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A2 producing Menahga cow featured outside Elden's with Ten Finns Creamery family

Ten Finns Creamery is Minnesota's first A2 only herd and creamery. A2 is a type of protein found in cows' milk. Regular milk has both A1 and A2 proteins. Joel Hendrickson of Ten Finns Creamery's herd of milking cows only have A2 protein.

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Joel Hendrickson of Ten Finns Creamery in Menahga provided samples and information on A2 milk outside of Eldens on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, with Tulip, one of his A2 milk-producing cows, and four of his and his wife Amanda's 12 children. From left, Lucy, 12, Lilly, 10, Maria, 10, Joel and Lane, 9.<br/>
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA — Grocery-getters were greeted with a surprise outside of Elden's Fresh Foods Alexandria on Saturday, Sept. 3.

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Carter Townsend, 6, of Minnetonka stands next to Tulip the Brown Swiss cow outside of Elden's Fresh Foods on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

Tulip, an A2 milk-producing Brown Swiss cow along with her owner Joel Hendrickson of Ten Finns Creamery in Menahga and four of his 12 children greeted shoppers outside the grocery store. Milk samples and information pamphlets about their operation and the benefits of A2 milk were provided. Those willing had the opportunity to meet and pet Tulip.

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Lucy Hendrickson pours a sample of chocolate A2 milk outside of Elden's.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

A2 is a type of protein found in cows' milk. Regular milk has both A1 and A2 proteins but the milk-producing cows Hendrickson raises only have A2. The protein is isolated through careful breeding practices and by testing the milk for A1 proteins.

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Lucy Hendrickson, 10, left, pets her family's cow, Tulip, as her dad, Joel Hendrickson, looks with an approving smile.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

In an earlier Echo Press article, Hendrickson said milk with A2 proteins may be more easily digestible for people with stomach problems. He added that some people with lactose intolerance may not be intolerant at all. They may just be having an adverse reaction from the A1 protein.

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Sporting her pink helmet, Clara Prins, 2, of North Oaks, gave the A2 milk-producing cow, Tulip, a pet after grocery shopping with her mom and grandpa on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

Ten Finns Creamery — named after his families Finnish heritage and his 10 children — is Minnesota's first A2 only herd and creamery.

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Hendrickson jokes that they should have named it Ten Plus Finns as he and his wife now have 12 children.

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Tulip the cow watches as a sample of A2 milk is poured by Lucy Hendrickson, 12.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

Four of the twelve helped their dad by pouring samples of their milk and flagging down passerbyers with pamphlets of information on the milk. Those who stopped had the option to try either whole, 2% of chocolate milk. The chocolate milk is sweetened with natural cane sugar to avoid using GMOs found in corn starch.

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Charlotte Townsend, 6, left, from Minnetonka, and her brother Carter Townsend, 6, pose with Tulip outside of Elden's.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

On the pamphlet, it reads that "We created Ten Finns Creamery to teach our little ones the value of honest work and the importance of producing premium, natural and nutritious products that make people feel great."

Ten Finns Creamery's A2 milk is currently available at Elden's Fresh Foods.

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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