Sierra Nevada Cheese Company

Farm/Brand HeadquartersWillows, CA
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1285

They write: “Partnering their many years of creamery experience, long-time friends, Ben Gregersen & John Dundon, founded Sierra Nevada Cheese Company in 1997. We handcraft award-winning cheese, butter, and yogurt in micro-batches proudly using local Northern California natural and Organic milk. We do not use artificial ingredients, preservatives, gums, fillers, or animal rennet. Our milk is guaranteed by farmers to be free from added hormones and antibiotics. Our Organic milk meets the American Humane Association’s (AHA) certification standards. We feature the hallmarks of an Artisan Cheese Company: Friendship-Wholesome Ingredients-Dedication-Handcrafted Foods.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1285
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Ownership structure70Closely held corporation
Milk Supply75Own patrons plus a highly rated supplier
Organic Production80Markets both organic and natural products, but has no split operations supplying organic milk
Disclosure of Information for Verification100Full disclosure
Organic Certification80Products certified by Oregon Tilth (OTCO); Dairies certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
Other Labels/Standards0(Currently working on Certified Humane and non-GMO verified)
Grass-fed40Meets minimum standards for grazing
Soy Free Ration?No
Pasture80Two cows per acre, with rotational grazing
Times Milked90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Cull/death Rate90Low cull/death rate
Replacements100Closed herd
Calves75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Antibiotic Use75Cows may be brought back into organic production after antibiotic use
Hormone Usage75A portion of milk supplied uses hormones therapeutically
Farm Support90All dairies are visited regularly by staff
Procurement of Ingredients90Milk powder from trusted source
Extra Credit75Gave details and was transparent about all their suppliers