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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Valley Shepherd Creamery's 'Name the Heifer contest'

This little girl needs a name!

Forty years ago New Jersey was one of the top three States in the country for the Brown/white Guernsey cows. Sussex County was home to the largest herds in the country of 2000 cows.

Its all gone now for several reasons: low milk prices that drove dairymen out of business, high land prices for development, advances in breeding the 'monster' Holstein cows that make more milk and the difficulty of raising Guernseys which are a bit more pushy, independent and a disagreeable kind of cow.

We love a challenge!

We went about designing a new cheese based on the rich, yellow milk Guernseys make. Special equipment was either brought from Europe, constructed or welded here and several prototypes made. The new Guernsey milk cheese (Somerset) follows in the steps of many Alpine cheeses and is made into very large wheels (45 lbs and up) and aged for at least a year.

The current release has notes of nuttiness, fruit and grassy sweetness combined with a bit of old age crunch.

By sheer coincidence, the same week Somerset was released, our first pregnant Guernsey gave birth to a baby girl! (heifer calf)

So we thought that this would be the perfect time to hold a naming contest for this new girl! (all the 50 cows are named; the sheep, at 600, are not)

Please email your suggestion here.

The selected entry wins 2 lbs of Somerset cheese to be picked up at our New Jersey shop, New York shop or at a farmers market. Selection will be made on August 1st.

small print:  
Decision of the judges (a somewhat sober group of interns, shepherds and cheesemakers) is final. Lactose intolerant folks are disqualified.
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