THE DEN HAAN FAMILY
The farm is currently owned and operated by John and Bonnie den Haan and family. John’s parents, Adrianus and Maartje immigrated to the Alliston area in Simcoe County from Holland following World War II. They arrived with five children and worked hard for three years in order to purchase their own farm.
In 1953, Haanview Farms was established in the Sheldon Valley with the purchase of a cow named Maggie. This cow family makes up about one third of the Haanview herd today.
In 2012 we opened Sheldon Creek Dairy, where we craft the milk from our purebred Holstein herd into whole milk, yogurt, kefir, 45% cream, and much more. We also opened an on-farm store where you will find many other locally produced goodies.
Today, Haanview Holsteins and Sheldon Creek Dairy are operated by Bonnie and John den Haan as well as Emily den Haan (Daughter) who manages the Haanview Farms operations, Marianne Edward (Daughter) who manages Sheldon Creek Dairy Operations, and Mike Edward who is Plant Manager of Sheldon Creek Dairy along with the next generation Wyatt and Walter Edward
Pure bred Holsteins
All our cows have names and very detailed family trees. John and Bonnie started the herd with a cow named Maggie, a descendent of the original Maggie cow. She was John’s first 4-H calf project and her descendants have become a large percentage of the herd over the last 30 years. John’s brother, Harry also gave them a couple of cows and so the herd grew. Today there are five cow families in the herd, the Maggie family, the Dena Star family, the Ina family, the Plum family and the Alda family. We call each cow by name and work with them face to face everyday. Our cows graze on pastures from May until November. In the winter months, they spend most of their time in the barn with a run out in the snow for a short time each day while we clean and bed up the stable.
WHAT OUR COWS EAT:
Most of what our cows eat is produced on our farm. Just like each of us, our cows require a balanced diet and each have their own individual meal plan which consists of hay, high moisture corn and a mix of silage, which is pickled corn and grass which our cows love! We change each individual cows special mix as their needs change with age and the season. As soon as grass starts growing in the spring, cows and heifers(young animals) go outside to graze. Scroll down to read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do your cows eat? Are they grass fed?
Our cows are pasture fed in the spring and summer months and in the winter, get fed a grassy alfalfa hay which we grow right here on the farm. In fact, all our forages for our cows is grown right here so we know exactly what they are eating. Some of our cows can sustain themselves on just grass alone, these are the non-lactating cows (Cows that are not producing milk). A cow that is lactating has a very high metabolism and is similar to an Olympic athlete or a newly breast feeding mother. To feed our cows only grass would be like a marathon runner consuming only lettuce, or a new mother only eating salad. On grass alone, our cows would eventually lose a tremendous amount of weight and be unhealthy. We would never let this happen to our cows as they are part of our family, each with their own name and personality making up our herd here on our family farm. Most of the forages are plant material that is fed as hay or fermented forage, known as silage and grown right here on our farm. We have a dairy nutritionist who works with us to make sure all the cows have the needed nutrients to be healthy and happy. Our cows eat better than most humans.
Are you organic? Non GMO?
Our milk is fresh, natural and minimally processed and is antibiotic and hormone free like all milk in Canada.. Our policy is to be honest and transparent. We are not certified organic because our cows are like our family members and just like humans, cows get sick. Cows get mastitis, like children get ear infections, and if a treatment of antibiotic will cure the mastitis in a couple of days then we believe in not letting the cow suffer and getting her better. If ever we do have to use antibiotics to help a cow, the milk from that cow is dumped down the drain. 60 days after she has been treated we test the milk for antibiotics if there is still residual the cow’s milk will continue to be dumped until the residual is gone. We also do not just give our cows antibiotics. This is a last resort if the cow is not getting better. We do not give our cows hormones at all.
Actually, no milk in Ontario can have antibiotics or hormones in it (see link http://www.albertamilk.com/ask-dairy-farmer/ive-started-buying-organic-milk-based-on-the-assum/) All milk in Ontario is tested and farmers can lose their right to ship milk if caught with antibiotics in their milk; additionally, this milk is dumped and the farmer is fined. Our cows are pasture fed in the spring and summer months and in the winter, get fed a grassy alfalfa hay which we grow right here on the farm. In fact, all our feed for our cows is grown right here so we know exactly what they are eating.
What makes your milk different other than its’ flavour?
What makes our milk unique is we keep it just as the cows have made it! It’s the real deal. The cream rises to the top on our milk because it is non-homogenized and minimally pasteurized at 72 degrees for 16 seconds. This keeps the nutrients intact and makes it easier to digest. Individuals with lactose intolerance and milk sensitivities have been able to drink our milk due to the non homogenization of our product. Our whole milk is always over 4% butter fat but ranges from 4% in the summer time to 4.5% in the winter time.
