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About Black Mesa Ranch

About BMR
Established in 2003, Black Mesa Ranch (BMR) is Arizona’s premier goat cheese dairy.  A small family farmstead operation located on 280 acres near Snowflake AZ,, it is owned, operated by husband and wife team David & Kathryn Heininger who milk about 30 goats and make a number of award-winning cheeses and confections.   Kathryn is the Herd Manager and David is the Cheese and Candy Maker.

Black Mesa Ranch is 100% "off-grid" generating all our own power primarily from solar and wind sources.  We are a highly diversified and well integrated farm business with poultry, sheep, cattle, hogs plus our Certified Humanely Raised and Handled dairy goat herd. The full BMR story, with LOTS more info about us and our animals, can be found on our Black Mesa Ranch website.

While primarily still an artisan goat cheese dairy offering a wide range of award-winning dairy products, David's culinary background as a professional pastry chef has expanded BMR's product mix with more confections over the past few years.  Goats Milk Fudges and Spiced AZ-Grown Pecans are not only our two fastest growing product lines but also the items with the greatest production growth potential. We also offer a seasonal full line of fine hand-made chocolates (boxed or bulk) for the Holiday Season. 

Awards & Certifications
•          Black Mesa Ranch has won dozens of national and local awards, competitions and recognition for its cheeses and confections (see our Awards page for full list).
•          Black Mesa Ranch's goat herd has been Certified Humanely Raised and Handled since 2006Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is the leading non-profit certification organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production assuring that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment. BMR is the only goat dairy in the state so certified and one of only a handful in the entire country.
•          In addition to being a federal, state & county inspected & certified dairy and food production facility, Black Mesa Ranch undergoes a rigorous, independent Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Food Safety and Compliance Audit every year.  The 2015 audit scored a perfect 100 points out of 100 possible.

Our Commitment to Sustainability
We take great pride in personally following sustainable agriculture principles and in being conscientious stewards of our land since we moved here in 2000.  In 2003, when we first became a certified dairy, we extended that commitment to all of our business practices and operations here as well.

  • Solar Panels at the Ranch
    Black Mesa Ranch is 100% "off-grid", generating all its own electricity, primarily from solar and wind sources.
  • We use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides in any of our agricultural activities. We use compost for fertilizing our soil, and use parasitic wasps (fly predators) to control flies. 
  • We never, ever use those nasty hormones on any of our animals to increase productivity, aid in milking, or synchronize breedings as is commonly done in many modern dairy operations. 
  • We do a great deal with holistic and natural herd management techniques. 
  • The use of pharmaceutical meds and antibiotics for the herd here is strictly limited to individual instances of life-saving measures under the direction and supervision of our herd's veterinarian and the State Department of Agriculture.  Any animal so treated (and this is a very rare event) is immediately pulled from the milking line and kept off it for at least the recommended withdrawal period - and usually much longer.

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