I love yogurt, especially thick and creamy Greek yogurt, so I was intrigued when I came across “New Zealand-style” yogurt produced by local dairy Dreaming Cow Creamery. Lacking the refined sugar and preservatives of its competitors, Dreaming Cow’s yogurt is distinctively tangy and comes in several unique flavors like Vanilla Agave and Maple Ginger. The yogurt is delicious served as is, topped with fresh raspberries (which are in season and readily available through August!), or served with a little dollop of sweet honey.
The Dreaming Cow Creamery started up under farmers Al and Desiree Wehner, some of the first people in the country to advocate and implement New Zealand-style grazing for their herd. This method requires that the cows are never housed and spend the entirety of their lives in grassy fields. While most farmers who advertise “grass-fed” cows keep their animals indoors most of the year, Dreaming Cow operates on a 100% non-confinement policy, something only a handful of farmers in the U.S. can boast. Feeding their herds an all-grass diet produces less-diluted and healthier milk with an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids. Growth hormones such as bST or rBGH are never used and the farmers do not breed the animals exclusively based on milk production. When a cow is ill, it is removed from the milk herd and treated with antibiotics or vitamin injections but will not be introduced back into the milk herd until its body is free from antibiotic residue. The result is one of the cleanest yogurts available on the market and produced directly on the farm.
The Wehner’s care extends to their entire dairy, not just their livestock. When planting grass for their herds, only no-till drills- a seed-planting tool which eliminates the need for turning over the soil- is used, preventing erosion and preserving the soil nutrients. The milk is pumped directly from the dairy barn and all development and processing is carried out in-house. Dreaming Cow’s yogurt packaging uses 40% less plastic than the average 6-ounce yogurt cup and uses a recyclable cardboard label. Whenever possible, local and organic products (such as the honey in the Honey Pear yogurt) are utilized.
The Wehner’s son, Kyle, continues these same approaches today guided by the philosophy that “Happy cows are healthy cows and healthy cows are profitable cows.” And profitable they are indeed: Dreaming Cow has enjoyed 400% growth this year-to-date alone and is available at retailers across the East Coast and Midwest.
Special thanks to Kyle Wehner for his willingness to share information about Dreaming Cow and his permission to use their image.
Dreaming Cow Yogurt can be found at New Leaf Co-op, The Fresh Market, and The Black Dog Cafe in Tallahassee, FL.
Natasha is a violinist and music instructor in Tallahassee, FL. She recently graduated from The Florida State University with her B.M. in Violin Performance and is in the final semester of a B.M.E. in Instrumental Music Education, also at Florida State. Natasha has been playing since the age of three and made her solo debut with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra at age fourteen. She currently plays for Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and teaches both privately and for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras.
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