Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published April 11, 2011, 06:15 AM

ND flax milk on national market

Stephanie Stober once sold Mary Kay Cosmetics and raised exotic animals. Now, she and her family company are selling flax milk at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

Stephanie Stober once sold Mary Kay Cosmetics and raised exotic animals.

Now, she and her family company are selling flax milk at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

“This is very exciting,” she says.

Beginning April 11, about 2.500 Wal-Mart stores will sell “Flaxmilk, All Natural Dairy Free Beverage” in the stores’ refrigerated section.

The flax milk sells for about $3 per half gallon.

Flax USA, the Goodrich, N.D.-based company operated by Stober and her family, approached the retail giant about the flax milk.

“They really liked it,” Stober says.

Sam’s Club, a chain of membership-only retail clubs owned and operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., already sells milled flax from Flax USA.

Stober suggests that consumers buy both products and pour the flax milk over the milled flax.

Healthy alternative

She declines to provide details of how and where her company’s flax milk is made. But the product is a good-tasting and healthy alternative to regular milk, she says.

The flax milk contains just as much calcium as dairy milk, she says.

Among other benefits cited for Flax USA’s Flaxmilk: It provides essential omega fatty acids, and is dairy-, gluten-, lactose- and soy-free, kosher and available in original and vanilla flavors.

There’s some evidence that flax has a number of health benefits, researchers say, and a growing number of consumers worldwide are interested in it.

Flax in farming

Stober and her family operate a fifth-generation family farm in Goodrich, in the central part of the state.

Flax, of which North Dakota is the nation’s leading producer, has been grown on the family farm since 1901. Flax is one of the world’s oldest crops and is used in many products, including paint and linen. Its role was declining for decades, but growing recognition of flax’s health benefits has reversed that.

Stober, like many other family farmers, has long searched for ways to bring in more income to the farming operation.

Among other things, she sold Mary Kay, earning herself a pink car. The training and experience acquired through Mary Kay has been a big help in business, she says.

In 2001, she and her husband, John, launched Flax USA.

Stephanie Stober says she was inspired by her mother, who always found ways to make additional income.

Stober encourages other people to pursue their dreams.

“If you have a dream, keep going forward. If the dream fails, try another dream. Don’t be afraid to try,” she says.

Information: www.flaxusa.com.

Tags: