no use crying over spilt milk. But spoiled milk? Well, that's another story. It was the 1850s. Then, as today, dairy products were an important part of the American diet. However, access to refrigeration was a practically nonexistent luxury. That meant a lot of wasted milk.
Enter Gail Borden, a man who found his real calling in efforts to create good, wholesome products for an emerging consumer nation.
In 1856, Borden patented his design of a process that condensed milk as a means of preventing spoilage. Just a year later, Borden would establish the New York Condensed Milk Co. in Burrville, Conn. Borden went on to build facilities in Connecticut, New York and Maine. In 1861, the Union Army called on Borden to supply condensed milk in large quantities, and the business really began to grow.
As his business expanded, Gail Borden strived to adhere to the "Dairyman's Ten Commandments," the guidelines and standards for barn and herd cleanliness which even today are the basis of many health department regulations. Consequently, Borden would become known as "the father of the modern dairy industry". By 1875, thanks to Borden's processes, America could rely on dairy products that would remain wholesome and healthy for long periods of time. In 1885, the company pioneered the use of glass milk bottles. Along the way, the company's products became synonymous with quality.
By the turn of the century, Borden® products reached $10 million in sales and in 1919 changed its name from the New York Condensed Milk Co. to Borden® Co. and Borden's®. The first annual report listed assets including 21 milk plants, eight dairy farms, 156 bottling plants, 70 city pasteurization plants throughout the U.S., and 3,400 horses and wagons.
By 1928, the Borden brand had expanded to all regions of the country and had become a nationally known brand. But it wasnt until the1930s that the companys products would become forever tied to Elsie the Cow. Elsie first appeared as one of many cartoon cows extolling the benefits of milk in medical journals. The first live Elsie was selected at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. By the 1940s, one study showed that more people recognized Elsie than President Harry Truman.
Today, consumers can still meet Elsie at fairs, stores and events all over the country. More than ever, Elsie is a symbol of the best the farm has to offer. Thats because today, the makers of Borden Cheese products carry on the personal tradition of wholesome quality established by Gail Borden. Borden Cheese is made by a 100% farmer-owned cooperative. That means 100% of our proceeds go back to American dairy farmers and their families.
In 2008, the Friends of Elsie campaign waslaunchedto help demonstrate the mutually beneficial relationship that farmers and consumers enjoy through the Borden Cheese brand. When you see Elsie on a package of cheese, you know youre not just buying a quality product for your family, but youre also supporting American dairy farmers and their families. Some of whom probably make their home near you.
It all adds up to wholesome, quality cheese for American families from American farmers. We believe it's a legacy that would make Gail Borden proud.