Ferguson Farm is an historic farm located in
the Shelton Laurel area of Western North Carolina. The farm is home to
Madison County's state-of-the-art dairy operation, Three Graces Dairy.
All of our cheeses are "farmstead". In order for a cheese to be
classified as "farmstead," as defined by the American Cheese Society,
the cheese must be made with milk from the farmer's own herd, or flock,
on the farm where the animals are raised. All of our "farm pets" are
spoiled rotten on a diet of healthful grain, supplements and free range
pastures managed without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Our farm
& dairy is a small scale multi-tasking environment employing local people who
share with us their knowledge of the community and their wisdom in all
things land and animal.
What's In a Name
The name "Three Graces" is a reference
to Greek mythology. The Graces are daughters of Zeus and stewards of
nature representing the ideals of beauty, mirth and hospitality. On the
farm and in business practice we also strive to act as stewards of
nature. Our animals, our employees and our products attempt to embody
and inspire the Graces' attributes. Our Three Graces, however, are
goat, sheep and cow -- all producers of the wonderful unique milks
which create our exclusive cheeses.
The Production Line
Our goat herd is made up of three breeds - the lovely white Swiss Saanens who produce volumes of milk, the Nubians, those charming long-eared beauties, full of personality and opinions whose milk has great cheese components and the intelligent Nigerian Dwarfs, everyone's favorite cuties who provide the richest milk of any breed. Our cows are Guernseys - one of the smallest and most docile of the dairy breeds known for their extra rich and distinctly yellow colored milk. Our sheep are East Friesians - the highest milk producers of the dairy breeds. This unusual blend of "workers" provide us with the exquisite milk that makes our French-style cheeses.
This enterprise is the dream of Roberta Ferguson and her children Sacha and Bill. Roberta's love of animals and pastoral settings led her to these mountains. Her discovery of the cheese course in the Burgundy region of France led her to Three Graces Dairy.