FAQs

Our Butter  | Our Cheese  | Cheese & Butter: Our Milk  | Cow Care  | General Inquiries  | Shipping & Returns


Our Butter

What is Amish Roll Butter anyway?

The Minerva Dairy Family began making butter in 1894 using a small 100-gallon wooden churn that produced about 400 pounds of butter. This method of small batch slow-churn butter was sold in bulk pieces of random sizes. The need for a uniform size didn't come until WWII when the country started rationing.

To meet the nation's rationing policy of 2-pound butter allotments, we needed a more consistent method of measurement of our butter. Using the hand butter-rolling technique employed by the Amish at the time, we were able to form rolls of butter to exact measurements.

Today, we still pack our 84% butterfat Amish butter in the 2-pound rolls, but also in 8oz. rolls and quarter sticks. And we still make our butter in small slow-churn batches using milk from pasture-raised cows on family farms.

It’s a tradition our family is proud to have carried on for more than 120 years.

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. a's also a powerful antioxidant that may lower the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

 

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.

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 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.

Does my butter expire on the sell by date?

Our butter is still good beyond the Sell By date. We'd recommend checking for mold, and please note that flavor may be diminished due to storage conditions.

What is the omega-3 content of your butter?

There is, in fact, some evidence that supports the idea that cows from organic/pasture-raised milk producers are not purposely supplemented with omega-3s. Rather, they consume more omega-3s and less omega-6s as a result of their time spent in the pasture. As predicted, differences in the amount of omega-3s in the diet produce differences in milk omega-3s between organic/pasture-raised and conventional dairy cattle. Organic/Pasture-raised milk has significantly higher proportions of omega-3s (62%) than conventional milk.




Our Cheese

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!

Are your products GMO-free?

It sounds like you're a kindred spirit! We appreciate the concern you show for our humane and sustainability practices. 

The term “GMO free" describes product for which GMO varieties are not used in the supply chain. At this time, technology has not discovered how to genetically modify a cow. For instance, if you eat a corn chip containing GMO corn, it doesn't make you a genetically modified human.

With that said, the feed used to nourish the cows on each Minerva Dairy family-owned farm is not verified non-GMO. For five generations, we have sourced milk and cream from family farms, currently more than 90 small dairy farms in the Ohio valley. Our milk and cream is considered GMO free.

If you’d like to learn more about the pasture-raised cows on our family farms, feel free to visit us here.

Do you offer any blue cheese varieties?

We do not currently produce any blue cheese varieties. Once a facility has decided to produce this type of cheese, it becomes the only type they can produce - due to the ingredients and process. However, we do have quite a few other tasty cheeses that I’m sure you’ll be happy to eat! To view more information on all of our cheese products, you can click on this link: Minerva Dairy Cheeses.




Cheese and Butter: Our Milk

Where does the milk come from that's used in your butter and cheese?

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.


Are your products pastureized?

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.

Does your butter or cheese contain artificial colors/preservatives?

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.

Does the milk that's in your butter/ cheese contain antibiotics?

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!




Cow Care

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 are the cows' diet?

The farmers we work with own pasture-raised cows. This gives the cows a variety in their diets and allows them to make their own choices. Throughout the year, our family farms provide the same exceptional nutrition for their dairy cows. For this reason, the cows are fed a variety of forages, fresh grasses, and grains. This diet helps them to be well-nourished and healthy milk producers.

 

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!

What percent grain is in your cow’s diets?

We have over 50 family farms with pasture-raised cows that align with our philosophy for humane treatment. Because we trust in their abilities to take care of their cows, the amount of grain included in each diet varies from farm to farm. However, each farm also firmly believes the pasture-raised philosophy is about the lifestyle and choice of the cow. They have access to grass and grain, as well as access to both the barn and the pasture.

We don't believe it's right to advertise 100% grass-fed when all 100% grass-fed cows have a grain supplement for nutrition purposes. Nor is it ethical for other companies to advertise grass-fed when the cows are confined in industrial facilities and never see the light of day.  Since they are transporting grass to a confined animal it weakens the term grass-fed and is misleading to consumers.

Are your products from genetically tested A2 cows?

A2 protein is a very exciting field, the only breed that naturally produces it is the Guernsey. There are only a handful of Guernsey herds in Ohio, and one of them is a Minerva Dairy Farm. Because of this, only a small percentage of all our milk is from A2 cows. It will be a long time before we see A2 breeding on a large scale to eventually get the milk supply in this region to be majority A2 protein. We are, however, closely watching the evolution of A2 testing.

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.

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.


General Inquiries

I'm unable to find your butter. Can you help?

If you¹re unable to find our butter at your favorite retailer, feel free to check out our product locator to find a store nearest you here.

And fill out our dairy/deli request form to make sure your favorite store isalways well stocked with Minerva Dairy here: Deli/Dairy Grocer Request Form

Do you offer facility tours?

We currently do not have the set-up in our facility to give tours, unfortunately, but feel free to stop by anytime to shop, ask questions and say ‘hi’! Our store hours are

12-6PM Friday
9AM-PM Saturday
CLOSED Sunday
12-6 PM Monday
12-6PM Tuesday
9AM-3PM Wednesday
12-6PM Thursday


Shipping and Returns

How do your products ship?

All products ship second-day air from our facility. For more information about your order, please contact our sales team at 330-868-4196.


What do I do if my butter arrives in an unsatisfactory manner?

Uh oh! It sounds like something went wrong. We’d love to help. Just send us an email via our contact form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours during business hours.

Can I buy your products wholesale/in bulk?

If your local retailer doesn't carry your favorite Minerva Dairy product, fill out the form found here: Deli/Dairy Grocer Request Form. Or, to find your local distributor contact our sales team directly at 330-868-4196 ext. 91119 or Stacey@MinervaDairy.com.