THANK YOU FOR HELPING US REACH OUR GOAL!
We want to make great cheese right on our farm. Help support us to make our dream a reality!
Jer-Lindy Farms is home to 160 cows and 4 redheaded daughters, thus the namesake of our future creamery. Alise's parents, Jerry and Linda, milk the cows daily on this family farm, as they have for over 30 years. In fall 2012, their third daughter, Alise, her husband Lucas and newborn daughter, Lucy, moved back to the farm and invented Redhead Creamery - at the time a fictional cheese company. As you'll hear in the video, it was originally Alise's dream to get out of milking cows (although she'll continue doing just that). But now is the time to make her cheese dream a reality.
The cheese plant is our family's plan to pass the farm on to the next generation. With the funds raised in this Kickstarter campaign, Lucas and Alise, 26 and 27, will actually have their head above water for an otherwise huge loan on the cheese plant (see the video for more details).
Since a young age, "Cheese Alise" spoke of turning the farm's high quality milk into great-tasting cheese. So, she studied dairy food quality in college but then thought her dream was over when she couldn't find a job in the field. By chance or fate, Lucas took a job in Vermont that allowed Alise to work for an award-winning cheesemaker and see one of America's premier artisan cheese states first-hand. The couple relocated to Wisconsin after a couple years and again Alise found herself working for an award-winning cheese company. She also completed her cheesemaking certificate at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, and felt ready to go on her own.
Our small farm needs to grow if we're going to include another family. Rather than adding more buildings and more cows, we hope to make cheese so we can continue working with our family, and taking our food from the farm directly to your table. The funds would cover less than 10% of the proposed project, but will allow the Sjostroms, ages 27 and 26, to gain equity in the farm business and eventually take ownership.
So far, Alise and Linda took our milk in cans two hours to the University of Minnesota's cheese plant. Of course, this is inconvenient, but there are sacrifices one must make for good cheese! Now we'd like to keep the milk home, creating farmstead cheese that is powered by renewable energy.
What makes Redhead Creamery's cheese "green?"
In 2007, Jer-Lindy Farms undertook a project to install an anaerobic digester. Essentially, it turns the cows' manure into electricity. While the project was a financial and logistic leap of faith, the gang at Jer-Lindy farms are proud to be innovators and stewards in the environment The whey leftover from making cheese could be another great component to make more green electricity. We also want a low-impact building, which is why we're going to utilize geothermal energy in the plant to heat our water. Learn more in this video:
We're currently creating delicious aged Cheddars, a cheese Minnesota lacks in an artisan variety. The new plant would allow us the opportunity to create even more great cheese! We want to make the best cheese we can, from the best cows we know, on the best cared-for land on the planet.
We're building a 40'x40' plant that will hold our cheese make room, viewing area, caves, and everything it takes to make a cheese plant hum. While the plant and equipment will cost many times what we hope to raise through this campaign, these funds will kickoff our funding campaign to be able to fully furnish the plant for the highest quality cheese.
While we always welcome visitors, the funds will allow us to build a suitable viewing area to create a community with everyone who loves Redhead Creamery cheese.
You may have noticed we're Redhead Creamery, not just cheese. That's because we could someday make ice cream or another dairy product if the opportunity presents itself.
Jer-Lindy Farms strives to be a sustainable Minnesota farm that is good for the community and environment. For their environmental stewardship, Jer-Lindy Farms was named a Five-Star Dairy for environmental excellence in 2007. In 2002, Jer-Lindy Farms was named Minnesota's dairy farm of the year. The happy Holstein and Brown Swiss dairy cattle make milk high in protein and fat, which is suited perfectly for cheese. At Jer-Lindy Farms, every cow is a lady and is treated as such.
In addition to the dairy herd, Jer-Lindy Farms has a small apple orchard and a Lowline Angus (bred for low carbon footprint) beef herd.
So please check out the rewards to see what you can get for your contribution, then share this with a friend! Thanks so much!
Risks and challenges
We're well into the planning process, and with over 30 cheese plants visited in 10 states and two countries, we've done as much homework as feasible. That being said, there are always unforeseen challenges and we hope to attack them head-on.
Our financial need to create this project is our biggest challenge - and that is why we're launching this Kickstarter campaign. We feel we have the experts in place to build a plant once we overcome that obstacle.
After construction is complete, the next challenge is our yearning to make excellent cheese. Cheesemaking is truly an art, so although we have recipes we like, everything is different with a new plant. We will continue to work hard to find a cheese that makes our high standards and use consultants if need be to help us break any remaining barriers.
Food safety is always a concern, and that's why we'll go the extra mile to use Good Manufacturing Practices and record anything measurable to ensure consistency and product goodness.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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