For those of us that live in the Midwest, its common knowledge to know what a cheese curd is – and that the squeakier the curd, the better it is. And while appreciation for squeaky curds runs deep, the faces behind who produces them isn’t always well known.
A recent campaign collaboration between Culver’s and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW), the state’s dairy checkoff organization, showcased the people that produce the highly acclaimed cheese curds the popular restaurant chain sells across the U.S. The feature for Culver’s squeaky, crunchy, melty cheese curds shared the story of how Wisconsin dairy farmers and FarmFirst members, Kyle and Tammy Sikora, are part of getting milk from the cow to the cheese curd to the Culver’s retail counter.
Tammy and Kyle are fourth-generation dairy farmers who along with their four children manage their dairy farm in Stanley, Wis. They ship their milk to LaGrander’s Hillside Dairy, also based in Stanley, who is the sole supplier of delicious cheese curds to Culver’s. Tammy and Kyle purchased their farm together in 2007, the same year they got married, and have enjoyed raising their children on the farm. All four children, including daughters Bailey (age 14), Kendall (age 12), and sons Drew (age 10), and Ty (age 8), help on the farm every day, with responsibilities ranging from feeding calves to helping clean the barn.
To them, it’s simply what they do everyday and a livelihood they are passionate about. They are humble people, and don’t see themselves as particularly special or unique in any way, so to be selected by Culver’s was quite an honor. They are quick to acknowledge that so many farmers are just like them, working hard to produce a high-quality product for so many to enjoy.
“There’s farms like this everywhere, every farmer is proud to produce their product and take care of their animals, especially to work with a company like Culver’s that is proud of where their milk and cheese curds come from,” said Tammy. “We are one of many that could have been featured. Dairy farmers everywhere deserve the recognition.”
The Sikora’s were first notified that they were being considered for the video feature back in January, with some photos of the farm being taken in February. In early April, they received the call saying they were selected. The video crew came by early on a Wednesday morning in mid-April, in time to see the milk truck pull in. They followed the Sikora family as they completed chores, including feeding calves and milking cows.
In the video, Tammy says, “We know that it is important to Culver’s to understand where their food comes from, and we’re proud to be a part of that.”
The video concludes with the Sikora family playfully enjoying cheese curds, throwing them up in the air and catching them in their mouth. If the joy of cheese curds and family could ever be captured on film, it was in this moment.
“They made a fantastic video. We appreciate that its about a real farm, a real product and a real family,” said Tammy. “It’s nice to know where your milk goes beyond the cheese factory, and to see people consuming your product.”
Read the full story at the link below…