• A Kalispell Kreamery dairy cow. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    ‘Cow bill of rights’ guides dairy farm in Flathead

    The Hedstrom family have got it right.

    They run the only surviving dairy in the Flathead Valley and as they told writer and photographer Jessica Lowry, their mission is to produce great dairy products using very happy cows.

    Lowry featured the family in a story for the March/April issue. The Kalispell Kreamery makes a range of products and is slowly expanding its reach as people discover the quality of it products.

    Did I mention they take great care of the their cows?

    Here’s the cow “Bill of Rights” the Kalispell Kreamery lives by:

    Cows are the reason for the business. We sell the milk so we can keep the cows.

    Hedstrom dairy believes in the humane care of their cows and realizes that in order to get the highest quality production and longevity from its prized milk cows they must be treated with a high level of respect and as a partner in the operation. We believe in and have instituted the following “Bill of Rights” on our place.

    • Animals should have the freedom from thirst at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from injury and disease.
    • Animals should have freedom from hunger at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from unnecessary fear and distress
    • Animals should have freedom to express a majority of their normal behavioral repertoire.
    • Animals should have room to move around freely.

    Here’s a list of Kalispell Kreamery retailers.

    - Jenna

  • Last Farm Standing: Kalispell Kreamery

    Story and photos by Jessica Lowry

    For 35 years – no matter the late nights, the sideways-blowing snow or the hard bite of winter mornings – the Hedstrom Dairy cows have known exactly what shapes would darken the barn’s pre-dawn doorway just as certain as they could expect the sun to rise over the Swan Mountains looming to the east.

    Mornings start early on the farm. Cows don’t care if you were up late into the night or have other things to do. They need to be milked.

    Bill and Marilyn Hedstrom have spent the past 35 years keeping their cows happy around the clock.
    After three and a half decades and in a valley where tourism and traffic to Glacier National Park drive a significant segment of the economy, Kalispell Kreamery and Hedstrom Dairy is the last Flathead dairy farm in operation.
    After falling in love with the family’s first cow in 1978, the Hedstrom’s opened a dairy. What started as a five acre operation in Happy Valley has grown into an 80-acre farm in West Valley.

    To read the entire feature on the Kalispell Kreamery, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.