Farmer cheese (also farmer's cheese or farmers' cheese) in American English refers most often to pressed Cottage cheese, an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, with each giving its own texture and flavor.
During coagulation the mixture separates into curds (solid) and whey (liquid), then the whey is drained off. Further pressing out of the moisture yields the malleable solid results of pot cheese, while even more pressing makes farmer cheese, which is solid, dry and crumbly. There are many kinds of farmer cheese worldwide.
Other meanings in North America
In Canada the term farmer's cheese means a kind of hard, rindless white cheese which is firm but springy in texture with a mild, milky and buttery flavor which may be used in a way likened to Colby or Cheddar.
In Ghana, farmer's cheese is called wagashi or waagashi (pronounced: waa-ga-she). It is called wagasi in Benin. It is made by Fulani women using grass-fed cow milk and Xylopia aethiopica leaves as the curdling agent. Waagashi is fried and eaten with a spicy peanut powder or used in soups.
Farmers' cheese in the USA is not the same product as Paneer. Paneer is firm and cook-able as it does not melt when cooked or heated. Farmers' cheese may be considered a cross between fresh white butter (Hindi मक्खन) and cream cheese. It can be used as a spread on परांठा/Paratha or bread.
French Neufchâtel is a ripened farmer cheese. However, in French the term "farmer's cheese" (fromage fermier, fromage de ferme or produit fermier) refers to any type of cheese that was made using traditional techniques on the farm that the milk came from.
In Germany Quark is a ripened farmer cheese.