Brothers James and Robert Baerwolf, a pair of third generation Wisconsin dairy farmers, have launched a new farmstead milk bottling operation.
Sassy Cow Creamery, located seven miles north of Sun Prairie, is a culmination of the Baerwolf family’s dedication to connect consumers with farmers. In fact, their brand new, state-of-the-art creamery is designed with the customer in mind, with a farmstead retail store opening to the public in mid-April.
“Producing high quality milk has always been our number one priority,” co-owner James Baerwolf told me. “Before we opened the creamery, our milk was put on a truck, pooled with other farms and that was the last we ever saw of it. Now we are proud to bring our milk directly to the consumer from our own farmstead creamery.”
Dairying runs deep in the Baerwolf brothers' veins. Their grandfather, Edwin, bought the original Sun Prairie dairy farm in 1946, and their father, Ed, went on to run the farm after their grandfather retired. Of six children, James and Robert are the youngest, and are the ones that continued with the farming tradition.
Both graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in agriculture education and dairy science. Both started farming immediately afterward. And in an odd coincidence, both have wives named Jennifer and each family has three children.
Ever since James and Robert first began farming, they are quick to tell you that their milk cows have taken center stage. That means that basically, every farming decision they make must past one test: is it good for the cows? Because the Baerwolfs know the success of their families' farm is directly related to how well the dairy cattle are taken care of.
In 2000, the Baerwolfs' recognized the growing trend of consumer interest in organic foods. Curious about what it would take to produce 100 percent certified organic milk, they grew a portion of their herd of cattle using organic practices. This new herd, grown from the traditional one, became certified to produce organic milk in 2001.
In fact, Sassy Cow Creamery may be the first farmstead operation in the nation to offer both traditional and organic bottled milk, as their separately bottled milk is produced from the family’s dual nearby dairy herds: a 400-cow traditional dairy and 100-cow organic dairy, located within miles of each other.
Products include whole 2 percent and fat-free conventional and organic milk bottled in gallons, half gallons and pints. Chocolate and strawberry milk, as well as cream are also available. The dairy also plans to soon craft ice cream in a variety of flavors.
Starting in mid-April, you can find the products at the creamery’s on-farm store at W4192 Bristol Rd., Columbus, WI, or in select local and regional specialty stores. A May 22 grand opening celebration with public tours is also being planned.