In 1993, Al and Desiree Wehner transitioned their conventional dairy farm in Thomasville, Georgia, into a intensive grazing operation. They quickly realized this was a better way to farm, allowing the cows to eat grass. The herd is moved to a new pasture every 12 hours, allowing the fields to regenerate. The mild winters in southern Georgia allow the cows to be on pasture all year. During the summer, they are cooled by a groundwater sprinkler system that waters the pasture.
In December of 2000, they founded Sweet Grass Dairy, thinking cheese was a good way to showcase their quality milk from grass-fed cows. Their children Jessica and Jeremy Little, came to help and ultimately bought the business. Jeremy brought a focus on old-world-style cheeses made traditionally, while still with an understanding of the science, and Jessica focused on the sustainable system and humanely treated animals. Their cheese are hand-crafted from start to finish, with each step of the process from the cows’ grazing through packaging seen as important.
The Littles opened a Cheese Shop in 2010 that has become an eatery and pub as well as a retail store. Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses have won numberous awards from the American Cheese Society. Visit them online, and watch their cows sniff the camera, at https://sweetgrassdairy.com/.