Common grace for the common good—and cows, milk, a city, and a man whose vocation holds them all together.

Because of years living in relation to Pittsburgh—some years as a resident and many years as a visitor –I have been drinking Turner Dairy’s milk for a long time. This family-owned company offers the city an array of products that are a foretaste of eschatological cuisine.

Yesterday I drove up Jefferson Road in the east hills of Pittsburgh, and wound my way into the headquarters of the dairy, eager to finally meet Walt Turner. For years I have heard of him through good friends whose judgment I trust, and finally we sat down to talk. A remarkably thoughtful man about all things that matter, he has a deeply-wrought vision for his vocation, connecting cows and a city.

From a principled concern for safety and health, exceeding local and national regulations for a quality product, to the intriguing reality that Walt knows the names and histories of everyone who works for him—stopping along the way of the tour he gave me to talk to scientists and engineers and bottlers and loaders and drivers and office-staff –to the fascinating family-wide, generational commitment to serving the city of Pittsburgh, the longer I listened the more deeply I loved this man.

We sat down at a table with magazines and newspapers telling the tale of the dairy. From the Post-Gazette’s “Best Place to Work” to its Gold Medals and First Places in national competitions, they have achieved an excellence that is rare. But it is the unusual heart of a man and his family that have stewarded a vision of business as common grace for the common good that makes sense of who they are and what they do– and makes their 1% Chocolate Milk not only tasty, but healthy too.

So as we talked we gloried in the gift of that comes from cows, imaginatively mixed together with cocoa by the Turner Dairy, making it the best chocolate milk in America. A conversation about a calling, about cows, about a city, and about the common good—a gift to me, and to all of us.

The Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College and Director of Regent’s Master of Arts in Leadership, Theology, and Society program, Steven is the founder of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Meet Dr. Steven Garber