Making cheese? Difficult. Making cheese for legal sale? Nearly impossible.

Just making cheese should be enough of a challenge, but what if you had a dozen cows, an intention to make fine handmade cheese, and a commitment to earn your living from cheese-making? Only extraordinary people can put up with the waiting, the cost, the frustration, and the challenges required to become licensed cheese-makers in Kentucky—a state with enough grass to sustain thousands of dairy and cheese operations.

Fresh Sapori d'Italia goat cheese button, Lexington Farmers Market, 2010

Fresh Sapori d'Italia goat cheese button, Lexington Farmers Market, 2010

Terry Huff of Windsor, Kentucky, withstood aggravations, roadblocks, and near nonsense to found Heavenly Homestead Cheese. We know about Terry and his excellent cheese thanks to Jamie Aramini, the world-changing force behind Sustainable Kentucky. Here's her excellent piece on Terry, complete with photos of just-about-glowing Jersey cows.

Using a stunning two-page comparison graphic, in a recent Edible Louisville article (see pages 24-25) visionary local agriculture champion John Mark-Hack points out that Kentucky has lost 9,160 of the 10,000 dairy farms that operated here in 1982. John-Mark Hack, Terry Huff, Jamie Aramini, and the farmers she features on Sustainable Kentucky give me hope for our agricultural future in spite of dire facts.