Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeLivestockDairy CattleMaking the Most of Grass-Fed Milk

Making the Most of Grass-Fed Milk

Bert Paris, outstanding in his pasture
Bert Paris, outstanding in his pasture

Bert Paris wanted a new way to farm and a new way to milk cows.  “I was tired of driving a tractor,” he says.  He converted his dairy operation to managed, pasture grazing.  He immediately liked it better for himself and for the animals.  The cows were healthier, and so was Bert.  Then, after 20 years of grazing, he realized that the quality of his milk was so different, that he couldn’t see putting it on a bulk milk truck anymore.  So he worked with a like-minded group of dairy farmers to buy their own cheese factory.  In this video he shares the excitement they felt at being able to take their unique milk and turn it into a great cheese and bring something to the consumer that they can’t get every day.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve Prize Winning Cheese
Pleasant Ridge Reserve Prize Winning Cheese

Since 2000 Mike and Carol Gingrich have been producing cheese from their grass based dairy herd.  The result is Pleasant Ridge Reserve named the U.S. Champion cheese in 2003.  Mike describes how his cattle graze to make the milk that he turns into prize-winning cheese.  Bob Wills, a master cheese maker from Cedar Grove Cheese, says that grass-based dairies haven’t been telling folks that grass-based cheese is winning awards.  He’s got some great insights into how the different seasons of the year affect and improve the flavors in the milks and the cheese.  His idea is that we need to help consumers celebrate these changing flavors.

As part of a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project, Wisconsin chefs looked at the different textures and flavors of butter, cheese and cream from grass-based dairies.  Here two participating chefs describe the differences and why they prefer it.

On a tablet? Here’s the link to the video on Youtube.


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. I’d love to see more info on grazing dairy genetics. Those are some lovely cows! And clearly not all Holstein.

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