Faces of Farming and Food: Haystack Mountain Cheese / Part One

Days are getting longer. Plants our budding. Seasonal allergies are upon us. Winter depression is lifting. And of course, it’s also farmer’s market season!

My name is Daniel Bedell and I’m a photographer and run the instagram feed @lightandwork where I have been exploring many careers and trades, but mostly farming. I am really excited to be working with BCFM this season and profiling different vendors. I love exploring the backstories of people, brands and products and your local market is a fantastic place to discover interesting stories and people.

One thing I love the most is when I discover the story behind something that I have used or seen for years and never given it a second thought. Ever since I’ve moved to Colorado I’ve bought Haystack Mountain goat cheese. It wasn’t until I was at the cheese making plant that I realized that the goat cheese was the same and that it was made Longmont 45 less than an hour from where I live.  

When I buy something like cheese it’s easy to forget it was made by people and not just squeezed out of some stainless steel machine. When you buy cheese, especially hard cheeses, from Haystack you are getting a food that was crafted by hand and imagined into existence by a single person. Jackie Chang was born in Taiwan and thought she’d spend her career in the medical field. But she and her parents moved to America and eventually Boulder and one day she found herself on a field trip to a goat dairy owned by Jim Schott’s the founder of Haystack. She loved the animals and began helping with them. A love of the animals turned eventually into a love of cheese and cheese crafting. She is now the master cheesemaker for Haystack crafting old standbys and dreaming up new cheese.

So now you know that something as Colorado as Green Chile Jack really comes from the strong hands of a Taiwanese immigrant woman who grew up more interested in beauty pageants than farming and thought Kraft Singles was the height of cheese.