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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.

We are a family-owned and operated creamery located in the Finger Lakes Region of NY. Steve and Susanne Messmer, and their two sons, Pete and Dave Messmer,  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. 

Pete took over as head cheese maker from Susanne in 2013. Since then Pete has developed and expanded Lively Run’s  product line to include hard aged goat milk and cow milk cheeses. His focus on quality and consistency has been rewarded. Our Cayuga Blue was awarded first place in its class at the American Cheese Society Cheese Contest in 2017. The Finger Lakes Gold Reserve won first prize at the same competition in 2019. It was entered by the judges into the best of show competition, being one of 15 selected cheeses out of a  competition entry of over 1700 cheeses!

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.