North Valley Farms Chevre, Inc. - Vino Pair Cheesemaker Index
North Valley Farms Chevre, Inc.
About North Valley Farms Chevre, Inc.
North Valley Farms is a small family owned/operated farm in the northern portion of the Sacramento Valley. Located in Tehama County the farm is home to North Valley Farms Chévre, Inc., a Grade A Dairy/Farmstead goat cheese making facility. The farms’ sixty acres of lush organic fields are home to Mark and Deneane Ashcraft and their herd of award winning dairy goats. It is here Deneane grazes and raises her goats and handcrafts a unique line of specialty award winning goat cheeses. A passionate dairyman, cheese maker, farmer and food animal welfare advocate, Deneane began breeding and raising dairy goats in 1990 and developed the present NVF dairy herd which consists of Toggenburgs, LaManchas, Saanens, and Experimentals. Permanent Show Champions, National Top Ten Does for milk production, and several does earning the Superior Genetics designation from the American Dairy Goat Association are among the present day dairy herd. A sixth consecutive generation California farmer, Deneane spends most days milking, caring for the goats, monitoring grazing and forage, and handcrafting signature cheeses that are literally “of the grass." Following a model one would have seen decades ago, ours is a true small family farm in that Deneane is the full-time herdsman/milker for the goat herd, as well as cheese maker, and Mark takes care of the farming end as well as direct marketing the cheese on the regional/local level. Our cheeses are not available through distributors at this time. Ours is one of only a handful of small family-owned/operated farmsteads in California that can guarantee our cheeses are traceable to our goat herd and pastures with no exceptions!
In 2009, North Valley Farms Chévre became the first commercial goat dairy in the U.S. to earn Animal Welfare Approved certification. The goats are the focal point of the operation. They make it possible to produce exceptional cheeses which have garnered several State and National level awards. The Gold Award for Herbs de Provence in the 2007 California State Fair Cheese Competition and the Gold Medal Best of Class award for Soft Unflavored Goat Cheese in the 2009 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin, are tributes to the work done on the farm. This year (2010), both Feta and Herbs de Provence were award winners at the American Cheese Society Contest in Seattle Washington.