Fields of Plenty: Lively Run Goat Dairy

Lively Run

Lively Run Dairy

Really good cheese

In our Fall 2015 Dairy Issue’s Fields of Plenty column, learn more about the cheesemaking process at Lively Run Goat Dairy and what makes their cheese so exceptional. 

“Crap milk makes crap cheese.”

Pete Messmer is really a nice guy. He’s thoughtful. He’s über smart. And he clearly has opinions about cheese, which is what you’d expect from the head cheesemaker at Lively Run Dairy in Interlaken.

“It’s like that Ray Charles quote,” he says. “There’s only two kinds of music: good music and bad music.”

Likewise, there’s only two kinds of cheese; Pete and his family make good cheese. They make really good cheese.

Lively Run Dairy has been a commercial goat dairy since 1982. The original owners—Dick and Beth Feldman—had a small operation of thirty goats; they supplied milk to some local cheesemakers called Goat Folks back in the 1970s and later started producing their own goat cheese. The Messmer family took over the farm and business in 1994 when Pete’s parents, Steve and Susanne, moved the family back from Europe.

Pete grew up like most farm kids do: “Having to milk the goats at 4:30 in the morning before going to school was not a cool thing.” But after graduating from college with an English Education degree and not a single exciting job opportunity, his thinking changed: “Maybe this cheesemaking thing could be a real profession.”

For more on Lively Run, check out Matt Kelly‘s story in our Fall 2015 Dairy Issue! And to see what else is in the issue, click here.

Photo by Robyn Wishna

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