2017-09-09 / Front Page

Creamery boosts local dairying


Mark and Melanie Bachman are strong ambassadors for Potter County dairy farming. They discussed the 10-year evolution of God’s Country Creamery with Coudersport Rotary Club members at Christ Episcopal Church. They’re shown with long-time Rotarian Jim Plotts (right). Mark and Melanie Bachman are strong ambassadors for Potter County dairy farming. They discussed the 10-year evolution of God’s Country Creamery with Coudersport Rotary Club members at Christ Episcopal Church. They’re shown with long-time Rotarian Jim Plotts (right). A homegrown Potter County business is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Mark and Melanie Bachman started God’s Country Creamery on Pushersiding Road near Ulysses in 2008 as a modest cheese production facility. Today, the Bachmans are milking 30 grass-fed cows and selling multiple varieties of cheese and fluid raw milk.

They shared a brief history of their enterprise and shared samples of their products as guest speakers at a recent Coudersport Rotary meeting,

The Bachmans sold most of their traditional dairy operation in 2000 due to the industry’s economic challenges. Their children, Rachel, Philip and Hannah, kept a few animals for 4-H and later started their own small dairy operation as part of their homeschool education.

As the children grew, Mark and Melanie decided to test the waters with cheesemaking. They consulted with David Brown, a Cornell University Cooperative Extension associate, and followed that up with training at cheese workshops.

Northcentral Pa. Regional Planning and Development Commission provided low-interest subsidized government loans of $100,000 to help the Bachmans with equipment acquisition and building renovations.

Margaret Peters-Morris, a Canadian cheesemaker equipment vendor, was an important ally in the early days. Philip emerged from Penn State with a degree and became deeply involved in the creamery in 2012.

More than half of the herd are Holsteins, but the family keeps some Jerseys and Brown Swiss as well. “We like to keep that mix for the components,” Melanie explained.

The family owns 144 acres, managed primarily as pasture. The cattle are rotationally grazed with a grass-based diet. They get no corn silage, but do get a supplement of oats and barley, she said.

Many of their customers purchase products right on the farm, but the Bachmans also supply retailers across a wide region, including the Potter County Artisan Center at North Main and Third streets in Coudersport. The God’s Country Creamery self-service store on the farm is open seven days a week. Purchases can also be made through the business’s website.

Other family members are involved in the operation, fulfilling Mark and Melanie’s mission to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers, demonstrate environmental stewardship, and promote family dairy farming in Potter County.

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