The Bandstra brothers understand that great cheese begins with high quality milk. Their years of on-farm experience combined with their formal agricultural education backgrounds have been critical to their ability to produce an outstanding farmstead cheese that is complex yet retains its rustic essence.
We milk a small number of Holstein cows that are grass fed throughout the spring and summer and are maintained in a clean and comfortable freestall barn during the winter months. The fresh milk is immediately piped from the parlor to an adjacent cheesehouse where we use traditional Dutch cheese-making techniques to produce our Frisian Farmstead Gouda.
Jason Bandstra started Frisian Farms with 10 one-week old Holstein calves and slowly grew the herd over 6 years to its current size of 80 Holstein milking cows. In addition to Frisian Farms, Jason owns and operates a grain farm which supplies much of the feed for Frisian Farms. This allows Frisian Farms to control the quality of the milk at the outset by controlling the quality of the feed that is fed to Frisian Farms’ cows.
Prior to joining Frisian Farms, Mike Bandstra spent several years managing an organic dairy for Horizon Organic Dairy in Maryland. During his time with Horizon, Mike came to appreciate the importance of herd health without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Mike manages milk production and herd health for the 80 Holsteins from which we produce our Frisian Farmstead Gouda.