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Building a micro-creamery one cow at a time

Two Guernsey Girls Creamery is only Wisconsin farm bottling fluid milk and making cheese in the same facility

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September 5, 2023

FREEDOM – In 2010 Tammy and David Fritsch bought a single Guernsey heifer for their daughter, Breanna, to show as her 4-H project at the local fair.

That one heifer began a dream – one of owning and operating a micro-creamery.

Though Tammy said she knew it would be hard work, she never wavered from that dream and decided nothing was going to stand in her way of accomplishing it.

Fast forward more than a dozen years later, and that one heifer, along with Tammy’s dream, have evolved into Two Guernsey Girls Creamery – a micro dairy farm located at W1872 County Road UU in Freedom.

Big dreams realized 
It wasn’t just having a creamery that Tammy said she dreamt of – she also wanted to make cheese in the same facility.

That had never been done in Wisconsin.

Not only was she the first – having opened in July 2021 – but she remains the only one in the state who is bottling fluid milk and making cheese in the same facility.

Housed on five acres, the Fritsch’s state-of-the-art facility – built during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – was at one time an equine facility.

 “We retrofitted the barn and built five stalls,” Tammy said. “It’s just a standard stanchion milk barn and we’re able to milk two cows at a time. We do not ship our milk to a co-op. Instead, we built a co-op in our backyard. We purchase all our hay and the commodities we need for the milk cows (from local producers). We retain all the young stock that our cows have as babies. They’re all on-site.” 

West Coast guidance
Because there was no one in Wisconsin, or even in the Midwest, with this kind of dual-purpose operation, Tammy said she had to reach out to mentors outside the region for guidance. 

After loads of research, Tammy found Ben and Amy Krahn at Royal Riverside Dairy – a family-owned creamery in Oregon – and spent four days training with them.

“They were my mentors to help me get up and going,” Tammy said. “They helped me with everything.”

Tammy Fritsch said Two Guernsey Girls’ state-of-the-art facility was at one time an equine facility. Submitted Photo

On the flight to Oregon, Tammy said what she was setting out to do finally hit her.

“I looked at my daughter and said, ‘I can’t do this,’” she said. “I was four days out from offloading the first pieces of equipment, my building was built, but it’s a lot of work. Sitting on the plane, it hit me that this was really happening.”

A long time coming
Tammy said she did a lot of studying and researching into what made a successful creamery and cheese operation.

In addition, she said it took two-and-a-half years of working with the State of Wisconsin to learn all the rules and take the necessary classes.

“Just to milk five cows, bottle the milk and make cheese, I had 19 permits,” she said. “It’s not something you just decide you’re going to do one day, and the next month start it up. It took a long, long time.”

Because she does both fluid milk and cheesemaking in the same facility, she must carry two permits – Grade A and Grade B, as all fluid milk factories in Wisconsin are Grade A permitted and all Wisconsin cheese factories are Grade B. 

“Most of your creameries in Wisconsin just do cheese, but I am doing fluid milk also,” she said. “Plus, Wisconsin is the only state that requires a cheesemaker’s license to make cheese. I trained underneath my brother-in-law – Duane Petersen – who is a retired Wisconsin master cheesemaker. So, for 18 months I trained in my facility to get my cheesemakers license, which I got this past April.”

Traditional breeding at the heart of operation
Tammy said one of her goals with the creamery was to help people, especially those who are lactose intolerant or have dairy sensitivities.

It’s not so much that they can’t eat or drink dairy products, she said, as it is that many dairy products are missing the A2 protein.

Through breeding, this time next year, Two Guernsey Girls Creamery could be milking 17 cows. Submitted Photo

“Many years ago, the dairy industry bred out the A2 protein and bred an A1 gene into it so the cows would give more milk, because farmers get paid for the amount of milk that their cows produce,” Tammy said. “Now they’re finding out that people who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy sensitivity can drink milk if it has the A2 protein in it (also known as the A2A2 protein).”

Interestingly, she said, all of Europe only breeds A2 genetics.

So, all milk on the European market is A2A2, Tammy said.

Intrigued, the Fritschs started researching how they could do the same.

“My daughter had a dairy sensitivity when she was a baby,” Tammy said. “We found she could drink goat’s milk, but couldn’t drink regular dairy. That got our wheels turning (when we first got started with this). Most of the commercial dairies have the A1 protein, but our bodies are just not mechanically-made, I guess, to digest something that’s been genetically-modified.”

Tammy said the Two Guernsey Girls’ herd, registered under the prefix Muy Bonita Guernseys, with the American Guernsey Association, is bred to ensure they carry the A2A2 milk protein gene.

“It’s in their body chemistry and their genetics,” she said. “As humans, we carry the A2 protein. The Guernsey breed has the biggest ratio of the A2 genetics that hasn’t been bred out.”

Tammy said they test every one of their cows to make sure they have that A2 genetic trait.

