Five dairy companies were recently selected to participate in the new Land O’Lakes, Inc. Dairy Accelerator – a program supporting the dairy industry by providing tailored coursework and mentorship to dairy entrepreneurs. To qualify for consideration, each company was required to use dairy as a primary ingredient in their products.

The selected Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator participants include:

• Beehive Cheese: (Hand-made, artisan cheese)
Beehive Cheese owners Pat Ford and Tim Welsh traded the fast-paced world of software and real estate for a simpler way of life as artisan cheese makers. 

Based in Utah, Beehive Cheese produces artisan cheeses including award-winning Promontory cheese and hand-rubbed cheeses.

• Dreaming Cow: (Grass-fed yogurt)
Kyle Wehner grew up on rotational grazing dairies and assisted his family’s cheese company before he founded his yogurt company with his wife Janelle. Based in Georgia, Dreaming Cow focuses on innovation, natural ingredients and animal welfare. Dreaming Cow makes low-sugar, high-flavor cream top yogurts and the award-winning LUSH - the first yogurt drink with a full serving of vegetables using whole milk - from his family’s grass-based, New Zealand-style rotational grazing dairy farms.

• Jouzge: (Protein snack bars)
Wisconsin-based Golden Family Company, Inc. owners Dana Wendt and Dotti Thumler recognized a gap in the market for healthy snack foods for teenage girls. Their products, Jouzge Chocolate Protein Treats, are made specifically for this demographic and include healthy dairy proteins formulated by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research. A portion of the proceeds from each Jouzge Chocolate Protein Treat supports girls rescued from human trafficking.

• Petit Pot: (Gourmet French Style Pot de Crème & Rice Pudding)
Founded in San Francisco by French pastry chef, Maxime Pouvreau, Petit Pot blends French and California culinary heritages in its creamy, rich and gourmet puddings. The company’s Pot de Crème and Riz Au Lait are packaged in glass jars and made with only a few, simple ingredients.

• Yooli: (Artisan-style farmer’s cheese snacks)
Inspired by the farmer’s cheese she ate as a child in eastern Europe, Yooli Foods co-founder and CEO Yuliya Flynn developed a protein-rich, creamy dairy snack that is a unique alternative to yogurt. Based in California, the company produces snacks made with artisan-style farmer’s cheese such as Yooli Cremes and Yooli Bars that are available in a variety of flavors.

Throughout the course, participants will meet with be paired with business mentors and will attend seminars focused on topics including finance brand building, sales, and leadership development. The program will be held in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.