Hedstrom dairy milks milks around 200 Holsteins twice a day and practices natural husbandry to keep their cows happy and healthy. The cows are the reason for the business, we sell the milk to keep the cows, not the other way around. There are over 11 generations of cows born and rasied on the farm. The dairy employes 8 people. Hedstrom's are the last dairy in the Flathead Valley. The next closest dairy is about 100 miles away.
In 1971 Bill and Marilyn Hedstrom invested in their very own milk cow. They had planned to keep the cow for milk for their family, while they depended on their poultry for income. Well, one cow turned into two and before they knew it, just because they liked the cows, the cows were overrunning the hatchery.
Bill Hedstrom built his own milking barn, the chicken pens were retrofitted into free stalls for the cows, and his 5 acres became crowded very quickly. He rented 20 acres for pasture. The family began by selling their own raw milk in glass bottles. As state laws changed they were no longer able to do so. They then sold their milk to Meadow Gold in Kalispell for 15 years and then made a shift to Country Classic in Bozeman. In 1996, outgrowing there small 25 acre farm, they moved the whole operation out to West Valley. As an effort to preserve funds and recycle materials, the Hedstroms dissassembled the structures on the old farm and used the same materials to rebuild their "new" structures on the West Valley property. They had been Country Classic producers for 10 years before bottling their own milk again (pasteurized this time) in 2010.
Now, their milk flows 20 feet to their creamery where it is processed and distributed. The business is vertically intgrated and self sustained.