Thistle Hill Farm (Tarentaise Cheese)

Farm/Brand HeadquartersNorth Pomfret, VT
Market AreaNationwide, VT
Total Score1415

They write: “Thistle Hill Farm is a certified organic dairy farm located in North Pomfret, Vermont, owned and operated by John and Janine Putnam and their four children. The Putnams have been farming organically for over fifteen years, beginning with vegetables and beef, and culminating in organic cheese making. Other than incidental part time help, the family makes Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise from the ground up. Every aspect of creating the cheese, from caring for the hay fields and pastures, bringing in the hay and caring for and milking the Jersey dairy cows is done on the farm by the Putnam family.

The closed herd of certified organic Jersey cows are fed only certified organic hay produced by the farm and certified organic grain. In the summer the cows are rotated through a series of small pastures to ensure that they are on new fresh grass every twelve hours. The barn contains comfort tie stalls where the cows are milked twice per day. During the summer, except during severe weather, the cows are never in the barn except for milking and their morning nap. Even during the winter, the cows are out every day stretching their legs, soaking up the sun and socializing.” This brand’s products can be found nationwide at select specialty stores and in Vermont in particular.

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1415
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated—Beyond Organic
Ownership structure100Family farm
Milk Supply100Single farm
Organic Production100Brand only markets organic
Disclosure of Information for Verification100Full disclosure
Organic Certification100Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF)
Other Labels/Standards0None
Grass-fed60Markets grassfed, and exceeds USDA percent intake requirements
Soy Free Ration?No
Pasture90Excellent pasture compliance
Times Milked90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Cull/death Rate100Very low cull rate
Replacements100Closed herd
Calves75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Antibiotic Use100No antibiotic use
Hormone Usage100No hormones used
Farm Support100Single farm
Procurement of Ingredients100No outside ingredients used
Extra Credit0None