Monday, January 25, 2010

From Capriole Farms: "We know our customers, because we are our customers."

Is there any more renowned artisanal product from Floyd County than Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheeses? I can only wish that some day, NABC is recognized for excellence in brewing in the way that Capriole sets the standard for cheese making.

The text reprinted here is from Judy Schad, and was included in Capriole's most recent e-newsletter. It is a concise statement of principle from a craft producer, and something that all of us can seek to emulate in our own fields.


Thanks for 2009 . . . hello 2010

We want to thank all of you who have supported us this past year--a tough one for many of us. After years milking goats and making cheese, we seriously wondered if we would be here at the end of the year, and if a small, specialty cheese company like ours could really survive the downturn and economic crunch?

At the end of the 2009, we were comforted to see that the worrying, belt tightening, and planning had paid off. Thanks to you, we're still here.

Our niche has always been that we do it all here on the farm, from tilling and harvesting the fields to raising our own animals, from using only our own quality milk to hand crafting the very best cheeses we can at an affordable, sustainable price. This makes us very different from large companies who can order milk from other producers. The farm and creamery are a demanding circle where every piece impacts the next one and the one after that. We must stay small enough to maintain this fragile continum in this very special place. If we have too many animals, make too many different cheeses, tax the land beyond what it can sustain for future generations, it fails. There is no place for greed in this equasion. We must give back what we take out.

This coming year we're working with the Natural Resouce and Conservation Service to plant wetland strips to control environmental impact from waste and run-off. We're also planning some meat products to utilize young, cull animals that can't make it in the dairy herd. At the same time we'll continue to be monitored by Certified Humane, who are stringent in their requirements but affirm our own years of practice. All these things are very important to our customers, but, most of all, to us.

In 2010 we will reaffirm what we've known since we began milking goats and making cheese over 22 years ago. We know our customers, because we are our customers.


Judy Schad, Capriole

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