Meet the Farmer – Aubrey Fletcher of Edgewood Dairy & Creamery

My name is Aubrey Fletcher, I am 23 years-old. I grew up on a 300-cow dairy operation in Miller, MO. As a youth I was involved in 4-H and FFA showing and judging dairy cattle. My passion for agriculture and the dairy industry grew from there. I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for two years then transferred to Missouri State University where I earned a degree in agricultural communications in 2014. I married my husband our senior year of college and we decided we wanted to continue in the agriculture field upon graduating.

Our family owns and operates Edgewood Dairy and Edgewood Creamery located in the hills and hollows of southwest Missouri, in the lovely town of Purdy.

The dairy is an intensive rotational grazing dairy established in 2001. The cows are on grass year-round and supplemented with grain during milking and with hay throughout the winter months. We currently milk 320 cross-bred cows in a swing 22 New Zealand style parlor. Every 12 hours, after each milking, the milking herd is turned out into a new 5-acre paddock.

We have two calving seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall, with the majority of the herd calving between January 30 and March 30. Our herd is made up of Jersey, Holstein, New Zealand Friesian, and Swedish Red cows. We run a synchronized breeding program each breeding season where we use Black Angus and Hereford clean-up bulls.

We typically retain around 100 replacement heifers per year. Our calves are on an accelerated milk program and are weaned at 6-7 weeks. They are raised on our heifer farm and we bring them back to the dairy 45 days prior to calving.

We opened Edgewood Creamery on August 10th of this year. We handcraft artisan-style cheeses and bottle our own milk from the milk produced by our grass-fed cows. We produce both fresh and aged cheeses. Our milk is pasteurized but non-homoginized, allowing for the cream to rise to the top for an old- fashioned feel. Grass-fed cows are a significant part as to why our products are natural and healthy. At Edgewood Creamery we handcraft our products in a way that is not only best for our products, but in a way that is best for our family, our community, and generations to come.

As a family we love what we do, and we are proud to create products that make others smile. We strive to educate and inspire our customers to understand and appreciate the agriculture industry as a whole. We want to have a personal relationship with our consumers, so that they know the source of their food. We aim to operate in a sustainable manner through social, environmental and financial aspect.

We are striving to teach consumers where their dairy products come from any way we can. We feel being open and friendly toward consumers can possible help change the stereotypical view of farmers. If you would like to know more about our farm or our creamery follow us at Edgewood Creamery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit our website at www.edgewoodcreamery.com Thanks for reading! My life depends on Ag!