Our Story

Milton Creamery is the result of a dream built in Southern Iowa – a place with rolling hills, woodlands, rivers and rich soil.

A dream of doing something to help others in the agriculture world and beyond, adding value to the milk for dairy farmers, creating jobs in the local community and bringing consumers a product created with art and passion in Southern Iowa. 

The Musser Family has soley owned and operated Milton Creamery since 2006.  Rufus III, his wife Jane and their son Rufus IV “Junior” currently work with local Amish dairy farmers and manage the local team of nearly 30 people.

Our History

Rufus and Jane are originally from Pennsylvania, and moved to Milton, IA in 1992 for a change of pace from growing and selling produce to dairy farming.  They milked cows and farmed 170 acres.  It was a good lifestyle, as their Mennonite traditions value hard work, ingenuity, and simple living. But Rufus missed being involved with people as the “cows only kick, they don’t talk,” as he would say.

In 2000, through a few chance encounters, Rufus and Jane ended up at a one-day conference at the University of Wisconsin on value-added dairy.  A specialty cheese importer spoke about the industry and something sparked in Rufus.  “That’s where it’s at!”, he exclaimed to Jane.  Specialty cheese seemed so romantic and rustic; much more intriguing than anything he’d seen before.

From that moment on, Rufus knew he wanted to be a cheesemaker.  The Mussers, their neighbors and friends spent over 4 years researching the viability of creating a business from the ground up.  Many of their neighbors are Old Order Amish. Although different, Mennonites and Amish are both Anabaptists, of Swiss heritage, and share many values.  These common values made it easy to work together.

After many years of research, education, and outside expertise, they made the commitment to move forward with the project. 

On May 8, 2006 Milton Creamery made its first batch of cheese. 

In 2009, they brought home their first cheese award from the US Cheese Championship.  Prairie Breeze™ won Best of Class in the Open Hard category.  Many more blue ribbons have been awarded across multiple categories and cheeses.

Milton Creamery expanded their facility to support operations and cheesemaking growth in early 2020. The project added a 17,000 square foot facility designed to age up to 1.5 million pounds of their award-winning Prairie Breeze™ and other cheeses.

Stewardship

Fine cheese starts with the right milk.

From the very beginning, Milton Creamery has been adamant that all milk is sourced from local, small dairy farms.

By local, we mean that all milk comes from 30 miles of the facility.

By small, we mean that all of our dairy farmers herds are managed and milked by the immediate family and have no more than 120 animals.

The farmers that provide milk to Milton Creamery do not give their cows artificial growth hormones, like rBGH and rBST.

Food Safety

Milton Creamery is committed to food safety and safe food handling.  We meet the SQF Code for Food Manufacturing, Edition 8.1 and SQF Quality Code, Edition 8.1

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide.