(Left to right: Lucas Sjostrom, Alise Sjostrom holding Henry, Lucy Sjostrom, Linda and Jerry Jennissen.)
A dedication to sustainability and energy efficiency is second nature for Jer-Lindy Farms near Brooten in Stearns County, west of St. Cloud. Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery, a partnership between two generations of the Jennissen family, have been recognized with a 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability. The award acknowledges their multi-generational commitment to a number of innovative sustainable practices. They use the most sustainable methods to cultivate corn and alfalfa and provide the best environment for their 200 dairy cows.
(Left to right: Jerry Jennissen; Phil Lempert, emcee of the awards program; Linda Jennissen, and Lucas Sjostrom.)
Highlights include reducing the farm’s energy use by 20%, by using an energy efficiency program, avoiding use of any commercial fertilizer on their 258 acres, and feeding whey byproduct back to their cows. Whey is a byproduct from making artisan cheese at their on-site cheese processing operation. The farm has also achieved Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification, improving water quality of the nearby Crow River for local residents and wildlife.
Redhead Creamery is attracting interest nationwide from people hungry for its artisan cheese and story of the next-generation farming legacy. Jerry and Linda Jennissen have owned Jer-Lindy Farms since 1983, and can trace the farm’s ownership back to when it was originally homesteaded in 1875. When the Jennissens’ adult daughter, Alise Sjostrom, returned to the farm with her husband, Lucas, the two families joined forces to make her vision of starting a creamery a reality, and the Sjostroms were brought on as partners in the farm.
You can read a full profile on Midwest Dairy Association website.