is a straight-shooter.
This interview provided wonderful insight into what it means to be an ethical dairyman.
My respect for the Fiscalinis is tremendous largely because they stand so firmly behind what they do and how they do it.
If you have tasted their cheeses, you know that they hold on their own in terms of quality and listening to John talk about how he
has gone about building and operating his
dairy and creamery might shift your presumptions about mid-sized dairies like his
Owners: John Fiscalini
is milking 1500 Holsteins which means that the total number of animals on their land is 3000; they are using free stall barns and feeding the cows a total mixed ration (TMR) of various grains and hay rather than grazing them on grass.
When we got out of the car we were not overwhelmed with flies or manure smells which is what one might expect when you are standing within 100 yards of 3000 cows.
We met John
who was incredibly flexible and gracious considering that I had given him the wrong dates for our visit and he
had expected us to be there the previous day!
wrapped up what he
was working on and gave us a tour of the dairy.
told us that they were recycling manure for the stall beds I assumed that this was because it was a financial savings- nope.
First off it was clean and there were three guys working the shift- John
commented on both of these things.
The cows are not fed during milking because if you feed them they have a tendency to poop making mess on the equipment and the milkers.
said you can get by with two guys on a shift but three means that they can pay closer attention to what they are doing.
It is important to understand that Fiscalini is not making cheese with all the milk from 1500 Holsteins- that would mean they were a large scale producer.
Fiscalini Farm represents a phenomenal partnership of years of dairying and cheesemaking knowledge- John
and Mariano clearly enjoy working together and share a mutual respect.
Our time at Fiscalini
made it abundantly clear to me that if we are going to have confinement dairies I want all of them to be run like John Fiscalini's
In our interview with John
wife Heather we touched on so many features of the dairy that illustrate their commitment to animal comfort, milk quality and safety, not to mention the well-being of their employees.