Our new A2 MILK products are even more different as the only 100% A2 Milk in Ontario. This milk comes from our cows that produce only A2A2 protein. There are studies that suggest individuals with allergies, autoimmune disorders and lactose intolerance, can both tolerate and benefit from drinking milk with the A2 protein.
What’s in your yogurt? How do you make it so creamy?
We start with fresh, whole, non-homogenized milk from our family’s dairy herd. Next, we gently heat the milk and add live cultures. Then we mix in the all natural ingredients for our flavours (unless of course, you are eating our plain yogurt). Then the yogurt is cooled, packaged, and shipped out to you! All our cultures are added after pasteurization keeping them active. We also strain our yogurt through cheesecloths to get a thick creamy texture. There are no artificial stabilizers, colours, or modified milk ingredients. This does mean that from time to time you will notice that the consistency of our yogurt may vary. This variation is how we let nature “talk.” Our yogurt is naturally high in protein and fat, therefore it satisfies your hunger for a longer period of time and makes an excellent breakfast or mid-morning snack
What is Kefir?
Sheldon Creek Dairy Kefir is smooth and a little tangy! It is made with live cultures that will help keep your gut healthy! In fact, we use 14 different strands of active cultures.
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis Leuconostoc mesenteroides
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus Streptococcus thermophilus
Yup, that’s a long list! Oh, we also culture our Kefir after pasteurization to ensure 100% live and active Kefir cultures. Kefir has many health benefits. Check out more information on our kefir here (http://www.sheldoncreekdairy.ca/make?lightbox=dataItem-iwobbews)
Do we recycle the glass bottles or do we return them?
Please wash the bottles and return them to the location you purchased your bottle, any location that carries Sheldon Creek Dairy products, or to our farm store in Loretto. When the bottle is returned, you will be refunded your $2 bottle deposit.
Where can I find your Products?
Our products are carried at various locations across Ontario. This information can be found on our website under the “Our Products” page. From there you will find a locator map of all the stores our products are sold and will be able to search for a location near you http://www.sheldoncreekdairy.ca/where-to-find-our-products
Is Sheldon Creek Dairy Eggnog seasonal?
Yes. Our Eggnog is only sold for the Christmas season and at Easter, check out our other Seasonal milk flavours throughout the year such as our Strawberry Milk which is featured for Valentines day and the month of June
Is the milk safe for a 9-month old baby to consume?
Both our milk and yogurt are non-homogenized. Many pediatricians recommend non homogenized whole milk. Check with your pediatrician. The fat content is over 4% butter fat in our milk and 8% in our yogurt, which is great for healthy brain development.
What can you tell me about your cows?
We are interested in quality not quantity. We milk just 75 cows, and own and operate 600 acres at Haanview Farms. From the beginning, Johns father Adrianus worked hard to establish a pedigree herd. This means that we have families of cows that were born and grew up at Haanview Farms. The families who are part of our herd today and make the milk for Sheldon Creek Dairy include Maggie, Alda, Plum, and DenaStar. The benefit of only milking 75 cows is that we know each one of them by name, and see them face to face each day during milking times. Our cows live in a new robotic milking barn, equipped with comfortable sand beds. The voluntary milking system means the cows can milk in the robotic milking area whenever they want. We are very lucky to live on an area with rich and fertile land. The cows are raised with the gentlest care and graze on lush green pastures from May to November. Our happy, healthy, cows provide you with wholesome milk.
Animal welfare is hugely important to us, because we’re very attached to our cows – when you’re with them every day, you just want to see them happy. We’ll look at their body condition closely and keep track of how much milk they’re giving so we can spot any potential problems early on. We keep track of every cow’s diet, and we’ll send their food samples to a lab to analyze them for energy and protein so that the cows get all the nutrition they need.
Come see for yourself! Visit the farm by booking a tour!
Do you do farm tours?
Yes! Come and meet the cows by booking a Farm to Table Adventure! You can learn more by visiting the COME TO THE FARM Section above.
Do you make butter?
We do sell butter! We have various flavoured butters as well as Ghee. You can also make butter from our 45% Cream. Check out this recipe here https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-make-butter-with-a-kitchenaid-mixer/
Do you sell to restaurants or retail locations?
Yes! We love working with chefs and retailers. If you have any inquiries, please direct your email to email@example.com for more information.
Can I make cheese with your milk?
Yes. We have many cheesemakers who purchase our whole milk to make cheese. Because our milk is non-homogenized, minimally pasteurized and 4% butter fat, it makes for a great cheese. You can purchase our whole milk in 2L and 4L plastic jugs.
What do you sell at your farm store?
The farm store has a selection of local food products that we source from various farmers locally. You will find a wide array of cheeses, meats, preserves, pantry items and much more.