The Oudshoorn family was born and raised in southern Alberta. Ben and Anita have been farming together for 25 years with their family. In 1994 they bought their first goats for one of their children and learned how to make yoghurt and cheese for their family and friends. In 1998 the Oudshoorn family became licensed to produce milk for sale at their family farm in Nobleford, Alberta. They began to milk and produce goat products in 1999. Within a few short years the family began to distribute plain yoghurt for organic grocery stores, slowly adding more flavours to the stock.
In 2003 Oudshoorn’s moved to a farm in Fort Macleod Alberta their goal was to be self sustaining and organic and felt the move was necessary. At their new location near Fort Macleod they are able to grow and produce their feed for the goats and also supply fertilizer from the goat manure for crops.
At the Fort Macleod farm they began cheese production, mainly chevre and feta. They also began to look at the process of becoming certified organic. Being organic forces them to milk more goats in order to be able to supply year around. They produce a lot of extra milk in the summer when the young kids are weaned from their mothers. To use this up they decided to produce aged varieties of cheese for our customers to enjoy later on during the winter months. Supplies of milk are always low during the winter months because the herd is in different stages of gestation and lactation. This affects the milk supply. Goats, unlike dairy cows will not breed any month of the year.
Being organic ensures that no hormones, or different methods to induce breeding will be used. The goats are able to access pasture year around and during winter months they are given shelter from the elements and have access to fresh air and space to roam if desired. The goats come inside to be milked twice daily and are fed an organic whole grain treat when they are in the parlour. They are then free to go and eat their greens of fresh organic hay that we produce on the farm in the summer.