Meet Your Farmer: Tieton Farm & Creamery
Tieton Farm & Creamery is a 21-acre farm located in the beautiful Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington owned by Ruth Babcock, the farmer, and Lori Babcock, the cheese maker.
Ruth Babcock graduated in 1987 from the WSU MBA program. She has worked in the computer software industry for the past 21 years. Lori Babcock trained at a London culinary school but also holds a degree in software engineering. After falling in love with cheese while living in France for two years, and to satisfy a long-term desire to farm, in 2002 they started running a small farm in Bellevue, WA on 1.5 acres of land.
Goats were a perfect remedy to all that ailed them. Lori began making cheese in 2004. She attended WSU classes, and took classes on risk management held by WSDA for the cheese industry. Today they use a grass fed dairy model, using no herbicides or pesticides. Every aspect of production uses responsible, sustainable methods.
Their animals are moved onto fresh pasture constantly, with poultry following them, and pigs following them. The pigs are also consumers of the whey from cheese production. In the Tieton Farms model nothing goes to waste and the animals provide all the natural fertilizer the pasture needs. It is truly full circle farming.
Photographs by Tieton Farm & Creamery and Sara Gettys.