The Crave Brothers Farm near Waterloo, Wis. - home to Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese - has just been selected as the site of the 2009 Farm Tech Days, one of the largest outdoor ag shows in the country.
The Craves have long been known for pushing the dairy envelope in Wisconsin with cutting-edge technology in both their dairy barn and their farmstead cheese plant. They'll now spend more than two years gearing up to host 100,000 people over three days in July '09.
The farm is run by four brothers, their wives and children. Charles & Joni do the bookkeeping, building maintenance and run the calf program. George & Debbie take care of the cheese factory. Tom & Janet run crops and machinery for the farm's 1,600 acres while Mark & Tina are the herdsmen and employee managers.
Visiting the Crave Brothers Farm is like visiting a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows their role and everbody is happy to fill their role while leaving the others to manage other parts of the operation. The dairy plant - a 6,000 sq. ft. cheese factory built on the farm in 2001 - makes cheese at least five days a week using fresh milk pumped through a pipeline under the road between the milking parlor and dairy plant.
George & Debbie recently finished adding an affinage room to the cheese plant where they now age their Les Freres and new Petit Les Freres cheeses. George also crafts fresh mozzarella, fresh Mascaropne and a Farmer's Rope from part-skim mozzarella - their biggest seller - it's uniquely formed into a rope shape. It also took a best in its class at the 2005 American Cheese Society contest.
Congratulations to the Crave Brothers for once again putting Wisconsin on the dairy trendsetter's map - 2009 will be here before we know it.