Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cheese Country Tours - McClelland Dairy

Dixie Grazes at McClelland Dairy
Dixie Grazes before our Milking Lesson
Milking Stalls at McClelland Dairy
Milking stalls operate 22 hours a day
The McClelland Dairy is in production twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with their herd of 900 cows being rotated through milking stalls for twenty-two hours each day.  It’s a very busy and well-organized operation. Besides a large professional staff, workers include young interns from places such as France and Brazil. McClelland’s has a reputation that has captured international attention.

Jersey Calf at McClelland Dairy
Jersey Calf at McClelland Dairy
One excellent reason the dairy has become so well-known both here and abroad is its award-winning European Style Organic Artisan Butter. It is tumble churned using an old world technique that is uncommon in the United States. They started producing this unique butter as a way to supplement their dairy income and they may soon be adding other handmade organic milk products.  Right now their butter is available at the locations on this link.

Demand for organic milk alone cannot sustain the dairy.  Yet two-thirds of the McClelland herd are certified organic and they are aiming to reach 100% in the next few years. The highlight of our McClelland visit was a milking lesson.  Thankfully,  Dixie seemed to enjoy our attempts and loved the attention.  She is a regular feature in Sonoma's Fourth of July parade.