Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE goat cheese. If there is something on a menu that has this deliciously smooth and tangy delicacy, I will probably order it. So, it is much to my excitement that I introduce the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s newest program to help in the efforts to curb carnivore-human conflict, the grand opening of the cheese shop The Dancing Goat Creamery!
The creamery is located at CCF’s Research & Education Centre just outside of Otjiwarongo, Namibia, Africa. Visitors of the Centre will be able to watch the cheese-making process through large windows located by the café where the cheese, as well as ice cream and fudge, will be served daily. Head cheesemaker, Sherien Garoes, makes various varieties of cheese with the goat’s milk – feta, chèvre and ricotta, to name a few. While you can only get the ice cream and fudge at CCF, the cheese will be sold in stores around Namibia.*
The cheese is made from Saanen and French Alphine dairy goats which are raised at CCF using carnivore-friendly farming practices. The cheese, along with being delicious and nutritious, will act as an educational tool, displaying the success of CCF’s Model Farm and proving that livestock and cheetahs can live together. CCF offers hands-on seminars and symposiums throughout the year and the Model Farm is open to the public, encouraging local farmers to learn non-lethal predator management strategies. By having products on the market that are a direct result of these strategies CCF believes it will not only encourage local farmers to jump on the carnivore-friendly bandwagon but will help to contribute to local food production and the economy through the support of local farming.
*Creamery products are available for purchase at the Namibian businesses Maerua Superspar, Fruit & Veg City, Geocarta Namibia, and Pure & Simple in Windhoek; Desert Hill in Swakopmund; Spar in Omaruru; and Theo’s Spar in Otjiwarongo.
Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund; Hanlie VIsser, Dancing Goat Creamery Manager; and Sherien Garoes, Head Cheesemaker.
CCF’s Small Stock Manager Tyapa Toivo and Goat Herdsman Armas Shaanika