Mooo'ves in the Cheesemaking Team

This summer Helen Cowan was promoted as Shelburne Farms’ new Head Cheesemaker and Jack Duncan to Creamery Manager. As an accomplished cheesemaker, Cowan will support the Farm’s cheesemaking operation as Shelburne Farms continues to adapt to the impacts of Covid-19. 

Cowan came to cheesemaking via animal husbandry, caring for calves and pigs, and milking Holsteins. Prior to arriving at the Farm, she worked at a small goat dairy in Cornwall, VT where she made natural rind cheeses while learning about herd and pasture management. “I love the intricate and interconnected systems that come together to make each batch of cheese unique,” explains Cowan.  “The Head Cheesemaker role allows me to focus on the milk-to-cheese side of the operation, and all the requirements needed to produce a safe food.” Cowan graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biological Sciences and concentration in Animal Physiology.

Former Head Cheesemaker for the Farm, Jack Duncan, has moved into the position of Creamery Manager. “In this leadership role, I’ll manage the seven other members of the Cheese Team, the Food Safety Plan, the inventory of all our storage coolers (which totals 250,000 lbs. of cheese at any given time!), and everything in between,” explains Duncan.

The Cheese team, as they’re known at the Farm, are a talented and committed bunch who LOVE making and sharing cheese. In addition to Helen and Jack, the team includes cheesemakers Sophia Delfini, Natalee Ihde, Morgan Rainville, and Chris Wagner, as well as Owen Clay, Will Floyd, Carolyn Golojuch, Tom Perry, and Carol Wellings.

“We are immensely proud of how our entire Farm team has come together over the past few months of COVID-19 to prioritize getting healthy food to our community,” notes Shelburne Farms Vice-President and Program Director Megan Camp, “whether that’s our cheese, our Market Garden produce, or foods prepared by our Inn chef. It’s all available for curbside pickup at our Farm Store. But,” she continues, “This is also a really challenging time for Vermont cheesemakers, so we’re working creatively as a community to support one another.”  

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