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Our Farm

Lively Run Dairy is one of the longest operating commercial goat dairies in the country, beginning production in New York in 1982 and pioneering goat cheese in the American marketplace. Their Cayuga Blue was awarded first place in its class at the American Cheese Society Cheese Contest in 2017.

We are a family-owned and operated creamery located in the Finger Lakes Region of NY. Steve and Susanne Messmer, their two sons, Pete and Dave Messmer, and business partner, Katie Shaw, own Lively Run Dairy.

The Messmer family, took over operations in 1995, after Steve Messmer was discharged from military service and brought his family back from Europe in the early 1990s. Susanne took over herd management and cheese making of the operation in 1995, while Steve did morning milkings and all hay making/purchasing and barn cleaning and maintenance. The sons Pete and Dave helped from the beginning, being 6 and 7 years old. Later the boys took over morning and evening farm chores.

From a fairly young age, Pete and Dave Messmer have been engulfed in the family farm and cheese making lifestyle. Throughout the years, Steve and Susanne have taught their sons everything they knew about cheese, the cheese making process, and business ownership. Katie Shaw has been a long-time friend of the Messmer family and started working with Lively Run Dairy as the Marketing Coordinator after she graduated from Ithaca College in 2013.

The entire team at Lively Run Dairy works to continue the mission of crafting delectable artisan cheese inspired by the historic Finger Lakes food culture in a way that honors people, animals, and the land. We aim to empower our employees, customers, partners, and the greater community to live healthier, happier lives.