June 8 2020 09:26 AM

    Bellwether Farms Aims to Help Dairy Farmers with Excess Milk and Make Yogurt to Feed the Hungry

    The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

    Bellwether Farms has launched Project Spilled Milk, an indiegogo campaign with the goal of raising $50,000. The funds will be used to buy milk from current producers and produce yogurt that will be donated to Northern California food banks.

    “Restaurants, schools, and universities represent a large percent of dairy purchases across the United States. Since their doors have been closed due to the global pandemic, the dairy industry finds itself with excess milk and no one to buy it,” says Bellwether Farms co-founder and CEO, Liam Callahan. “Project Spilled Milk aims to make the best out of a bad situation—that our farmers are supported, and that food isn’t wasted, but instead donated to the many who need it. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on artisan dairy production; our foodservice customers have not ordered since the end of March. Simultaneously, the unemployment rate is increasing, and food banks are struggling to meet the rising demand. Through this initiative, we’ll be able to keep our employees busy, provide assistance to our network of family dairies, save milk from being dumped down the drain and support our community.”

    Bellwether Farms has long time relationships with its farmers and sees the need to help them now more than ever. To stop buying their milk is not an option. Project Spilled Milk will keep the farmers milking their animals while Bellwether Farms will be able to do their part to get through these challenging times with the donations to hunger relief organizations.

    For every $2 raised, Bellwether Farms will be able to produce food for a family in need. To thank donors for supporting Project Spilled Milk, Bellwether Farms is offering social media shout-outs, handwritten Thank You letters, and company t-shirts. For those who are not in a position to contribute financially to this project, Bellwether Farms asks that they help spread the word by sharing the campaign through social media networks and using the hashtag #ProjectSpilledMilk.

    Bellwether Farms is a family-run farm in Northern California that produces fine cheeses and yogurts from locally sourced cow and sheep milk. They are dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices, ethical animal husbandry and crafting the highest quality dairy products possible. Every cheese and yogurt is still made on the farm by Liam Callahan and his crew, while all business administration is handled by Liam’s wife, Diana. Passionate about supporting organizations who provide hunger relief or offer food-education to their communities, the family team established the nonprofit Bellwether Farms Foundation in 2016; pledging one percent of their sales to strengthen the food system and seek opportunities to invest in communities where their products are sold. Bellwether Farms artisanal products can be found at fine markets in the Bay Area and across the country such as Whole Foods, Oliver's Market, Nugget Markets and Berkeley Bowl.

    The family-run creamery’s fresh and cultured products include Organic Whole Milk Cow Yogurt, Sheep Milk Yogurt, Crème Fraiche, Fromage Blanc, Crescenza, and highly-recognized Whole Milk Basket Ricotta (2019 Sofi Award and 2019 Good Food Award). Bellwether Farms products also include a popular lineup of aged cheeses, such as the San Andreas, Carmody and Pepato.

    For more information on Project Spilled Milk, visit the IndieGoGo Campaign Page (https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/1cfe6f9a#/) For more information on Bellwether Farms, visit their website (http://www.bellwetherfarms.com) and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. A complete list of where to find their products can be found here (http://bellwetherfarms.com/find-our-products/)

    About Bellwether Farms

    A family business founded in 1986, Bellwether Farms established the first sheep dairy west of the Mississippi. Artisan cheesemaking began in 1990 and continues today in the expanded creamery. Family matriarch Cindy Callahan tends to the flock while her son and his wife, Liam and Diana Callahan, are cheesemaker and business administrator, respectively. Bellwether Farms crafts a family of aged and fresh sheep and cow milk cheeses and sheep milk yogurt using time-honored traditions and whole milk sourced from their flock and six family dairy farms. Located on 35 acres in Sonoma County, Bellwether Farms is dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices, ethical animal husbandry and crafting the highest quality dairy products possible. www.bellwetherfarms.com.