The ladies at Marcoot Jersey Creamery have a pitch for you: Help them buy a cheese press and they'll let you name a calf.
For the low, low bid of $30 to their Kickstarter campaign, Amy Marcoot says she'll send a picture and a certificate for the calf, and register it under the chosen name with the National Jersey Club. All official-like.
"We'll be able to put up a sign, people can come and see the baby calf," she explains.
The Marcoots already crank out an array of fresh cheeses at their farm in Greenville, Illinois, most of which goes to St. Louis-area restaurants. Their wares -- Gouda, Havarti, Pepper jack, mozzarella, cheddar -- are also available at several local farmer's markets and direct from farm itself.
Currently, the cheesemakers press the cheese by letting it rest, flipping the wheels manually every 15 to 30 minutes for six hours. That's pretty time consuming, while with an industrial, stainless steel cheese press, the pressure is set with the click of a button. In addition to increased productivity, the press would also allow Marcoot to start making harder cheese like colby and a better quality cheddar. She's also kicking around ideas for a beer cheese using local brews.
But the press ain't cheap -- the Marcoots have their eye on a $15,000 one. The folks over at Fair Shares CCSA offered to set them up with a Kickstarter to raise the necessary scratch.
"I was very humbled to be honest with you, that they'd do that for us," Marcoot recalls.
But time is running out! The auction ends sometime tomorrow and the ladies are still shy about $5,000. Feel no compulsion to hold at $30 -- the auction also offers other goodies for bigger donations. For higher bids the Marcoots are offering tours of the farm, a cheese-making session, even an entire wheel to bring home. Click here to pledge.
Be creative with your calf names, but also: Don't be a dick. Although they've had a few "Hamburgers" on the Marcoot family farm, it's still a family farm. No swears.
"I just figured people would be respectful and excited, but you never know," says Marcoot of any potentially offensive cow names. "I guess we'll decide that if we see it."
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