Made in the FLX: Lively Run Goat Dairy Artisanal Cheese

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Photo by Heather Ainsworth

By Shannon Hazlitt Harts

Attention cheese lovers: January 20 is a day to celebrate you and your appreciation of this flavorful and versatile food—It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day! So our Made in the FLX featured product of the week is Lively Run Goat Dairy Farm and Creamery’s award-winning goat cheeses.

Located in Interlaken, Lively Run Goat Dairy became a pioneer in making goat cheese for the marketplace when it started production in 1982, according to its website.

In the early 1990s, Steve Messmer was discharged from the military and returned to the U.S. with his family after living in Europe. The Messmers bought Lively Run Goat Dairy in 1995. Steve and Susanne Messmer split the work involved in running the farm: Steve did morning milkings, hay making/purchasing, and barn maintenance while Susanne managed the herd and cheese-making process. Their sons Pete and Dave helped out on the farm from the ages of 6 and 7. Today, Pete Messmer is Head Cheesemaker!

The Messmers soon became known for making high-quality, artisan goat cheeses. In 2017, the Cayuga Blue won first place at the American Cheese Society Cheese Contest. In 2019, the Finger Lakes Gold Reserve aged goat cheese won first place in its class of “Goat’s Milk Cheese Aged Over 60 Days” at the American Cheese Society (ACS) Cheese Contest—it was also ranked 15 out of 1,742 products submitted!

You can find Lively Run at the farm’s shop located at 8978 County Road 142 in Interlaken. However, it’s also available at many stores and wineries around the Finger Lakes, including the GreenStar Market in Ithaca, the Ovid Big M, and Hector Wine Company’s local artisan marketplace.

Made in the FLX is a weekly column highlighting the small scale food producers of the Finger Lakes. Each week we will feature a locally made food product that is distributed widely throughout the region and beyond, showcasing the strength and quality of our local resources.

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