Ag Experience Insider: Meet Farm Life Creamery

The second of the agricultural operations for the 2024 Ag Experience Insider is Farm Life Creamery. Farm Life Creamery is a dairy operation near Ethan, SD that strives to educate individuals about agriculture. Continue reading for a further introduction to Farm Life Creamery.

Farm Life Creamery History

Gary and Amy Blase each grew up on dairy farms. They started their married life with a dairy of their own in 1972 and raised their three children on the farm. Eldest son, Chad Blase, returned to the farm in 2016 to help his parents, but shortly thereafter, the milk prices plummeted causing the Blase Family to consider some major changes, including, selling the farm, or creating their own products.

Chad’s partner Laura Klock had been involved in the family discussions and heard their thoughts about starting a creamery to turn their Grade A milk into profitable consumer products instead of selling their raw milk at a loss. A self–proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” with an education in marketing and a desire to help keep the Blase’s family farm alive, Laura began to research, seeking out anyone who might have some experience or advice to share on the topic. The quest led them to Valley Side Farm Cheese in Crooks, SD, which had equipment and inventory for sale, but also a knowledgeable owner willing to teach Chad and Laura the ways of making cheese. The rest, as they say, is history.

Farm Life Creamery was Born

With us (Chad and Laura) as its owners, and Gary and Amy continuing their dairy, we now handcraft small batch cheese using Grade A milk from our family’s Holstein herd in Ethan, South Dakota. Fresh, squeaky cheddar cheese curds allowed us to get our brand to market fast, taking our delicious cheddar cheese directly out of the vat and delivering it fresh to you! Farm Life Creamery has been gaining new cheese fans and adding to our flavor list and product line since. Currently we make over 40 flavors of cheese curds, as well as a large variety of cheddar aged a minimum of 3 weeks, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Colby, Cotswold, and our own “Chocolate Cheddar”.

The True Farm Experience

We couldn’t stop with just producing products. We built on our desire to keep a piece of rural America alive, build community, and to provide education about farming and learning where food comes from. Our beloved Saint Bernard, Rex happily greets you at the entrance of Farm Life Creamery as he keeps watch over the random collection of fur and feathers that make up our petting farm. Mini-donkey and pony, horses, goats, pigs, baby calves, cats, geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, emus, a llama and even a couple Alpacas.

You will find our 18–hole mini golf course and the (self–proclaimed) largest tire swing in South Dakota, surrounded by a playground made from tractor tires to keep kids and families entertained for hours. We welcome company picnics, tourists, birthday parties, family gatherings, school field trips, group tours and more.

As of May 16, we will have hosted nearly 400 students and 51 adults since May 1, all for “school field trip season”! Since we didn’t open our farm/creamery to the public until 2021, we can share that one of our goals, educating about where food comes from, has gained momentum, and we’ve become a premium school field trip and agritourism destination!