Cypress Lane Ranch
Cypress Lane Ranch is the newest addition to the Straus Family Creamery dairies. Named for the prominently visible cypress lined road winding through their organic pastures it’s an iconic dairy landmark along the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road. Tony Spaletta and his father Charlie Spaletta manage the 772 acre dairy where they are milking 300 head of Holsteins. The dairy is also part of a greenbelt of historic farmland protected by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, founded by dairywoman Ellen Straus and biologist Phyllis Faber.
In 1933 Eda Olivia Grossi Spaletta and Charles Leo Spaletta, the children of Swiss-Italian immigrants, bought Cypress Lane Ranch and began their dairy. They raised their seven children there and today their great grandson Tony Spaletta runs the dairy along with his father Charles W. Spaletta. Tony raised his son Jake and daughter Alicia there and Jake helps out on the diary and Alicia lives and works nearby.
Walking with Tony among a group of his Holsteins out on pasture, it’s clear they’re kindly treated as they surround him and calmly pose for pictures. He started raising and showing calves for 4H projects and Future Farmers of America at the age of nine. He shared that he’d always loved them and one of his first show calves followed him everywhere like a puppy. When Tony was a boy, a neighbor raising Jerseys used to tease him by leaning over the fence and offering him a taste of “real” milk, but Tony and his family remain loyal Holstein folks and proudly bring that flavor to the mix of the Straus Family Creamery products.
Working with Straus Family Creamery
Tony Spaletta explained how they became part of the Straus family, “We knew that in order to survive economically we needed to convert our dairy to organic. The demand was there and my Dad and I agreed it was the right thing to do. Once we made the decision to convert we knew we wanted to become one the Straus family dairies. Straus has great products and we like their company and believe in what they stand for.”
Tony was able to keep the strong genetic stock of the Holstein herd his family had carefully developed over the years. He began his organic herd by starting the newly born calves from his conventional herd on an organic protocol. The USDA National Organic Program certified their pastures and silage crops as organic in May of 2012 and they sold their conventional cows that year. Saying goodbye to them was easier with the knowledge that their offspring remained on the dairy and in April of 2013 the dairy was certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers. Like all of the Straus Family Creamery dairies they also meet the requirements to be covered under the Non-GMO Project Verification seal. Straus Family Creamery is pleased to welcome Cypress Lane Ranch.