“I’m helping about 200 people a week because they can drink my milk,” she said. “People have told me they don’t have to take their pills anymore in order to have dairy. We have people coming up from as far away as Milwaukee to buy our milk – they come up here with coolers. I also have some people coming from the western part of the state, like around the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. They will drive four hours for gallons of milk every two weeks. We have quite a following.”

Tammy said Two Guernsey Girls’ milk is pasteurized, but not homogenized, so the fat and cream stays in the milk.

“As opposed to what you would buy in a grocery store,” she said. “Milk that you purchase in the store is pasteurized and homogenized,” she said. “So, there’s a lot of processing that goes into that milk.”

Since the beginning, Tammy said the creamery has offered home delivery services – a throw back to the “good ole’ days.”

Tammy said Farm Fresh Express has since taken over the home delivery service from them.

A full-day’s work
Tammy said her day starts between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and ends between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

She and one part-time employee milk the farm’s cows twice a day and process on-site about 300 gallons a week.

Of that, Tammy said, about 120 gallons a week is used for cheese production, with the remaining 180 gallons bottled for sale.

“We are currently milking 10 cows,and we started out with five cows,” she said. “So, we’ve doubled our herd already in just two years. We brought in more cows to milk to meet supply and demand.”

Much of their milk, Tammy said, is sold directly to consumers through an on-site farm store, which officially opened in 2021, after more than two years of planning, building and hard work.

Besides the A2A2 milk and cheese curds, the farm store also sells a variety of other locally-grown and produced foods from Wisconsin farmers. 

“We also sell at the Green Bay Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning,” Tammy said. “And we sell out every Saturday. We started out with just a couple of coolers in the back of our vehicle – we now take an enclosed trailer.”

A variety of flavors
Two Guernsey Girls offers a variety of different milk flavors, including: whole white milk, chocolate (which took 1st Place Chocolate Milk at this year’s State Fair); vanilla latte (it has flavoring, but no caffeine); and several seasonal flavors.

 “We just finished with huckleberry milk, which we ran this summer,” Tammy said. “It was a fan favorite. We did strawberry in the spring that also goes over well. We do an orange cream milk in the fall, as well as a pumpkin spice. And we do a holiday nog during the holidays. We’re always trying to introduce new flavors to get people coming into the store.”

In 2022, Tammy said Two Guernsey Girls started making block cheese and now make and sell fresh cheese curds in the farm store.

Two Guernsey Girls Creamery is owned and operated by the Fritsch family – pictured from left, David, Tammy and Breanna. Submitted Photo

As with their milk, they do multiple flavors including: garlic and herb, ranch, sour cream and onion and bacon ranch – as well as cherry and cranberry, which are specialty Wisconsin cheeses. 

“We do 20-pound blocks of cheese, and they usually age for 30 days, but once in a while they’ll age for 60 days,” Tammy said. “But they sell out almost as quickly as they are ready to go. The cherry and cranberry are definitely favorites – I haven’t had them in my store in about three weeks.”

During the holiday season, Tammy said Two Guernsey Girls offers assortment boxes of cheese curds that they’ll ship out to people around the country.

Last year, she said they shipped out more than 200 boxes.

A family business 
Even though Tammy is the only full-time employee, she said the rest of the family pitches in when they can.

Besides being “the biggest supporter of my crazy idea,” Tammy said her husband David does about 50% of the work – feeding the young stock, running the machinery, maintaining equipment, as needed, and also helping package products in the creamery.

“It’s ironic we should be in this business,” Tammy said. “It was 26 years ago that David and I met in a cheese factory. We both worked at Arla Foods in Hollandtown. And here we are (24 years later) with our own creamery and cheese-making facility.” 

Tammy said an aunt and uncle also help in the creamery a couple of times a week, and brother-in-law Duane makes cheese curds when they need the help.

Daughter Breanna graduated in May 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a dairy science major and a business minor, with an emphasis on genetics.

Though Breanna works full-time at Valley Veterinary Clinic in Seymour on its IVF team, Tammy said she plays a major role in the family business, too.

Breanna takes the Two Guernsey Girls cows and heifers to various farm and trade shows, and handles all the genetics for the business, mating them with the other cows they should be bred with.

“We use selected sex-sorted semen, so the majority of our cows give us heifer calves,” Tammy said. “A heifer is a female dairy animal that we will breed to eventually milk – that’s how we build our herd.” 

Growing the herd 
The Fritschs had seven heifers born last year – they are being bred now and their first babies will be born next March.

“So, by this time next year we will be milking 17 cows,” Tammy said, adding that they want to keep the herd right around 15 or so cows.

Tammy said the plan is to eventually purchase more land around them, but have no interest in ever moving off the land they are currently on.

“More land would help with our grazing,” she said. “But we can only get as big as our property will sustain (at this point).”

For more on Two Guernsey Girls, visit

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