With county fair season in full force, dairy exhibitors at both the Monroe and La Crosse County Fairs were prepared to dump milk down the drain after their previous buyer had turned them away. Instead of dumping the milk, Nordic Creamery jumped in, purchasing the product to make cheese curds for youth dairy exhibitors to sell.
Buying more than 5,000 lbs. of milk, Al and Sarah Bekkum, owners of the on-farm processing facility, Nordic Creamery, are giving back to dairy exhibitors by donating cheese curds made from milk collected at two local county fairs. The curds will be sold throughout the week at the fairgrounds to help fund youth dairy programs in both Monroe and La Crosse county.
“I guess the fair is kind of dear to our hearts and it's a good experience for the kids so we thought we should obviously buy this milk to help them out and then why not take it a step further and give the kids a greater experience," Sarah Bekkum said in an interview with WEAU News.
Picking up the milk from the fair’s parlor in the morning, Nordic Creamery processes the milk for exhibitors to sell as cheese curds in the afternoon. According to WEAU News, everything has been donated, including cheese curd labels and transportation.
Encouraging the community to come support youth dairy exhibitors, the processor has been sharing images on their Facebook page.
“This is great you are doing this for the kids! We here in La Crosse County are so thankful you were able to pick up and make cheese from our milk last week!” commented Cole Hoyer.
After a successful experience, both the fairs and Nordic Creamery hope to continue their partnership next year.
"I think we can do this and use it to help promote the dairy industry a little bit,” Al Bekkum said.
For more information on Nordic Creamery, click here.