Idyll Farms in Northport has the hardware to validate their ambitious work as innovators within the world of Northern Michigan food and drink. The sustainable, pasture-based farmstead goat creamery was awarded two ribbons on July 31 at the American Cheese Society (ACS) National Competition in Sacramento, California for its chèvres (French-style goat cheeses). For more on Idyll Farms, read a full feature story that was first published in the April 2014 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

The farm’s Idyllweiss cheese was awarded second place in the ‘American Originals – Original Recipe’ category for cheeses made from mixed or other milks. Additionally, the farm’s Idyll Gris with Tapenade cheese was awarded third place in the very broad category of ‘Soft-Ripened’ for all milks.

The competition featured 248 producers and 1,685 cheeses from around North America according to ACS, a leader in supporting and promoting American cheeses. Idyll Farms also participated in the ACS competition last year, the farm’s first year of production, when it took home third place in the ‘Soft-Ripened’ cheese category, also for Idyllweiss.

Owners Mark and Amy Spitznagel built Idyll Farms after acquiring the farm’s approximately 200 acres in northern Michigan in 2010. Mark, who is founder and Chief Investment Officer of Universa Investments, also grew up in Northport. Idyll Farms is growing its milking herd into 200 certified-humane, pasture-fed Alpine goats.

“We are honored to have won these two ribbons,” said Mark, “the second year in a row for our Idyllweiss. We hope to show that our farm can be ecologically sustainable and as a result produce some of the best chèvre in the world, and these awards tell us that we’re on the right track—our pastures, goat herd, herdsmen, farmers, and cheesemakers.”

For more information on Idyll Farms, visit

April CoverMore Northern Michigan Food & Drink