Crave Brothers Farm and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese celebrated National Dairy Month on Wednesday, June 13 by hosting a Green Energy Showcase. The Crave Brothers Farm was the ideal location for the event. The 2,500-acre family dairy farm and farmstead cheese factory represent the confluence of a family business, sustainable agriculture practices, respect for the cows, modern technology, and green energy production. Mark Crave, Crave Farm General Manager, says, “We were pleased to have hosted over 150 industry and community members to celebrate our progress with green energy production. We are a carbon negative operation, producing energy for our farm operations and cheese factory as well as over 300 homes in the area.”
From their crops and cows to the high-quality artisan cheese they produce for consumers, the Crave Brothers exemplify the farm-to-community connections of the U.S. dairy industry. The Green Energy Showcase kicked off with an overview of biodigesters and green energy production, an update on farm and cheese plant activities. The participants were given a farm tour as well as an opportunity to sample award-winning Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese. Dignitaries in attendance included Steve Censky, United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture (the second-highest-ranking official in USDA). Other dignitaries on hand for the event were Shelia Harsdorf, Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Scott Coenen, Wisconsin Conservative Energy—an event partner; and representatives of Dairy Management Inc, and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
During the Green Energy Showcase, Debbie Crave, Vice President, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, unveiled a 52-foot mural in partnership with Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI). Debbie explained “The large-scale installation is one of 10 murals across the country honoring members of the dairy community and celebrating the hard work and passion that go into the dairy industry.” The murals are part of the “Undeniably Dairy” campaign of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The Crave Brothers mural is displayed on the exterior of the newest addition to their cheese-making facility, and commemorates the innovation and environmental consciousness of this family business.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese is made with milk from the Crave family’s own dairy herd. Licensed cheese maker George Crave oversees the cheese-making operations. Crave Brothers Cheese is sustainably produced in a farmstead cheese-making facility that practices water conservation and recycling, and uses 100 percent green power. The biodigester produces enough electricity to power the dairy farm, the farmstead cheese-making plant, and over 300 homes in their community.
Visit the Crave Brothers website at www.cravecheese.com to learn more about this family owned and operated carbon negative company, its line of artisan cheeses and awards, and product information. You’ll also find a new video that focuses on the family, its farm, the green story, and its seed-to-cheese, crops-to-cows and cheese-to-consumer stories.
The Crave family farms 2,500 acres of productive land in south-central Wisconsin, growing soybeans, corn and alfalfa to use as nutritious feed for their Holstein cows. From the biodigester to water recovery and recycling, sustainability is top-of-mind on the farm. The Crave Brothers Farm LLC and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC use 100% green power and are carbon-negative businesses. Their anaerobic biodigester produces more electricity than they need, enough to power the dairy farm, the farmstead cheese-making plant, and over 300 homes in their community.
Every pound of cheese made by George Crave, a licensed cheese maker, is made with milk from the family’s herd. Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese produces Fresh Mozzarella, Mascarpone, Part-skim Mozzarella, Oaxaca, Farmer’s Rope String Cheese, and Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds in white, yellow and jalapeño varieties.