Paul Schmidt is a third generation dairyman. He was raised in Elk Grove, CA on a dairy that his father managed. Paul began raising and showing cows through 4H when he was in elementary school. He purchased his first cows and rented land while still in high school. Before Paul graduated from high school, the owner sold the farm and Paul was forced to sell his cows, but his passion for farm life and milking cows continued. In 1977 Paul purchased a 40 acre farm in Orland and began raising a herd of dairy cows again.
In 2002 he started dreaming about turning his excellent fresh raw milk into a value added product. In 2005 Paul began building a cheese plant next to his milking barn. Paul believed that if he could turn his milk into cheese the farm would become more financially sustainable. It was Paul’s dream to someday make Farmstead Cheese.
In December of 2009 the State of California issued a license to Paul that allowed him to pasteurize milk and make cheese in his new building! In 2010 He began by making Fromage Blanc and selling it to local restaurants and natural food stores in Chico. In the fall of 2011 he decided he wanted to expand his cheese products to include mozzarella. He had heard about a woman, Valerie Miller(formerly Sutton), that was teaching cheese making through the Chico Recreation Department and contacted her to see if she could teach him to make mozzarella.
On Saturday, February 8th, my dear friend and business partner Paul
Schmidt passed away. Paul’s death was unexpected and deeply shocking, but I believe
he died doing what he loved – caring for his dairy cattle. All who know him are
deeply saddened by this loss. Although our community and Orland Farmstead Creamery will
never be the same without Paul, we are in the process of trying to continue his
work thanks to the overwhelming offers of help and support that have poured in
in the wake of this loss. I cannot thank those who have already stepped up enough
for their help. At this time I plan to continue the operation of Paul Schmidt's dairy and Orland Farmstead Creamery.
Best Regards, Valerie