About Us

Team Red­head Creamery

Jerry and Linda: The Jen­nis­sens started farm­ing together in 1979, after meet­ing as kids dur­ing a calf show. Rent­ing a farm nearby, one crisp win­ter day they cross-country skied to an aban­doned farm­site with a beau­ti­ful pond but much to be desired in terms of facil­i­ties for both humans and bovines, with no run­ning water and only two out­build­ings. They later bought this farm hop­ing to one day be able to pro­duce their own prod­uct at Jer-Lindy Farms. After over 30 years breed­ing Reg­is­tered Hol­stein and later Brown Swiss cat­tle specif­i­cally for pro­tein and fat to cre­ate the most effi­cient cheese-producing cow herd they could, they joined the Sjostroms in Red­head Creamery.

The cou­ple had four red­headed daugh­ters, the third being Alise, pres­i­dent of Red­head Cream­ery. The pair work on and man­age the day-to-day farm oper­a­tions but Linda also serves as co-cheesemaker with Alise. Both have pre­vi­ously worked off the farm in roles with agri­cul­tural com­pa­nies, and held lead­er­ship posi­tions within the dairy indus­try. Jer-Lindy Farms was named Stearns County Farm Fam­ily of the Year by Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota Exten­sion in 2001 and Min­nesota Milk Pro­duc­ers Asso­ci­a­tion Dairy Pro­duc­ers of the Year in 2002.

Alise and Lucas: Alise and Lucas met dur­ing Min­nesota Junior Hol­stein Association’s annual con­ven­tion as kids, and even­tu­ally fell in love at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota — Twin Cities, both major­ing in agri­cul­ture; Alise in Agri­cul­tural Indus­tries and Mar­ket­ing with a Dairy Food Qual­ity empha­sis, and Lucas in Ani­mal Sci­ence focus­ing on the indus­try and communications.

Alise fell in love with the idea of farm­stead cheese at age 16 while on a 4-H youth trip in Wis­con­sin. Vis­it­ing Crave Broth­ers Farm­stead Cheese, she came home to tell her par­ents that she wanted to return home, but did not want to milk cows. Since that day, she’s worked to become a great cheese­maker, with employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties through Acosta Sales and Mar­ket­ing, Grafton Vil­lage Cheese, Crave Broth­ers, and Stick­ney Hill Dairy. Alise’s birth­day is in Decem­ber, and in 2010 he gave Alise the com­plete train­ing sem­i­nar avail­able in basic cheese­mak­ing through the Ver­mont Insti­tute for Arti­san Cheese (since closed), where Alise slept in a kind Burling­ton, Ver­mont, resident’s spare room dur­ing the entire two-week train­ing. Alise serves as pres­i­dent and CEO of the Creamery.

Lucas grew up on his family’s Hol­stein and diver­si­fied crop farm in south­ern Min­nesota. After col­lege, he took Alise to Ver­mont and Wis­con­sin (luck­ily two of the U.S. arti­san cheese industry’s hotbeds) with jobs work­ing for Hol­stein Asso­ci­a­tion USA and Hoard’s Dairy­man mag­a­zine. In Novem­ber 2012, the cou­ple moved home with their one-month old daugh­ter, Lucy, and Lucas started grad­u­ate school for a master’s degree at the Uni­ver­sity of Minnesota’s West Cen­tral Research and Out­reach Cen­ter, study­ing pre­ci­sion dairy tech­nol­ogy in a graz­ing envi­ron­ment with both con­ven­tional and organic dairy herds. In May 2014, he began as assis­tant edi­tor at Dairy Herd Man­age­ment mag­a­zine, where he focuses on con­tent for both the print and dig­i­tal edi­tions. Lucas helps with account­ing and sales for the Cream­ery and Farm between his other full-time duties.