• About Cows First™

    Farming the way it should be and food the way it’s meant to be.

    The Cows First™ program allows us to recognize farmers’ hard work and respect for their herds. Allowing them to treat their cows like family and combine traditions of family farming with the best practices of modern technology. The hard work American dairy farmers have done for generations–tending to their fields and their herd–holds a special place in our hearts.

    We know that cows treated well produce the highest quality milk, in turn allowing us to craft the highest quality cheeses. That’s why every dairy farmer who provides milk for our Kindred Creamery cheeses follows our one-of-a-kind Cows First™ program.

    “The foundation of the Cows First™ Program and Meister Cheese being a third generation company just seemed like the right fit for us. Our grandfather envisioned having a grassroots family farm with profitability, and that’s exactly what the Cows First Program has allowed us to achieve.” – Jeremy & Michelle Winkers, Cows First™ dairy farmers for Kindred Creamery

  • Cows First Standards

    Dairy farmers who employ our one-of-a-kind Cows First™ program make sure their cows always have access to shelter, pasture, and fresh water. When cows are treated right, their milk is of the highest standard, enabling us to produce the highest quality cheese in a sustainable manner.

    Participating dairy farmers are regularly audited to ensure compliance with our unique Cows First standards. For their efforts, we reward them by paying a premium for their milk.

    Here’s what we believe and what our partners agree to:

    • Cows are treated humanely

      All our cows have a clean, spacious environment to call home.

    • Cow’s milk is natural

      We don’t use artificial hormones to increase milk production and we feed all of our cows a vegetarian diet.

    • Cows need good food

      Our feed is free of animal-based byproducts and fresh water is always available.

    • Cows deserve comfort

      Our cows graze in pastures every day. When indoors, our cows are kept comfortable and healthy with appropriate bedding in clean stalls.