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2 hours 10 minutes


Cheesemakers -- Sustainability -- Oregon, Dairy Farmers, Cheese


Interview of Melissa and Rod Volbeda by Magda Gaytan on August 6th, 2007.

Willamette Valley Cheese Company tour photos available for download.


Rod Volbeda of the Willamette Valley Cheese Company comes from a long family history of dairy farming. He worked for Tillamook Cheese in Quality Control before starting his own business. He studied traditional cheese making in Holland, and earned a Food Science degree from Oregon State University. Melissa Volbeda and her husband, Rod, are the owners and operators of the Willamette Valley Cheese Company. Before starting the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Melissa worked for Tillamook Cheese. She holds a degree in business from Oregon State University.


Rod Volbeda and his wife Melissa started a cheese farm together in the Salem, OR area. Rod is in charge of the cheese making, having graduated from Oregon State University with food sciences degrees. Melissa is involved extensively in the business side of the operation, having graduated from Oregon State University. Willamette Valley Cheese Co. focuses on sourcing products locally (in Oregon or Washington), and many of their products are certified organic. Their products are available in grocery stores shelves and are also sold at farmers markets. They have produced award-winning cheeses recognized at the “World Cheese Awards.” Willamette Valley Cheese Co. works to be as sustainable as possible. They are also cognizant of who produces products they buy, and they buy organic inputs whenever possible.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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