The BC Giveaway Series is an initiative by BC Dairy Association (BCDA), in partnership with Daily Hive, to raise awareness of local food businesses — like small dairy processors — that have been hit hard by COVID-19.
When you imagine visiting a place where cheese is made, you might think of rooms stacked with giant wheels of gouda in Holland. However, we also have the awesome experience available to us right here in our backyard in BC.
Case in point, The Farm House Natural Cheeses in the Fraser Valley. The Farm House in Agassiz gives visitors not only a fascinating insider view into how cheese is made, but also the opportunity to stroll around the farm — and make friends with its adorable cows and goats.
Established in 2003, The Farm House uses the rich, fresh whole milk of its cows and goats to produce handmade artisan cheese. And you’ll also find other dairy specialties like cow and goat milk, Greek-style yogurt, and even gelati.
The company’s office manager, Dana Dinn, says that its original owner, Debra Amrein-Boyes, created the farm after studying the art of cheesemaking in Switzerland. Amrein-Boyes noticed that a lot of local Canadian farmers were using Holstein cows, whereas the traditional cow breeds in Europe produced milk with a higher fat content that was perfect for cheese.
“Debra and her family were passionate farmers and wanted to create a business that not only used milk from traditional cow breeds, but also treated all their animals humanely and with great care, and opened up their farm to the public so they could see the animals happily grazing on the pastures,” says Dinn.
Everything is made on-site at the farm, and it’s one pretty scenic spot. Think frolicking cows, rolling fields, and snow-capped mountains in the background. Oh, and then there’s the part where you can sample a variety of different cheeses. Did we mention this place is kind of heaven?
The milk that The Farm House makes is delivered every day directly from the dairy to the cheese room, where visitors can gaze in at the curious cheese-making process. There’s also the option to grab some Italian-style gelati ice cream.
Once you’ve sampled (and sampled) and picked out your cheese of choice, pair it with some of the shop’s array of other products like jams, teas, crackers, and honey — all from locally-based producers.
And if you can’t make it in person to taste some tasty cheese, say hello to the animals, and take a peek into the incredible world of cheese making, The Farm House’s cheese and milk products are available for purchase at various stores, restaurants, and farmer’s markets around BC and beyond.
Local businesses in every industry have been hit hard in recent times, and the dairy industry is no exception. Although Dinn says that The Farm House was able to still hit its monthly targets, it’s the smaller wholesale clients that she worries about.
“A lot of these small farms and businesses are so appreciative of every single customer coming through their door to keep those doors open and their families fed. Especially in a small town like Agassiz [or] Harrison, where we typically rely heavily on the busy summer months with the added tourism to keep us going through the slower winter months,” says Dinn.
She explains that although business is starting to return back to “normal,” guests can now expect some changes to The Farm House, including new opening hours of 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday.
“We have a limit of one customer in the shop at a time. We also have all of our products out of reach, and we ask that customers let us know what they would like so that we can grab it for them,” says Dinn.
To celebrate local and help you support nearby businesses during the ongoing pandemic crisis, the BC Dairy Association (BCDA) is giving away 20 prime cheese prize packs, worth $80 each.
Enter the contest below to win the prize pack and you could be the one of twenty people taking home this epic cheese selection including Heidi, Fermiere, Aged Traditional Cloth-bound Cheddar, Cheddar Curds, Farm House Gouda, Baby Brie, and Country Blue.
For every contest entry during the campaign, BC Dairy Farmers will donate $1 to Food Banks BC up to $20,000 inclusive of the entire BC Giveaway Series campaign.
To enter for your chance to be one of the twenty that win a prize pack of seven cheeses valued at $80, do the following:
- Follow BC Dairy and The Farm House Natural Cheeses on Instagram — @bcmilk and @farmhousenaturalcheeses
- Like and leave a comment on the following IG post telling us who you’d share this prize pack with, alongside the hashtag #dhcontest. (1 entry per comment)
View this post on Instagram
Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm on July 13, 2020. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.
BCDA is a not-for-profit representing dairy farmers throughout BC. The organization is dedicated to supporting a sustainable industry and educating British Columbians about milk, dairy farming, and nutrition.
To date, BCDA has donated $175,000 directly to Food Banks BC, and contributed dairy product donations totalling 40,000 litres of milk, 5200 kg of cheese, and 2,700 kg of butter.
To find out all about nutrition, farming, and everything else there is to know about milk in BC, visit the BCDA website.
Address: 5634 McCallum Road, Agassiz
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm