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Western Iowa farm focused on goat and sheep cheeses

Western Iowa farm focused on goat and sheep cheeses

It’s not unusual for a day at Doe’s & Diva’s Dairy Inc. near Honey Creek to begin with assisting an ewe in a difficult delivery and end visiting with consumers at the local farmers market. In between there are goats and sheep to feed, water and milk and the daily cheese to make.

“In the spring when the milk is flowing, we have 28 to 29 gallons of milk to make into cheese,” says Doe’s & Diva’s owner/operator Janna Feldman. That produces a lot of feta, chevre and curd. And that’s after the new babies have had their fill.

Feldman’s herd includes 28 goats and 28 sheep. Awassi sheep, known for their hardiness, calm temperament, parasite resistance and long lactation period, are bred to East Frisias, known for high milk production. Saanen goats also carry a reputation for milk production — both quality and quantity — and join Alpine and Nubian breeds on the farm.

They graze the lush grasses and cool timber of the Loess Hills in a rotational grazing system managed with solar-powered electric fencing. In addition to Feldman’s available land, the sheep and goats call a...




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