Summer Fun Fridays: Cuddling Cows at Sunset View Creamery
ODESSA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Sunset View Creamery, a family farm with more than 100 years of history, provides local cheese and milk to people across the Twin Tiers – with a twist.
Jeremy and Jess Hoffman run the farm together as husband and wife, after inheriting it from Jeremy’s parents.
One of the main responsibilities of the farmers at Sunset View Creamery is cheese making, something they do in-house with their own cows’ milk.
“I [have to] be good at something in life,” said Jess. “Might as well be making cheese.”
When done, the cheese and other products get packaged, labeled and shipped across the driveway to the farm’s store, where guests can shop for different kinds of dairy products and other local goods.
“I have one family that come[s] every other day, I have...a lot [that] come once a week, and then I also do have people that are just looking for something to do with their family,” said Jess. “We’ve got a ton of family things.”
Sunset View Creamery adds a twist to the traditional farm experience. In addition to shopping and experiencing the tasks of a dairy farmer, guests can head over to the creamery’s barn and meet some of its cuddly cows through its “Cow Cuddling” experience.
Each cow who calls Sunset View Creamery home gets to greet the guests when they are three to six months old. Growing up as an only child, Jess started offering cow cuddling sessions after her experiences with the gentle giants throughout her childhood.
“If I ever was stressed...I would just go hang out with my cows in 4-H,” she said. “You went to the barn every day and your cows were your friends. I know that sounds lame, but they kind of were, right? They're kind of like big dogs.”
The activity has since become a crowd favorite for guests of all ages.
“The reaction to cow cuddling has all been extremely positive,” Jess said. “We do have families [that] do it, I get a lot of college students, [and] I even had a 99-year-old lady that wanted to do it...It's been nothing but positive. Everybody will tell you, ‘I didn't even realize they were so friendly’ or ‘I didn't realize how soft they were’ or ‘They're really sweet.’ But every single cow has their own personality...it's just been really rewarding to share my passion with somebody else.”
While it’s been a fun thing for someone to do at a local farm...Jess has seen the cow cuddling experience become a place of refuge for many visitors over the years.
“I developed a friendship with a family, and they had a daughter who was autistic,” said Jess. “She would come here and the mom would say, ‘Wow. She's just like a normal kid when she's here.’ She loved to go in that pen and just hang out with the cows, so I thought if it helped her, maybe it would help somebody else.”
Sunset View Creamery’s “Cow Cuddling” experience is $15 for a 30-minute session. Reservations can be made on the farm’s website. The farm also sells “I Cuddled a Cow” t-shirts for guests to commemorate their experience.
From making cheese and cuddling all the cows possible, Sunset View Creamery has become an educational component to teach visitors about farm life.
“Nothing here is off limits,” said Hoffman. “You can get as close to a cow as you want to get, and just really realiz[e] where food comes from. Food isn't just magically placed on a grocery store shelf; there [are] hard-working families behind it.”
Sunset View Creamery is located at 4970 County Route 14 in Odessa, New York. It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the farm’s history and activities can be found on its website.