That's because the trip from farm to table used to be a whole lot shorter.
John and Kim Koepke help manage and continue the traditions of Koepke Farms. They were the first to pose the question: "why can't dairy farmers create their own cheese?" They were also the first to realize that the answer was: "they can!"
Today, you might eat beef that was raised in Brasil, vegetables that were grown in Chile, and some fruit from the Middle East for dessert. A lot of effort and scientific ingenuity has gone into creating a global food market, but it has come at a substantial hidden cost: today's food doesn't have much flavor. It travels well. It doesn't spoil on a shelf or in a fridge. But the taste, the texture, the nutrition of farm fresh food, something that you once expected of the food you ate, has been lost.
At Koepke Farms, our goal is to bring a bit of farm fresh back into your milk and your dairy products. We grow the corn, soybeans and alfafa that our cows eat on the land right next to their dairy barn (we get a little help from a local industry...Miller Coors Brewing...and don't the ladies just love the leftover mash from the brewing vats!). We plant our fields without tilling, so their food grows in a more natural manner, with a little help from their manure. Our milk ships directly on a daily basis to local distributors.
John and a few of the cows having a stroll together as they head out to fresh summer pasture.
We place a high emphasis on individual animal care that gives each calf and cow the best possible environment to thrive. Everyday their well-being is top priority. They live long, contented lives, and are so familiar with the milking process that they find their way into their proper milking stalls.
And for LaBelle cheese, our milk travels less than 100 miles to Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, so nothing is sacrificed. When you taste LaBelle, you taste that old freshness once again. It's enough to make you wonder why everything doesn't taste this good.