Sheep Farmstead Cheesemaking in Connecticut

Final Report for FNE98-208

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1998: $3,050.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $3,050.00
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Suzanne Sankow
Beaverbrook Farm
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE98-208

Suzanne Sankow and her husband raise sheep. They market the wool and meat themselves, and make cheeses and yogurt from the milk. They wanted to learn how to make higher quality cheeses, which command a better price, and for which the market is strong, so Ms. Sankow applied for a SARE grant to bring Alfred Michiels, an expert on sheep's milk cheeses, from Belgium.

Mr. Michiels conducted a five-day workshop at the Sankow's farm, attended by Ms. Sankow and three others. Mr. Michiels discussed and demonstrated various facets of cheese-making, e.g. the use of starters and rennet, sanitation, equipment, pasteurization, brining, aging, and pressing. Together they made several cheeses, including Brindamour, Belgium Abbey, Manchego, and Pyrénées.

Ms. Sankow has taken some of the cheese made at the workshop to her local farmers' market. She found that the Brindamour sold for $16/lb, twice the price of the Feta that she had been making. She intends to continue to use her newly acquired skills, and to expand her operation by infusing high milk-producing East Frisian stock into her herd, and by increasing the size of her cheese-making facility. She has sent samples of her cheeses to three experts, whose feedback will provide a check on quality.


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  • Christopher Hanson


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.