Farmstead cheese is produced using milk from the farmer’s own herd, on the farm where the animals are raised

American Cheese Society

The meaning of farmstead is sacred among dairy farmers and cheesemakers, and we know you value it too. As a true Wisconsin farmstead, we only use milk from the animals we raise. With a passion for knowing where our food comes from, we wouldn’t make our award-winning cheese any other way.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes, step-by-step look.

SouRcing the Milk

It all starts with raising healthy, happy, productive cows in the heart of America’s Dairyland. Our cows have their own dietitian and our team is trained to treat our animals with respect. Our cheese plant is steps away from our milking parlor, allowing us to begin the cheesemaking process within 90 seconds of milking.

Here is a look at our milking parlor, designed to keep the cows comfortable and content.

Handling the Milk

We are careful not to alter the physical structure of the milk through storing, pumping or shipping. It goes right into the vat to harden into curd.

Next, we cut the vat with specialized curd knives, called harps, to separate the curds and whey.

Monitoring The Process

Our talented cheesemakers have over 30 years of combined experience. They use every sense—touch, taste, sight, smell and sound—to make real-time adjustments based off what the cheese is telling them. They agitate the curds and whey to keep them from sticking together and to expel moisture.

They check the consistency of the curd size.

Using Our Hands

In order to get that hand-crafted taste, we use, well, our hands! Every ounce of Ponderosa Farmstead cheese is hand-manipulated.

The cheesemakers feed the cheddar slabs into the milling machine to shape into fresh cheese curds.

They mix in natural ingredients like salt to preserve the cheese and add flavor. No chemical preservatives are needed with milk this fresh.

They then add mozzarella curd to the cooker to melt and check the stretchiness of the melted curd before it’s formed into whips.

The whips are cut and dropped into a saltwater brine, adding flavor and cooling the individual pieces of cheese.

Our cheesemakers constantly handle the whips to prevent them from sticking together while they cool.

Shipping To YOu

Six hours later, we have a delicious finished product. We do one more quality check before packaging it up and shipping across the country to cheese lovers like you. And, Voila! We have the finished product.

We cut our cheese to exact length.