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Mountain View Farm Products: Cheese, cheese and ice cream

Throughout my internship I was able to work with multiple different farmers and their businesses. One that I spent a lot of time with was Mountain View Farm, a 250 acre dairy farm that also made farm fresh dairy products. In the summer Mountain View Farm milks about 180 of their 200 cows twice a day, during the winter this number decreases. Their cows are grazed and fed a non-GMO grain. The owners, Fred and Christy Huger and their three wonderful kids live and work on the farm. Fred handles and manages the dairy and cows while Christie makes the dairy products. Their business has a great story and has evolved and grown in a short amount of time. Christie originally started making cheese out of their kitchen, then upgraded to a trailer. As demand continued to grow she quit her full time job as an art teacher and decided to make cheeses full time and eventually built a cheese making and cheese aging facility on the farm. They sell and make a variety of different products like hard and soft cheeses, milk, butter and ice cream. All the their hard cheeses are made from unpasteurized milk and because of certain laws have to age it for 60 days. Their soft cheeses and spreads all use pasteurized milk. Mountain View Farm makes a variety of different cheese products like: jumpin’ jack chive, cheddar, feta, gouda, swiss, pimento cheese, mozzarella, fromage blanc and colby. Many of these cheeses have different flavoring added, like herbs or¬†habanero apricot jelly.

During some rainy days I helped make cheese at Mountain View Farms. One day I took the cheese wheels out of the press and put them in a mixture of salt water. I also took cheese from their aging room and dusted off the mold, then painted wax on the bottom and sides. I helped churn, make and package fresh butter, and this butter was amazingly delicious. Everything sold was hand packaged. When we made salted butter I sprinkled in the sea salt then hand stirred it in.

 

One very interesting business and marketing strategy that Mountain View Farm used was with their product, Meow Milk. This milk was commercially sold as a pet food product because it was hand bottled, lightly pasteurized and non-homogenized. For these reasons it could not be legally sold for humans. Despite this, it was a top selling item.

I also helped make mozzarella which was a delicious process! I stirred the cheese curds, then stacked them to be put in plastic bags and refrigorate overnight. The next day you have to heat up two pots of water, then put the curds in the first pot for a couple minutes, then switch it to the next. Then you take the curds and stretch the mozzarella and form a baseball sized ball. The trickiest part of all this is not eating all the warm and gooey cheese.

I also was able to go to two local farmers markets with Mountain View and help sell their products. I also grew very close with this amazing family and their kids even took me out shooting and hunting. The Huger family taught me about cheese making, running a profitable business, marketing products and working extremely hard and efficiently. I had a truly wonderful time with them and cant wait to go back and eat more cheese!

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