Black Oaks Sheep Dairy
From 2010 to 2013, Black Oaks Sheep Dairy supplied 100% of our sheep milk and we would not have been able to make any sheep cheese without them! They remain a key partner, supplying us with around 50% of our sheep milk.
In Spring of 2010, Seana partnered with experienced sheep ranchers, Rex & Kerry Williams, owners of Williams Ranches who raise the most delicious grass-fed lamb we've ever tasted. The three partners formed a separate company, Black Oaks Sheep Dairy, and transferred ownership of all of Seana's "starter flock" sheep to the new LLC. They officially became California's 5th licensed sheep dairy in June 2010. Black Oaks Sheep Dairy milked 10 ewes in 2010, 54 in 2011, 82 in 2012, 90+ in 2013, over 100 in 2014, and hope to eventually milk 200 to 300 ewes while continuing to improve the genetics of the flock for optimum health and high quality milk.
Thanks to Rex and Kerry's fastidious management of the flock and careful breeding and fine-tuning of the feeding program, the per ewe milk output has increased nearly 40% since the dairy started - a remarkable achievement in such a short time frame. Their dedication to agriculture and expert management of both meat and dairy sheep was recognized by Sonoma County Farm Bureau in 2012, when they were named Farm Family of The Year.
Bleating Heart Cheese is a separate entity from Black Oaks Sheep Dairy; the common denominator is that Seana was a founder in both companies. Seana does not now, nor has she ever lived on a dairy farm. Rex & Kerry (pictured above) actually own and live on the farm and are full-time dairy farmers and sheep ranchers. Seana was involved with helping to get the dairy launched, and she was an occasional relief milker in the beginning, but is not involved in the management of Black Oaks Sheep Dairy - she's too busy making cheese and running Bleating Heart! Black Oaks Sheep Dairy is owned and operated by Rex and Kerry Williams, who continue to be very close friends and collaborators, and who still sell all of their milk exclusively to Bleating Heart.