To make great cheese, you need great milk. And great milk comes from happy cows.

At Old Europe Cheese, we exclusively use Class I milk produced by the happy, well-treated cows that are raised and nurtured at Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) member farms.

Before we get into it—a side note about milk classification: In the U.S. there are four classes of milk, with Class I being the best. However, most of the cheese manufactured in the U.S. uses Class III milk, which is deemed suitable for cheesemaking…but not drinking.

The Class I milk we use to make each and every one of our Reny Picot cheeses is sourced from one of 45 dairy farms in the region that are part of the MMPA dairy farm co-op. All of the MMPA member farms are inspected regularly, and not just for consumer health and safety, but also to make sure the cows are well treated. MMPA also verifies that the milk produced by their member’s farms is certified rBST and GMO free.

Furthermore, all farms that have a contract with MMPA are enrolled in the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program.

The FARM Program works with dairy farmers, the producer community, and industry partners to show customers and consumers that the dairy industry is taking the very best care of cows and the environment, producing safe, wholesome milk, and adhering to the highest standards of workforce development.

The FARM Animal Care Program details animal care guidelines that evolve with the latest dairy welfare research and provides on-farm, second- and third-party verifications by qualified experts who evaluate and provide evidence that FARM is working as intended.

Consumers today are more interested than ever before in their food: how it’s produced, its safety and wholesomeness, who’s producing it, how animals are treated, and the impact on our planet. At Old Europe Cheese, we are proud to source our milk from these farms and join Michigan Milk Producers Association’s commitment to animal welfare.

You can learn more about the Michigan Milk Producers Association and the National Dairy FARM Program by visiting their websites. If you have any other questions about how Old Europe Cheese promotes animal welfare, don’t hesitate to contact us—we’d love to hear from you!