Fourth generation Wisconsin dairy producers Ralph and Sharon Bredl along with their daughters Martine and Rachel own and operate Harmony-Ho Holsteins a 450 cow registered Holsteins Dairy at Stratford, Wisconsin (www.harmonyho.com). With the addition of daughter Martine to the Harmony-Ho management team in 2004 and in response to a changing dairy food production economic environment a strategic change in direction was announced – the pursuit of “value” rather than “volume” was identified as the avenue to be pursued in order to create an appropriate opportunity for succeeding generations of dairy producers in the Bredl family.
The “Cloverbelt” plant Town of Rietbrock near Edgar, Wisconsin in Marathon County was established in 1927 by a group of local dairymen. The plant was purchased by Marathon Cheese Corp in 1969 and operated continuously until its closure in March of 2007 by the current owners. Upon hearing of the closure the Bredls quickly realized that the “Cloverbelt” plant represented a key element of their “value” search by providing the tool to process the milk from their dairy farm into high value, handcrafted, single farm cheeses.
In May of 2007 the Bredls purchased the recently closed “Cloverbelt” plant and established Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods, LLC. With the expert guidance of the former “Cloverbelt” cheesemakers (Gary Miller and Al Graveen) the first vat of cheese was produced on June 13th, 2007.
The goal of Harmony Specialty Dairy Foods, LLC is to produce cheeses only from the milk of the Bredl family dairy – Harmony-Ho Holsteins. By producing a “single farm cheese” the consistency of flavor and texture profiles are greatly enhanced to the delight of both the cheesemaker and the customer.