We use significantly less "food miles."
The unique density of family farms in Southwestern Wisconsin means it takes fewer “food miles” for us to produce our specialty and artisanal-style cheeses.
The prehistoric glaciers that flattened the Wisconsin landscape missed the southwest corner of the state, so that an aerial view of Grant County and its surrounding environs reveals a rich tapestry of rolling hills and dales.
And in those dales lie some of the richest farmland and pastures in the world.
This lack of contiguity discourages large corporate farming—but is ideally suited for smaller family farms, the average size of which is 243 acres, and constitute nearly ninety percent of total farms in the county.
Their owners typically do their own chores, and their dairy cows graze freely in open pastures.
As testimony to the efficiency of these family farmers, Grant County routinely ranks second or third in overall milk production in Wisconsin—meaning that together they out-produce virtually all of the corporate behemoths that are attracted to the larger stretches of uninterrupted farmland found elsewhere in the state.
The Meister Cheese Company operates in the midst of this abundance, sourcing milk from only those family farmers who practice environmentally sustainable agriculture.
Thereby, we purchase milk from about 100 local farms, making us a major market for our stewardship neighbors.
Thus, our proximity to these densely distributed family farms means it takes less “food miles” to produce our cheeses, which is better for the environment, supports family agriculture, and yields production cost savings that make us a highly competitive source of award-winning specialty and artisanal-style cheeses.
Find out more about Meister sustainable practices.