Frequently Asked Questions
Does Crave Brothers have a store?
No. We do not have a store. You can order online from our online store.
What makes your farm different from others?
We are proud of our sustainable story. We practice regenerative agriculture. We are naturally taking care of the land by recycling cows' waste as well as whey from the cheese factory as fertilizer for our crops, electricity for the community , cow bedding and heating for our farm buildings. For every hour that the system is running, which is every hour of every day, enough electricity is generated to supply the average Wisconsin home for an entire month. If we had to purchase diesel fuel to run the generator, it would require 1000 gallons per day. Our generator that produces electricity is powered by 100% "cow power" aka manure and some additional waste water from the cheese factory.
Who manages the farm?
Mark Crave, along with next generation Patrick, Andy, and Jordan Crave manage the farm with the help of founding partners Charlie and Tom Crave. They each specialize in taking care if different areas including field crops, machinery, animal care, employee management, and farm records. We are proud to be a family business, we have 13 family members involved in the operations. We are thankful for our hard working employees.
How many cows are on the farm?
Crave Brothers manages 2,200 dairy cows, with over 1,900 of those milking at any given time on the farm and raise about an additional 1,400 young heifers and calves. We have 2,100 calves born each year.
How long do your cows live and what do they eat?
With our individualized cow care, our cows typically live from 5-9 years. The cows' rations consist of a balanced diet of hay, corn, and other grains. They Crave Brothers and their staff work very closely with a nutritionist that creates the "special recipe" for the dairy cattle.
Are your cows grass fed?
We are located in Wisconsin, where the ground is frozen many months of the year. In the summer when the weather permits, our cows are put out on pasture. This is generally April-November when the grass and temperature permits. In the remaining months our cattle are housed in an open-air, free range barn that are designed for cow comfort.
How often are your cows milked?
We milk our cows three times a day. We have a new DeLaval rotary milking parlor which simplifies the milk process for both our cows and employees.
What is so special about your rotary milking parlor?
Our new DeLaval rotary milking parlor is the latest DeLaval technology, and is the newest in Wisconsin. It is labor efficient, and the cows love it. It is comfortable for both cows and employees. One robot arm cleans the udders at the start of milking, another robot arm cleans it at the end of the milking. Three staff milk 60 cows at a time, three times a day. We can milk 1,100 cows in just 4.5 hours.
When does a cow have a calf?
Cows have their first calf when they are two years old. It is at this point, that they begin to produce milk. Cows need to have a calf every year in order to continue producing milk. It is crucial for the newborn calf to be fed the mother's colostrum (first milk produces after giving birth.)
How far is the milk transported to the cheese factory?
Our milk is pumped under the road through a 320-foot stainless steel pipe directly to our cheese factory. where it is used to produce award winning cheeses.
What does "farmstead" mean?
Farmstead means taking our farm fresh milk and handcrafting it into cheese right on the farm. Our fresh high-quality milk makes our high-quality, award winning cheeses.
How much energy does the methane digester produce?
The methane digester on Crave Brothers Farm produces enough electricity to power the farm, the cheese factory, and over 300 area homes. Additionally, the recycled manure fiber is a sustainable source for bedding to keep our cows clean and comfortable.