Cedar Summit Creamery
Farming practices have changed since Dave Minar’s grandfather purchased Cedar Summit Farm in 1926, and images of cows grazing on grass have evaporated like spilled milk. But Cedar Summit Farm remains steadfast in its commitment to the health of its cows, the community, and the environment.
Cedar Summit Farm adopted intensified grazing practices in 1994, and the herd has been 100-percent grass-fed for nearly eight years. This means the cows never eat grain, a product that reduces the great health benefits of milk. Even in winter months, all 130 cows roam freely on the family farm and chew on preserved, pesticide-free grasses grown on the farm. Feeding the herd only grasses every day is no easy task. For one thing, there are increasing operating costs, such as the high cost of organic hay, which might have to be purchased during drought years. For another, 100-percent grass-fed cows produce less milk than cows that eat grain.
But for the Minar family, community and environmental health are at the heart of the farm. Besides, 100-percent grass-fed is not only better for the cows and the land, it has health benefits for consumers, too.
Numerous studies show that 100-percent grass-fed cows’ milk has higher levels of CLA and ALA (an Omega-3 fatty acid) than milk from cows that eat grain.
In fact, an independent study by Milkweed, a leading dairy-industry publication for more than 33 years, shows that Cedar Summit’s dairy products contain more “good fats”— omega-3 and CLA—than any other leading organic dairy product.
“It is a good feeling to be able to supply our community with fresh, high-quality and healthful food,” said Minar.
And for Cedar Summit Farm, that’s the 100-percent difference.
The Magic of Ruminants
The natural food for ruminant animals always has been grass. The members of the bovine family, with their four stomachs, have the amazing ability to convert grass into a high quality food that sustains this large animal. Meat and milk from a 100% grass-fed animal is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is essential to the human body.
Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 & Omega 6
“Let your food be your medicine.” Hippocrates 400 BC
Until recent times, human beings ate a diet that was pretty well balanced in the two essential fatty acids. Today our diets are highly out of balance with Omega-6 fatty acids being 15 to 20 times higher than Omega-3 fatty acids. This shift has been brought about by our use of grain-based cooking oils and the widespread grain feeding of ruminant animals.
Omega-3 fatty acids come from the green leaves of plants, and cattle that eat grass will have high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids in their meat and milk. Omega 3 is essential to the well being of the human body, however our bodies cannot make it. Omega 3 tells our bodies to make lean muscle mass, and fights inflammatory diseases as well as diabetes and cancer.
Omega-6 fatty acids come from seeds of plants (grain), and animals that are grain-fed (corn, oats, etc.) will be high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega 6 does the same thing to us as it does to steers and pigs-it tells our bodies to store fat!
Medical research has shown that tumors injected with pure Omega-6 fatty acid grew four times as fast as before. In contrast, tumors cease to grow when injected with pure Omega-3 fatty acid. We need more Omega 3 in our diets to balance out the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. These fatty acids both play an important role in our bodies, but they must be in balance.
Because we live in a northern climate, our cows are on grass only 7 months of the year. The other 5 months, the cows are fed stored grasses.
Members of the cow family are ruminants with four stomachs. These stomachs are designed to convert grass and legumes into CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). This produces milk that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA. Meat and milk from 100% grass-fed animals is typically four to five times higher in CLA then from traditional grain fed animals. CLA is a better cancer fighter than Omega 3 and CLA promotes lean muscle mass in humans and tells your body to burn fat for fuel.
For the results of CLA and Omega-3 testing performed by The Milkweed on our milk and others, visit this page.
For more information on milk and meat from 100% grass fed cows go to www.eatwild.com
Click here for Nutrition Facts on our dairy products.
Cedar Summit Products
Skim, 1%, 2%, Whole
Half-gallon returnable glass bottles and paper cartons
Skim, 2%, Whole
Quart returnable glass bottles
Half-gallon and quart returnable glass bottles
Pint returnable glass bottles
Half & Half
Pint returnable glass bottles
Plain and Vanilla quart returnable glass bottles
Bent River Camembert-Style Cheese
Good Thunder (washed with Surly Bender Beer)
The Alemar Cheese Company of Mankato uses Cedar Summit Farm milk to produce their amazing cheeses.
Cedar Summit Farm serves many community cooperatives, health food and natural food stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, as well as the wider Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan area. In addition, we sell products at our Farm Store located near the intersection of Scott County Road 2 and 15, just North of New Prague. Make sure to visit us at the Downtown St. Paul Farmer’s Market from April thru November!
Our products are distributed by Coop Partners and are available to purchasing clubs. For more information, please email our Farm Store or call us at 952-758-6886.
To locate the nearest retail store or restaurant that carries your favorite Cedar Summit Farm products, visit our Locator page.