Growing up on Jer-Lindy Farms in central Minnesota, Alise Sjostrom, ’08 B.S., learned plenty from her parents about producing high-quality milk. But it wasn’t until she visited a Wisconsin creamery as part of a 4-H dairy conference that she found her calling—making artisanal cheese.
Thanks in part to scholarship support, Alise attended the University of Minnesota, where an advisor helped her develop a major emphasizing food quality, marketing, and safety. After graduating, she and husband Lucas Sjostrom, ’09 B.S., ’16 M.S., also a scholarship recipient, lived in Vermont and Wisconsin and traveled to Switzerland to learn everything they could about cheesemaking,
They returned to Jer-Lindy in 2012 and raised $41,000 to build a cheese facility. “Many of our cows are named after our awesome contributors,” Alise says. Today, Redhead Creamery—named in honor of redheads Alise and her three sisters—makes cheddar, Brie, whiskey-washed Munster, and more.
“We’re passionate about our work,” says Alise, who gets through the day on cheese curds and coffee. “We know the gap between food and the consumer is huge, so we love it when people tour our farm and see how cheese is made.”