Remember PastureLand’s award-winning gourmet butter and artisanal cheeses produced from the milk of family operated, organically certified, grass-based dairy farms in Minnesota? They had been a Flanagan household favorite for years. But the PastureLand we knew—the organic, Minnesota-based grass dairy cooperative—is no more.
As reported in May 2011, PastureLand was having some problems, and their butter and cheese began disappearing from market shelves. In winter 2012, Edelweiss Graziers Cooperative purchased the naming and brand rights to PastureLand, which means the PastureLand brand (previously made in Minn.) will now be used to market dairy products made by five Wisconsin farm families.
Bert Paris has been dairy farming in Wisconsin since 1983, and started grazing his herd on pasture in 1993. Today, his family is one of the five families that make up the new PastureLand cooperative.
“We really liked the name, and we wanted to carry on some of the beliefs about grass-based dairies, family farms, and sustainability,” said Paris. “We are so proud to carry on the PastureLand name to continue to promote grass-based dairy products.”
So what are the differences between the old PastureLand and the new PastureLand? Well, the product line will be totally different, for starters. Whereas the former PastureLand label was organic, the new PastureLand is not. And the former PastureLand products were 100% grass-based dairy products, but the new PastureLand products will be at least 60% grass-based.
In addition to working on a grass-based gouda cheese with the new PastureLand label, called “Peace of Pasture,” they’re developing a Greek-style yogurt with the help of Bert’s brother, Ron Paris, of Wisconsin’s Sugar River Dairy yogurt fame. As Bert puts it, he and his brother were sharing a beer one evening, and decided they’d like to try making a grass-fed based Greek-style yogurt. After experimenting for about three months, the PastureLand cooperative has just about finalized their new non-homogenized, Greek-style yogurt. PastureLand hopes its yogurt will be available starting next April during the grazing season in select natural food co-ops and grocery stores, along with the gouda cheese.