This week we’ve been discussing young/new farmers and startup businesses. The Tuesday night #AgChat was fast-paced and fun! Questions ranged from determining the “ideal” age for a young farmer to challenges facing new farmers and types of skills needed to be successful.
A unique success story we would like to highlight comes from Minnesota and the Redhead Creamery. We were able to catch up with Alise Sjstrom, President and dreamer maker behind the expansion of her family’s dairy.
Q: The Redhead Creamery is a new venture for your family. What was your motivation for beginning the Redhead Creamery?
A: The idea of coming home to my parent’s farm to make cheese came from a trip to the National 4-H Dairy Conference when I was a senior in high school. We toured Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, and I was hooked. I came home and told my parents that the only way I would come home to the farm was if I could make cheese. They said ‘go for it’. I’ve basically dedicated my life to cheese ever since.
Q: If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
A: I’m not sure that we would do anything differently if we were to run a campaign again. Some of the best advice we got prior to launching is to give ourselves enough time to get the rewards out. It takes some time to get everything organized, no need to beat yourself up over it.
Q: Are you providing tours of the creamery?
A: Once we are up and running, tours will be available at the creamery. We are still a few months out before we can begin production.
Q: What is it that connects the creamery to the consumer?
A: We specifically designed the creamery so that the public can come in and watch us making cheese without interrupting the actual cheesemaking process. The processing area is all on one floor - the basement. The public can come in on the upper floor and look down through viewing windows into the cheesemaking room. The upstairs also has a kitchen and tasting room where we hope to host smaller events and gatherings.