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How do your farmers care for their cows?
Our family farms understand that quality milk comes from healthy cows. For this reason, their exceptional cow care practices are centered around the cows' health and comfort. By providing clean, dry housing conditions, proper nutrition, sanitary milking procedures and veterinary recommended health programs, our family farms are able to produce high quality, wholesome milk.
What does "Pasture-Raised" mean?
Pasture-raised means that our family farms allow their dairy cows to roam and eat fresh grass in the pastures. Their cows are not confined to a barn, but are allowed to lay in the pastures and take in the fresh air whenever they like. Pasture-raised is not the same as grass-fed however, as our farmers' cows are fed a grain ration in order to sustain them as well nourished and healthy milk producers. Pasture-raised dairy cows are healthier than grass-fed cows since feeding a dairy cow only grass results in a nutritional deficiency.
For more information, please see our Pasture-Raised Statement here!
Are their cows kept in pastures or in barns?
Minerva Dairy cows are given the freedom to choose to either lay in the barn or roam outside to eat grass in the pasture. Because the weather isn't all sunny, the cows are provided clean, dry housing that allows them protection from poor weather, sun, rain and cold. By allowing the cows the choice to either be inside the barn or outside in the pasture, our family farms are creating a healthier, more productive environment for their cows.
What kind of feed do their cows eat?
Throughout the year, our family farms must continue to provide the same exceptional nutrition for their dairy cows despite the season. For this reason, the cows are fed a variety of forages, grains and fresh grasses, including alfalfa, timothy and clover to name a few. The grains that our family farms feed vary by farm and are formulated to supplement the specific nutritional needs that differ from cow to cow and farm to farm. Our family farms work with nutritionists that actually balance a ration that includes necessary vitamins and minerals for the cows depending on their unique needs. This all results in a healthier herd, which ultimately produces healthier milk for us all!
Are your products GMO-free?
All of our products are GMO-free! For more information, please see our GMO Statement here!
Pasture Raised Definition
Pasture-raised on family farms is humane, gives the cows variety in their diets, allows them to make their own choices and this is why Minerva Dairy's local family farmers have the most sustainable, humane and healthiest dairy farms on the planet (in our own "unbiased" opinion).
A term like grass-fed is simply a descriptor that anyone can put it on a label. In some cases, it can still describe milk that is produced at a factory farm where the cows live their lives in confined spaces. While the cows are not 100% grass-fed, grass remains a part of their diets, making the description loosely accurate.
• Large factory farms can produce grass-fed milk despite the fact that the cows do not see daylight. This is why a grass-fed diet typically fails to have the desired results in terms of health and humane animal practices.
• Many farmers will tell you that 100% grass-fed cows are not as healthy as normal cows because they are not given enough protein and minerals.
• We prefer the term pasture-raised on family farms because this lifestyle cannot be duplicated by factory farms and consumers know their cows are being treated humanely.
• In a pasture-raised environment, each cow has the power to decide:
• Do I want to go outside today?
• Do I want to eat the protein supplement from my feed bin or grass from the pasture?
• Do I want to sit in the shade of a tree, in my barn or bask in the sunshine?
• Heck No! I am not going outside. Smell the air, a storm is coming our way!
Cheese and Butter
A better butter.
Our milk comes from local, family-owned farms that pasture-raise their cows. Cows are allowed to graze in green, grassy pastures, resulting in healthier cows producing the highest quality milk possible.
Pasteurized for perfection.
Yes! All of our butter is pasteurized and all of our cheeses are pasteurized too, except for our Raw Milk Signature White Cheddar. In the U.S., by law, all fresh cheese aged less than 60 days and all butter requires pasteurization.
No artificial anything.
Our farmers are committed to producing only the highest quality of milk. For this reason, our family farms do not use artificial hormones.
Antibiotic free milk.
All milk is tested for antibiotics before being received at our dairy. According to FDA standards, any milk that tests positive for antibiotics is rejected.
What type of milk do you use in making your cheese and butter?
All six of the dairy breeds in the northern hemisphere are represented in the milk from our pasture-raised family farms. The farms have been milking for generations and so raise their favorite breeds, or cross breeds because they work best for the surrounding land and barns.
At Minerva Dairy, we respect the breed selection decisions of the family farms because they know their land and capabilities better than anyone and would not ask them to change their breeding habits. None of the breeds have a clear majority, but listing them from most to least popular, they align in the following way: Holstein, Jersey, Aryshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, and Milking Shorthorn. Just like the USA is a melting pot so is the selection of breeds from our family farms!
What does slow churned and small batch really mean?
