- OUR STORY -
"When you change a person's relationship to their food, you change them
... and the world." - Steve Tate, Goat Lady Dairy co-founder
Since 1995, Goat Lady Dairy has changed our customers' relationship to local food and farming by giving them a direct connection to their food. It has always been our motto that when you change a person's relationship to their food, you change them... and the world. We give the public opportunities to see, touch, and smell where their food comes from through our Open Farm Days and Dinner at the Dairy. Events at the farm and our widespread distribution help us spread the passion for food and love for the land that made Goat Lady Dairy possible.
In 1995, Ginnie Tate, aka 'the Goat Lady', her brother Steve and his wife Lee opened Goat Lady Dairy in the lovely rolling hills of northeast Randolph County in the North Carolina Piedmont. They started with an abandoned, worn-out tobacco farm and a 200 year old log house and outbuildings, restored them carefully and then added a new dairy barn complete with milking parlor, goat loafing barn, dining room and a licensed cheese making room. From the beginning, Goat Lady Dairy's dream was to connect our urban neighbors with the land and goats through hand crafted cheese and farm events.
We had a message to share: when you know your food, your farmer and your cheese-maker you make choices that care for the land and change the world for the better. In 2003, we collaborated with the Piedmont Land Conservancy in placing our farm under a conservation easement, ensuring the land will always be used for agricultural purposes. In 2009, Ginnie received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. In 2010, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association honored us with their Farmers of the Year Award. In 2012, we completed a major expansion and upgrade of our cheese rooms making us one of the largest goat cheese creameries in the region.
Today, Goat Lady Dairy partners with local family farms. From their goat and cow milk we carefully craft fresh, soft-ripened and aged cheeses sold at local farmers markets and in stores and restaurants throughout the South and beyond. We have won several national awards from the American Cheese Society. Seasonal on-farm dining events featuring our cheese, meats and local produce are regular sell-outs (Washington Post review of Dinner at the Dairy). Each spring and fall we host Open Farm Days and welcome hundreds of neighbors, friends, and customers to meet our goats, tour the fields, taste our cheese, and learn why we farm the way we do… sharing our love for this land.
What started as a family dream has grown to include cherished staff, invaluable partner farms and a community of loyal customers. Making great cheese while caring for the land and connecting farming and urban neighbors has now become a tradition that is carried on by Carrie Routh Bradds and Bobby Bradds (story in the Courrier Tribune and News & Record). Bobby and Carrie have ancestors that have been farming in the Grays Chapel area since 1740 and are themselves an active farming family. The Bradds have worked at Goat Lady Dairy for over 20 years and support the local food movement through their meat business as well. They continue the responsible business practices that grew out of Ginnie's hobby farm while striving to develop a business that is healthy enough to sustain generations to come.