Every so often I enter “White Clover Dairy, Hollandtown” into a search engine just to see what will pop up. This time I got a surprise.
Dairy Foods Magazine’s James Carper wrote an article about Arla Foods which was published on March 8, 2017.1 I cannot comment on the accuracy of the article as it pertains to Arla’s cheese production, but I can, and will comment on his opening statement.
I have written before as to my feelings about how Arla has wiped the Fassbender family from the history of the property and the plant. And this article is no exception.
Carper opens the article with this statement: “To see how White Clover Dairy grew up [GREW UP!!!?] to become Arla Foods, it helps to look at a series of aerial photos hung in the entrance hallway to this cheese plant in Hollandtown, Wis.” [HOW did Arla get these images? Minus the one were “the house is gone,” these images are in our families possession]. He continues: “In the first image there is a farmhouse near the original plant. Later images show how expansions to the plant crept closer and closer to the house. Eventually, the plant completely surrounds the farmhouse, and in the last image, the house is gone…”
If Carper had chosen to enter “White Clover Dairy, Hollandtown” into a search engine, he would have quickly discovered that this “farmhouse” was the original owner and cheesemaker’s home.
The house built in 1916 was not a farmhouse, never hosted thrashers, and the nearest cows belonged to the farm across the street from both the house and the factory. The closest that Ida Fassbender came to feeding farmhands, was when she would feed lunch to factory workers. But these men and women did not come in from the fields, but at noon walked next door for a home-cooked meal.
Henry Fassbender purchased White Clover in 1906, and it is because of his leadership, his vision, and his passion, all of which he passed down to his children, that there was a factory in Hollandtown for Arla to purchase. I am proud of this legacy, and will continue to work to keep it alive.