Taste, flavor, texture! Since our butter artisans use only the aforementioned methods, Minerva Dairy butter packs a truly delicious flavor and a smooth, creamy texture that is unmatched. By allowing our butter to slowly churn, we are able to achieve a thicker, creamier butter compared to commodity butter in which high speed pumps are used to shear the fat and trap air. The butter making process used to make commodity butter also results in a lighter, whipped butter that loses the texture and flavor that makes our butter so unique. Additionally, by making small batches, our butter artisans are able to make the highest quality product every time.
Why is my butter so yellow?
When the cows eat fresh, pasture grass, their milk has more beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the same pigment that gives carrots and pumpkins their orange color. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that may lower the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
How long can I freeze my butter?
Our butter can be frozen in its original packaging for up to twenty-four (24) months. To protect against freezer burn, which can alter its taste, we recommend using a ziploc or plastic bag for additional protection during storage.
How should I store my butter?
We recommend storing your butter in its packaging to help protect the butter from absorbing odors from other foods. Once you begin to use your butter, we recommend that the butter is eaten at room temperature! This allows you to fully appreciate the complex flavors of Minerva Dairy butter and also allows the butter to spread with ease. To achieve room temperature butter, like many of our customers, you can keep a portion of your butter in a butter dish. Butter dishes can be kept on the counter or table and keep your butter at the ideal temperature.
How should I store my cheese?
That really depends on you! There are a variety of ways to store cheese and no single way is necessarily correct! In fact, cheese alone is a type of storage method for milk! For hundreds of years, cheese has been made to store milk for longer periods of time without refrigeration. This being said, some of the best ways to store cheese today haven't changed in the past 100 years.
The Cheese Dome - This allows the cheese to create its own temperature and humidity. In essence preserving the cheese in its own atmosphere. These domes have proven themselves year after year and also make for great kitchen decor.
Vinegar - Putting a small amount of vinegar onto cheese cloth or a paper towel before storing your cheese will help save it from mold. The vinegar acts as a kind of barrier and kills mold. You may be thinking your cheese will taste like vinegar when you go to eat it, but it won't. Trust us!
The Cheese Cellar - Since most of us don't have a cheese cellar to store our cheeses, the next best thing is a cool place that doesn't receive direct sunlight. You also want to make sure that it is covered with wax paper, cheese cloth, or some other porous covering so that it can breathe. That's right, cheese needs to breathe!
If you would rather use a refrigerator to store your cheese, that works just fine too! We recommend keeping it in a drawer in your refrigerator since those areas are usually a little warmer. Cheese likes to be stored at between 40 and 50° F, which is why the coldest part of your refrigerator will likely be too cold!
Can I freeze my cheese?
You can, but we here at Minerva Dairy do not recommend it. This can cause the cheese to lose its meltability and also make it almost impossible to shred! Instead, we recommend simply putting your cheese in a cold part of the refrigerator.
Take a look at "How should I store my cheese?" for additional options!
Does my cheese expire on the sell by date?
Dairy products are perishable; however, cheese will last significantly longer than other dairy products, such as milk. The reason we use a sell by date is so our customers have basic guidelines to the freshness of our products. This is especially true for our cheeses, which simply age and create additional flavor over time. For example, after the sell by date, a mellow cheddar might start tasting like more of a sharp cheddar due to the aging of the cheese and the additional flavors this process creates!
Shipping and Returns
SHIPPING RATES ARE DETERMINED BY UPS:
These are the states and the time in transit days from Minerva Dairy to shipping address. We are not responsible for delays from UPS. We will provide a tracking number once your order has been shipped via email or you may call 24 hours after placing your order and we can provide your tracking number.
1-2 DAYS: CT, DE, IL, IN, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VT, VA, WV
2-3 DAYS: AL, IA, ME, MO, NC, SC, WI
4-5 DAYS: AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, KS, LA, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY
The states of Idaho, Oregon, and California have areas that will take up to 5 days for delivery.
CUSTOMER SHIPPING ALERT:
Minerva Dairy will not contact the United States Post Office for delivery on specific items. Therefore, street or highway addresses are needed at all times to ensure proper delivery to your location. We currently ship to anywhere in the Continental United States, plus Hawaii and Alaska. FOR ITEMS SHIPPED TO HAWAII OR ALASKA, PLEASE CALL FOR RATES. For all other shipping destinations, please call for assistance.
If there is an issue with one of our products:
* All return items are subject to a 20% restocking fee and customer will pay return shipping prices. * Call for more information on returning products.
Minerva Dairy stands behind our product line! If you are not absolutely thrilled with your purchase from us for any reason at all – we’ll replace your purchase or issue a gift certificate for the amount of your purchase. We must be notified with in 30 days of receipt.
Customer Satisfaction is our Number One Goal.
We want everyone to enjoy the old fashioned flavor of our Butter and Cheese products. Please feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions that may arise.
330.868.4196 Ext. 114
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Make sure to include as much order information as possible to help us expedite the request.
Click here to enlarge "Why Our Butter Is Better" infographic