We’ve long had a dream of bringing the beautiful golden milk of the Guernsey cow to consumers. If you’ve never had fresh Guernsey milk, it has a glorious golden color and its richness is incredible.
Over the past three years, Julie and I have researched this dream a bit more. We’ve talked with many people from fellow Guernsey breeders doing value-added dairy processing to industry, government and university experts. Every Guernsey famer we’ve spoken with has said that it’s a no-brainer to process our own milk. People love Guernsey milk! More than once we have heard that when people start drinking Guernsey milk, they won’t go back to standard grocery store milk.
Living in the Dairy State, we are fortunate to have access to an immense amount of resources. However, Wisconsin also has some of the strictest guidelines you will find. Those guidelines quickly take the romance out of the dream. However, all these regulations are a good thing. Food safety is paramount, and these regulations ensure that dairy products produced in Wisconsin are of the highest quality and safety.
In 2019, I left my career in biotech and put my efforts towards a farmstead creamery making artisan butter. Based on all these hurdles and regulations you may ask, why? Because of sustainability. We want to find a balance so the farm can continue for future generations. We want consumers to know where their food comes from and see the work that farmers put into caring for animals.
This is a passion project. Leaving a successful career in biotech was not an easy decision. During the months before leaving my job, things started to fall into place. A good friend that I grew up with is a cheesemaker and provided me with the opportunity to, literally, get my feet wet working in a dairy plant. That turned into the decision to pursue both a cheesemaker and buttermaker’s license and apprenticeship.
Another nugget fell into place when I was offered a position in sales and marketing at a local farmstead creamery that bottles milk and makes ice cream. These have been great opportunities to understand the market and develop relationships with potential future customers.
We are excited to able to sell product this spring. It was a long journey, but a worthwhile one!