Judy Schad, Founder
Judy is mother-grandmother-teacher-cheesemaker, and owner/founder of Capriole Farm. Growing up in the summers on her grandparent’s southern Indiana farm, she learned the joy of fresh, wonderful food, simply and lovingly prepared. With husband Larry and their 3 children, she moved in 1976 to their family farm in the hills above the Ohio River. A few years later, after being gifted with their first goat, the family had more milk than they could drink. “Cheese,” says Judy, “was the result of plenty, like canning tomatoes or making jam and pickles". Along with her friends Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove, Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Co., and Allison Hooper of Vermont Creamery, she was one of a group of women who helped each other create a community of American artisan cheese.
During her early farm years, she continued to work on a PhD in Renaissance Literature at University of Louisville, where she was both the fiction and general editor of the Louisville Review. Until 2012 she managed a herd of 500 goats, but now focuses on cheese and buys Capriole’s goat milk from the Indiana farmers who bought her animals. Over the years, she's been both a speaker and cheese judge at several national and international events in Italy and France; served as board member, conference chair, and vice-president of the American Cheese Society; served on the board of the American Dairy Goat Association and the Chicago Green City Market ; a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Slow Food USA; and a recipient of Women Chefs and Restauranteurs 'Outstanding in Her Field Award'. In 2015 she was made 'Maitre du Fromage', one of the highest honors accorded to a cheesemaker by the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers.
After more than a decade of repairing A-10s in the United States Air Force, Mike found a new outlet for the same focus and dedication he once used maintaining aircraft: artisan cheesemaking! Mike is the lodestar of Capriole, and despite his many and varied responsibilities around the creamery, he always has a smile for everyone. Mike excels at developing apprentices into thoughtful and self-directed cheesemakers, and always has his eye on the long-term success of Capriole and our cheeses.
After deciding to change course from a career in law, Tim discovered his true passion during a stint behind a local cheese counter. Nowadays, Tim is a bona fide Certified Cheese Professional with the American Cheese Society and wears many hats around the creamery. He’s our go-to for coordinating customer orders and shipments while also keeping us compliant with all food safety regulations and procedures. Kindhearted and knowledgeable, it’s also not uncommon to catch Tim in the plant assisting with production.
Originally from Cincinnati, Shannon and her family finally settled in Southern Indiana after Mike finished his career in the Air Force. What began as a part-time position just helping out in the Capriole office blossomed into a full-time position communicating with customers, managing milk producer contracts, bookkeeping, and wrangling all our paperwork. Shannon is a linguiphile and extremely detail-oriented: you can always count on her to catch spelling and grammar errors, to point out puns, and to provide impromptu etymology lessons.
Sarah grew up competing in 4H, an interest that lead to a B.S. in Animal Science from Michigan State University. Her background in food production management and food safety make her a conscientious and methodical cheesemaker, and a leader in plant sanitation practices. As a military wife and mother of two young kids, Sarah is always on the go, but still finds time to make us homemade Christmas cookies or a slow-cooker filled with chili.
After first making yogurt for a class at College of the Atlantic, Erica became enamored with both the artistry and microbiology behind fermented foods. She moved back from coastal New England to her old Kentucky home, and now brings her creativity, know-how, and attention to detail to Capriole. You’ll find her both in the plant and in the office, and is always on the look-out for creative social media posts and elegant ad designs.
A Louisville native, Dianna holds a B.A. in English from the University of Louisville, and is passionate about creative writing – and, fortunately for us, dairy and artisan foods. She aspires to one day open her own ice cream scoop shop, but in the meantime, she is a leader in the cheese plant: organizing the flow of our work day, setting the pace, and training up new cheesemakers in the best practices for crafting our cheeses from start to finish.
Despite having grown up in bustling downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Emily is a country girl at heart. She’s an avid equestrian, animal lover, and agriculturalist, and brings a great enthusiasm and a spirit of learning to the plant. As the youngest board member of the Kentucky Goat Producers Association, Emily envisions running a future goat farm with her fiancé, Max. Her favorite part about Capriole? Creating beautiful cheeses alongside this team of goofy, compassionate, progressive cheesemakers.
Educated in Food Science at the University of Kentucky, Shep marries his curiosity and technical skills as a scientist with his commitment to local and artisan food producers. Shep balances work with pleasure outside the creamery by staying active: he plays intramural soccer and now is training to run a marathon. Beyond cheesemaking, Shep also plays around with another fermentation process – making sourdough! His focaccia is a welcome addition to our break table, and pairs marvelously with fresh chevre.
Jake earned a B.A. in Telecommunications from Ball State, then spent nearly a decade in Austin, Texas. Now, he returns to his Indiana roots, and is working to establish a sustainable produce and microgreens operation at Four Winds Farmstead with his partner, Jenny. At Capriole, Jake’s infectious can-do attitude, solid work ethic, and small business background make him a dependable cheesemaker and handy assistant to Tim and Mike with shipping and plant maintenance.