Celebrating 50 Years of Goat Milk

At Redwood Hill Farm, we've been groovin' with goats since 1968. This year marks 50 years in business as one of Sonoma County's most beloved artisan goat milk dairy producers. Join us for a trip down memory lane as we reflect on our history, reveal some never-before-seen family photos, and show you what life is like on the farm today.

OUR HISTORY

Redwood Hill Farm has always forged its own path. In 1968, the Bice family moved from urban Los Angeles to the coastal redwoods of Sonoma County, following their dream of going “back to the land.” On a two-acre parcel in an abandoned apple orchard, the children raised goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs, cows and sheep. But their favorite animals were the goats—engaging and gregarious creatures who produced delicious milk that was easier to digest than cow’s milk. The family kept adding dairy goats to their farm until they quickly amassed enough for a small herd.

The business started small by selling raw bottled goat milk to local co-ops and health food stores, and quickly innovated as demand for goat milk products began to grow. In 1978 Jennifer, the oldest of the 10 Bice siblings, took over the business with her husband Steven Schack.

Over the years, they expanded the company’s product lineup to include an array of award-winning artisan goat milk yogurts, kefirs, and cheeses. They introduced the nation’s first goat milk kefir (R) in 1970, and its first goat milk yogurt (L) in 1982. In 2011 Jennifer Bice was inducted into the American Cheese Society Academy of Cheese as one of the eight pioneers of artisan goat cheese.

Redwood Hill Farm is now distributed from coast to coast, but its calling is still the same: to produce delicious and nourishing food, treat goats humanely, and give back to the land.

PHOTO ALBUM

Here are some of our favorite photos from the last five decades.

1959

Future Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Founder and Managing Director, Jennifer Bice, on her first day of school in southern California.

1959

Jennifer's late husband and business partner, Steven Schack feeding and loving goats as a young boy.

1965

Three generations of the Bice family building their first milking stanchion. Sharon Bice, Grandfather Harold Bice, and Kenneth Bice's shadow as he is taking the picture.

1966

Jennifer in her early days as a 4-H club member showing her Nubian dairy goat at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

1969

Matriarch Cynthia Bice shows Nubian buck, "Laurelwood Acres Adonis" at the Redwood Empire Dairy Goat Association show.

1970

Bice family patriarch Kenneth Bice (L) shows Merry Meadows Hilary to championship at the Sonoma County Fair.

1973

The Bice kids (from left to right: Jennifer, Steven, Sharon, Shelley, Kevin) showing their dairy goats at the California State Fair. This photo appeared on the cover of Dairy Goat Journal.

1976

Bice sibling Diane doing the milking chores on the farm.

1983

Steven Schack and Jennifer Bice, just married in Hawaii.

1989

Jennifer cleaning a vat at the first cheese making facility located on the farm.

2004

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery's new, state-of-the-art creamery opens a few miles south of the original farm.

2005

Redwood Hill Farm becomes the first goat dairy in the nation to achieve Certified Humane® certification.

2010

The business goes solar by installing 2 acres of solar panels (586 KW) on the Creamery's roof which supplies 85% of the electricity needs, the rest provided by alternative power of wind and geothermal.

2010

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery launches its sister brand, Green Valley Creamery, the only lactose-free, organic line of real dairy products in the U.S.

2011

Jennifer Bice is inducted into the American Cheese Society Academy of Cheese as one of the eight pioneers of artisan goat cheese in the U.S.

2015

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is acquired by Swiss dairy maker, Emmi. The 108-year old company is majority owned by a cooperative of small-scale dairy farmers in Switzerland who farm between 10 and 50 cows.

2017

The first Jennifer Bice Artisan Dairy/Cheesemaker Grant is awarded to Erika McKenzie-Chapter, head cheesemaker of Pennyroyal Farm. The grant is created with the intention to mentor and support the next generation of cheesemakers in California.

2018

Jennifer and the Bice family continue to build upon the legacy of Redwood Hill Farm, including community outreach, sustainability education, and developing new methods for the humane treatment of dairy goats. After fifty years of groovin' with goats, their love for the goats endures stronger than ever.

50 YEARS LATER

Scott, the youngest of the 10 Bice siblings, manages the herd at Redwood Hill Farm with his wife, two children, and a small team of dedicated staff. Continuing in the “back to the land” tradition, they cultivate olives, hops, fruit trees, beehives, chickens, and vegetables. In 2010, the farm installed an array of solar panels that provides 100% of its electricity.

Continually pushing the envelope of sustainability, the farm recently completed a 100,000-gallon rainwater storage project to provide water for the goats throughout hot, dry summers and in periods of drought. Jennifer still lives on the farm, along with two generations of the Bice family.