Duo on a mission to bring fresh milk to Cambodia

Kenny Matthews and Matthew Boyd, two blond-haired former Mormon missionaries from the American West, claim to have succeeded where many others have failed: getting a dairy farm up and running in Cambodia.

The pair have a small ranch, Moo Moo Farms, located off a highway in Kandal province just south of the capital, which they claim is Cambodia’s first “fully functional” dairy farm.

“Fully functional” is a relative term, however. They only started distributing their product in February, and to just three locations in Phnom Penh. Whether they will be able to scale up and, more importantly, last the distance is yet to be seen.

The Kingdom has in the past been unkind to dairy farmers. Even big players – from 7NG to Mong Reththy Group and Nestlé – have tried and failed to start and maintain farms here, and the country has long imported virtually all of its dairy products.



Anyone who said biking in 105-degree weather on a rickety [bicycle] for miles is fun would be lying,” reminisced Matthews. “But at the same time... It was the best two years of our lives.”

Both Matthews and Boyd came away from missionary service fluent in Khmer, a skill that has been invaluable to them in working through the bureaucratic red tape that stands in the way of starting a business here, they said.

Matthews stressed repeatedly that the impetus for starting Moo Moo was fully humanitarian. After both spending time in the US earning business degrees following their missionary work, the pair brainstormed ventures that could allow them to return to Cambodia and “help Cambodians”.

They reasoned that a business, rather than a non-profit, could do the most good in the long run by providing jobs. (They currently employ eight Cambodians.) And both remembered, with displeasure, the boxed milk they consumed during their service work. They saw a gap in the market and sought to fill it, with milk.

“This is really to help the Cambodian people,” Matthews said from inside his barn, over a rumble of hearty moos.