For over 100 years, the old red barn at Blythedale Farm has been a focal point for our tiny hamlet, Cookeville, located in Corinth, Vermont. A much newer barn houses the 40 or so Jersey cattle in the herd. These cows supply all of the milk for our cheese.
Jersey cows are thought to be one of the oldest breeds and are named for their birthplace—the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. According to the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA), they first arrived on American soil in 1697 but didn’t proliferate until the 1800’s. They range in color from light tan to almost black. And, yes, they are the ones with the beautiful eye lashes.
Quality of Milk
Jerseys produce milk that has extremely high butterfat and protein content. On average, the milk is 4.7% butterfat and 3.6 % protein making it a wonderful choice for cheesemakers. The milk is also rich in color, which is naturally produced from carotene, an extract from grasses. Their efficiency in converting grass to high quality milk is an attractive trait as well.