Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 25, 2013.

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Redhead Creamery needs a new on-farm plant to bring more great cheese to Minnesota. We'll use our whey to power the neighborhood.

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.

Alise learning at VIAC
Alise learning at VIAC

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:

The Cheeses

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.

Our [unnamed] ash-rubbed cheddar.
Our [unnamed] ash-rubbed cheddar.

The Creamery

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.

Redhead Creamery blueprints, the side with windows faces the pond!
Redhead Creamery blueprints, the side with windows faces the pond!
This is the cheese plant's future location, as close to the parlor (on the right) as possible to keep the milk fresh.
This is the cheese plant's future location, as close to the parlor (on the right) as possible to keep the milk fresh.

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.

The Farm

Betsy loves life at Jer-Lindy Farms
Betsy loves life at Jer-Lindy Farms

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. 

All cows get a two-month vacation before they have their calf. Here our "dry cows" are eating their feed.
All cows get a two-month vacation before they have their calf. Here our "dry cows" are eating their feed.

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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

  • We (Redhead Creamery) pay shipping on all shipped items.

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  • Yes, we'll figure out details if (when?) the project is successful.

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  • Both the large dinner for 50 people ($150 contribution level) and the dinner for 10 will be in fall 2014. When we are a few months away we will set dates to try to accommodate as many schedules as possible. Of course, if you couldn't make a dinner we can find another way to make it up to you, but our hope is the first 50-person dinner sells out so we can have another date.

    Side note: If we find willing chefs (once our cheese is more widely used) they also may contribute to the dinner.

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499
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$41,495
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    6 backers

    A great big THANK YOU on our Facebook page and website.

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    5 backers

    We'll mail you a Jer-Lindy Farms recipe postcard, featuring a picture from the farm and one of Alise and Linda's favorite recipes, (U.S. only) plus Reward 1.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    50 backers All gone!

    EARLY-BIRD: The first 50 people wanting cheese can get a half-pound for just $15, plus rewards 1&2.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    189 backers

    You'll get a pound of our first batches of cheese shipped to your door (or for pickup) when we start production! It will be delicious. Plus Rewards 1 & 2.

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    10 backers

    No need for cheese? We'll give you a spot on our cheese plant's wall of fame to forever recognize your contribution in building our plant. Plus, rewards 1 & 2.

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    22 backers

    CHEESE CURDS! A pound of cheese curds with our still-in-experiment-mode deep fry batter will head your way (we'll have it finalized by the time it reaches you). Plus rewards 1 & 2.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    9 backers

    Come to Cheese Alise's cheese class in Sauk Centre, Minn., where you'll learn all about Minnesota cheeses, including those from Redhead Creamery. Plus, we'll give you rewards 1 & 2!

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    40 backers

    You will have the latest Redhead Creamery style with your new Redhead Creamery t-shirt, shipped to you, plus a pound of cheese!

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    15 backers Limited (65 left of 80)

    Wanna be part of the farm? We'll name a cow after you! (Or a mutually agreed upon name of your choosing.) Since we register our cows with the Holstein and Brown Swiss associations, you'll receive an official registration paper including the name, birthday, and parents' (sire and dam) names. Only about 80 ladies are born per year, so sign-up soon! Plus, your name will forever be on our wall of fame in the plant since you're a big supporter of Redhead Creamery. Plus rewards 1 & 2.

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    80 backers

    Need SWAG? Redhead Creamery has the outfit for you. You'll receive (all branded Redhead Creamery): an apron, cheese board (red handle, 4.5"x8"), t-shirt, and a lunch cooler bag stuffed with 2 pounds of cheese! And your name will be on our wall of fame!

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    25 backers Limited (22 left of 47)

    Want to eat local? Come to our farm dinner and we'll show you how! You will come for a harvest meal prepared by the crew at Redhead Creamery, unless we have area chefs using our cheese step forward. There will be 50 seats at this table, but we promise to give you a chance to talk to the people behind the cheese! All the main ingredients will come right from the farm including Redhead Creamery cheese, Jer-Lindy Farms' Lowline Angus beef, Jer-Lindy Farms' apples, sweet corn, plus herbs and other vegetables from the farm's garden. Sorry, no transportation provided. Plus, we'll give you rewards 1,2, 4, and a spot on our wall of fame!

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    10 backers All gone!

    Come to our farm for a tour of the plant once we're up and running with four of your friends. This 2-hour tour gives time for us to show you the new digs and send you home with 5 pounds of cheese! Sorry, transportation will not be provided. Plus, we'll give you rewards 1,2, a tee-shirt, and a spot on our wall of fame!

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    10 backers All gone!

    Come make cheese with us! You and up to three friends can come spend a day making cheese with us in the new plant. Plus, we'll give you rewards 1,2, a tee-shirt, a quarter wheel of cheese (2.5 pounds), and a spot on our wall of fame!

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    WE COME TO YOU! Alise will bring her cheese class to your home or business, complete with the cheese, beverages, and everything else needed for a good time! This two-hour class will touch on sensory analysis, a history of cheese, and Minnesota cheeses with you and up to 9 friends! ONLY WITHIN 200 MILES of Brooten, MN! Plus rewards 1 & 2.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    7 backers All gone!

    You get the full package, thank you so much. A private farm-made dinner for you and 3 friends, PLUS make cheese with us (up to 3 friends), PLUS, we'll give you rewards 1, 2, a half wheel of cheese, and a spot on our wall of fame! We are forever indebted.

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Funding period

- (31 days)