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Apprentice from Madison, WI sponsored by Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund

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The Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund provides monthlong paid apprenticeships for young adults to live on sustainable farms and creameries like ours — to work, learn, and be inspired to create change in their communities. We are excited to welcome Carrie Stenerson as a new Anne Saxelby apprentice headed to FireFly Farms this summer. We recently sat down with Carrie for an interview, and they told us about what they’re looking forward to, how they got interested in cheesemaking, and how the apprenticeship at FireFly will impact their future plans.

How did you find out about this program? What are you most looking forward to at FireFly? What skills are you hoping to learn?

I’ve been following Anne Saxelby’s Insta for  a long time and really loving the work that they do. I saw the call for applications and thought – wow, this is really cool, and I really want to make cheese. All along I was really hoping it would be with goats and to learn more about milking goats, and then they said – you’re going to FireFly! Being able to come to you and find out about all you guys do is going to be really amazing.

How did you get interested in cheesemaking?

I’ve been a cheesemonger in Madison, WI for the last 3 years, and working in cheese and having it be such a strong passion, cheesemaking was something I really wanted to know more about – how beautiful cheese I get to share with customers gets made. 

What’s your favorite cheese?

Right now it would either be Ossau Iraty (it’s an awesome sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees), or a cheese from Blakesville Creamery in Port Washington, WI. They have really good goat cheese, but I’m excited to try your guys’ cheese and say, “this is my new favorite!”

What innovations or reforms do you think our food systems need right now?

Honestly, I think people don’t know where there food comes from anymore, and I don’t know if that’s a food system problem or a people problem, but finding a way to get people to realize that cheese starts through a whole process of milking an animal; beef in the grocery comes from an animal. That’s a big thing that really needs reform and education and a lot of work.

Where to next?

I don’t know! I am hoping to get into cheese in the Chicago area, maybe cheese making, distribution, mongering.

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