The van Bedaf household have all the time been dairy farmers. They relocated to Alberta, Canada, from the Netherlands in 2001 looking for a greater life. Simply seven years later, the household discovered their closing residence in Carrington, N.D.
“We wanted to have an area with a good school system for the kids, big enough to offer different programming and lots of land,” Conny van Bedaf says about how her household selected this neighborhood to relocate. They got here to Carrington with 100 cows, and now run 1,500 animals on their dairy operation.
Targeted on cow well being
Other than prioritizing cattle well being, the van Bedaf dairy focuses on future endeavors and new alternatives. Satisfaction within the operation comes from a deal with cow well being, which has translated into excessive milk high quality over time. “We’ve been awarded for excellent milk quality over the years, in the U.S., Canada, and in the Netherlands. Milk quality comes by itself when your cows are happy and healthy,” she says.
“All of our cattle are born and raised on our farm. That is a very important aspect for us to continue,” van Bedaf says. Cows are milked thrice a day and spend the remainder of the time in freestall pens. Right here, their well being is intently monitored with CowManager sensors.
The sensors are an ear tag that acknowledges and tracks the cow’s habits, similar to consuming and sleeping, and may alert the household to modified habits.
“This way we track their activity and also can notice when they’re sick if their habits are off,” van Bedaf says. These sensors enable dairy administration to separate and deal with cows earlier than they’re exhibiting severe signs of illness. Additionally they help within the farm’s breeding program. “We don’t use any hormones on our cows; they are all bred in natural heat.”
A stroll by the barns reveals how the van Bedafs preserve excessive milk high quality and manufacturing. Cows are well-fed, and chill out on recycled sand bedding in pens, that are cleaned whereas cows are within the parlor. “We don’t milk cows ourselves anymore, we have employees that help us with that. My husband walks the pens every day and prepares feed, and I take care of the finances and books,” she says.
The van Bedafs have three youngsters who grew up on the dairy. Sons Piet and Dries who work on the farm, and daughter Maartje Murphy, who stays concerned within the dairy by her firm, Duchessa Gelato.
Again to her roots
Murphy attended nursing faculty on the College of North Dakota, and previously labored as an emergency room nurse at a hospital in Fargo, N.D. For Murphy, gelato reminds her of residence traditions within the Netherlands. “I always track it back to the Netherlands. There’s lots of gelato shops there, and when we go visit family, the shops are a fun environment and brings smiles to people’s faces,” she says.
When Murphy was nonetheless attending nursing faculty, her mom discovered a weeklong immersion course in Chicago on gelato making. After attending that course collectively, they got here up with a plan to start creating gelato proper on their very own farm. “We just thought we have the main ingredient right here on the farm. Let’s use our own milk and start an on-farm creamery,” Murphy says.
What’s the distinction between ice cream and gelato? “Milk is the main ingredient in gelato, and cream is the main ingredient in ice cream,” Murphy explains. Gelato is about half of the butter fats of ice cream, and we’ve got specialty machines particularly for gelato that flip slower and hotter.”
Duchessa Gelato began within the van Bedafs’ storage, and was bought at farmers markets and weddings with an Italian gelato cart. After they’d their title out in surrounding communities, Murphy started month-to-month deliveries across the state.
“Every month we have eight to 10 different flavors that can be ordered from our website, and now we’re up to nine delivery rotations in North Dakota,” Murphy says. These flavors rotate every month, and vary from traditional favorites like pure hazelnut to the Midwest-inspired strawberry-rhubarb sorbetto. They’ve partnered with different native companies, similar to Drekker Brewing, and lots of the area’s honey producers by taste creations.
Her enterprise has expanded past gelato to incorporate making a classically Dutch cheese, Gouda. “Duchessa is now going to be a trade name underneath the new name, Cows and Co. Creamery,” Murphy says. She and her husband bought a farmstead 3 miles away from the primary dairy and have huge plans for the property.
“Our gelato equipment is already moved, and we will have our Gouda cheese and curds available there. It has a commercial kitchen, a small café area, and we’ll have a farm store there,” Murphy says. “People can come from all over and see how we make the gelato, see the dairy and the cows, and close the gap between the producer and the consumer.”
They’re within the technique of changing an current pole barn into their new firm headquarters. “We’re planning on a few soft openings this fall, maybe something bigger around Christmas, and then a big grand opening for the creamery. We were hoping for this year but there were some equipment delays, and that’s allowed me to just relax and let us take our time on planning and decorating,” she says.
30 below 30
All of Murphy and her household’s arduous work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Not solely do they obtain what they are saying is “exceptional support” from their residence neighborhood, but additionally Murphy was nominated for the Forbes’ 30 below 30 class of 2021. Murphy says she was shocked to search out out that she gained a spot on the coveted listing. “It was a huge honor and very unexpected, my mom and I, my husband and my family, we’ve all worked very hard over the past two years to get where we are. It was great to receive that honor and be recognized by such a big company in New York,” Murphy says.
Whereas many individuals on this listing are from bigger states and cities, Murphy says she’s joyful to get North Dakota on the listing whereas representing animal agriculture. “A lot of people on the list were doing vegan ice cream and plant-based food companies. It’s fun to get this idea on there with such a rich culture and an animal product.”
By means of all of their enterprise ventures, relocation and success, the household works to coach the general public in regards to the dairy business. Each different 12 months, they host LegenDairy on their farm, the place the general public can undergo the barns, see the cows being milked and study dairy manufacturing. The occasion is supported by different native companies, NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Livestock Alliance.