Bill van Nes – 5th generation dairy farmer and first generation organic farmer, wasn’t always in the butter business. In fact, until 2021 he was a Jersey cattle farmer – or as he affectionately says “a grass farmer”.
His farm, St. Brigid’s Dairy Ltd, is roughly 1200-acres and located near Brussels, Ontario; it’s one of the largest Certified Organic dairy operations in Ontario. Beyond organic, they’re also working on becoming Regenerative Certified, and are currently Certified Animal Welfare Approved, and hold the Grass-fed Certification from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
“Our drive is to restore relationships between humans and our environments leaving a positive, measurable and regional impact for generations to come” said van Nes in a Globe & Mail article a few years back. Not much has changed now that they’re churning butter.
The picturesque pastures are home to a herd of 350 healthy A2 Grass Fed Jerseys. They supply the cream used to barrel-churn the world-class 84% fat Jersey butter.
Jersey fat butter is a special product. It’s deep yellow colour comes from the high concentration of beta carotene that Jersey cows are able to produce. Many also say it has better Omega 3 to 6 ratios, and fat profiles per kilogram.
It’s dense and rich – almost like cheese. What’s more, many people find it easier on their stomachs because it’s 100% A2 Casein. 100% A2 Casein means it may be easier to digest amongst some who may have issues digesting A1 Casein generally found in dairy.
Currently, you can get St. Brigid’s Creamery Butter, both the sea salted and unsalted varieties, through our friends at 100KM Foods, but hopefully they’ll be available at good grocers across Southern Ontario soon.