Uplands Cheese Company
Upland Cheese's dairy farm sits on Pleasant Ridge, in the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin. The Driftless region was given its name because it is the one corner of the state that wasn’t scraped flat 10,000 years ago by receding glaciers, and thus doesn’t have any glacial deposits, or drift.
Instead, the countryside is full of rolling hills and valleys that have been formed over tens of thousands of years by rivers and streams. The farm sits near what was the northernmost stretch of the original, Midwestern prairie, and its soils are ideally suited for supporting grazing animals with a diversity of grasses, legumes, and wildflowers. Add to that some forty inches of rain a year, and it’s easy to see why there is such a strong tradition of small dairy farms here.
Their farm spans 300 hilly acres, all of which are pasture, segregated into small paddocks. Each day they move the cows to a different paddock, which ensures two things: first, that the cows are always eating fresh grass and will thus produce healthy, flavorful milk; and secondly, that the pasture isn’t overgrazed and will re-grow in time for the next grazing.
Aside from a small amount of grain while they’re being milked, the cows eat only fresh pasture from spring through fall. Uplands has a seasonal herd, which means that our cows aren’t milked in the winter. Calves are born in the spring to coincide with the emergence of our pastures and are milked until Christmas when they dry off and are given a few months vacation.