Loudon, NH—US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Tuesday announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $25 million to help 247 businesses, including a number of cheese and dairy businesses, expand their operations and create new products to market.
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, which helps agricultural producers grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value-added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products.
Cheese- and dairy-related recipients of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants include:
Silver Star Dairy LLLP, Arizona, $180,000. Funds will be used as working capital for the processing and marketing of goat’s milk cheese and ice cream to sell on-farm and to local retailers and restaurants in the Phoenix metro area.
McClelland Dairy Processing, LLC, California, $46,000. Funds will be used to evaluate the feasibility of a new on-farm cheese processing facility.
Challenge Dairy Products, Inc., California, $200,000. Funds will be used to help with grocery slotting fees to offset the high costs of new market introduction of new cream cheese.
Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, LLC, Colorado, $100,000. Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy operates a goat dairy and cheese processing facility in Buena Vista, CO. This grant will help the company with direct operating costs for processing its goat milk cheeses and to assist with marketing and advertising.
Love Creamery, LLC, Georgia, $38,000. Funds will be used to assist in the development of a feasibility study to determine if a goat milk and cheese operation would be successful in north Georgia.
Reed’s Dairy Inc., Idaho, $199,921. Funds will be used to provide working capital to assist the company in increasing production levels of various cheeses, curds, cream, ice cream, and non-homogenized milk, as well as launching a local marketing campaign to increase sales and distribution of value-added products.
Jacobs & Brichford LLC, Indiana, $130,000. Funds will be used to expand this on-farm cheesemaking and marketing operation.
Country View Dairy, LLC, Iowa, $117,433. Funds will be used as working capital for the production and marketing of two new yogurt-based products in northeast Iowa.
Dan & Debbie’s Dairy, Iowa, $5,780. Grant funds will be used as planning capital to assist in building a marketing and business plan for locally produced and processed milk products.
Jason Wiebe Dairy, Kansas, $120,000. Funds will be used to produce farmstead cheeses from cow’s milk. The grant will allow Wiebe Dairy to expand distribution into new geographical areas and further expand market penetration in existing areas.
Chesapeake Bay Dairy, LLC, Maryland, $200,000. Funds will be used to pay for consulting and educational expenses as well as packaging and labeling materials needed to produce cheese, milk and butter products on the farm.
Shetler Family Dairy, Michigan, $200,000. Working capital funds will be used for additional inventory, processing supplies, and labor to process and market value-added dairy products. This project will assist the business’s expansion of its customer base.
Metz’s Hart-Land Creamery, LLC, Minnesota, $20,688. Funds will be used on feasibility and business planning activities involving the development of an on-farm store to sell the Metz brand of artisan cheeses and local products.
Shepherd’s Way Farms, Inc., Minnesota, $200,000. Funds will be used as working capital to support market expansion activities and increased production of artisan cheeses, whey-fed pork, lamb meat and wool products.
Hemme Dairy, Missouri, $162,000. Funds will be used to assist with marketing cheese products made from milk produced by the Hemme Dairy.
Shatto Farms, Inc., Missouri, $200,000. Funds will be used to assist with marketing of pasteurized bottled milk, which is produced on the Shatto family dairy farm.
Only Ewe LLC, Missouri, $160,000. Funds will be used to assist with the expansion of yogurt production from sheep’s milk and to help launch new aged cheese and ice cream product lines.
Baetje Farms, LLC, Missouri, $49,999. Funds will be used to assist with marketing organic goat cheese from the Baetje family farm.
Wooly Bugger Studios, Inc., Montana, $15,750. Funds will be used to start a cheesemaking operation.
KJ’n Ranch Inc., Montana, $10,000. Funds will be used to complete a study to determine if it is feasible to start a sheep cheese creamery.
Tahoe Cheese, LLC, Nevada, $49,000. Funds will be used for working capital to help offset additional costs associated with the increase in the level of production and marketing of specialty artisan cheeses from raw milk from Tahoe Cheese.
Fulper Family Farmstead LLC, New Jersey, $49,900. Funds will be used for working capital to produce raw milk into yogurt, heavy cream and artisan cheeses and to market packaged products to local niche markets.
Goodale Farms Inc., New York, $80,000. Funds will be used to promote the company’s goat’s milk cheeses and fresh pasteurized cow’s milk to a primarily Long Island market. Goodale Farms is one of the only milk-producing farms on Long Island.
Kriemhild Dairy Farms LLC, New York, $49,999. Funds will be used to assist the company with working capital funds related to packaging materials for its cultured butter, sour cream, creme fraiche, and buttermilk product lines.
Evans Farmhouse Creamery, New York, $46,977. Funds will be used to assist the company with working capital needs for its new organic line of Greek yogurt and aged cheese using milk from grass-fed cows.
Ashlee Kleinhammer dba North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm, New York, $49,504. Funds will be used to expand sales of a locally marketed line of cultured dairy products and cheeses.
5 Spoke Creamery, LLC, New York, $49,893. Funds will be used to pay for labor and marketing costs associated with the company’s new kosher artisanal raw milk cheese from milk produced by grass-fed cows.
Sarah Van Orden, New York, $37,000. Funds will be used to increase the retail and wholesale customer base for artisanal cheeses made from the milk produced on this Finger Lakes dairy farm.
Simply Natural Dairy Farms, LLC, North Carolina, $180,000. Funds will be used to process milk into yogurt, pasteurized bottled milk, flavored milks, half and half, heavy cream and butter.
Donna Sue Johnson, Oklahoma, $142,734. Funds will be used to assist production of raw milk by-products for distribution in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.
Palace Dairy dba Rogue Creamery, Oregon, $22,782. Funds will be used to assess and further the development of two new product lines: a premium organic ice cream mix, and a premium organic ice cream with a variety of unique flavors. The former will be marketed throughout the Pacific Northwest to select ice cream parlors, while the latter will be sold primarily at the farm’s store.
Wholesome Dairy Veterinary PLLC, Pennsylvania, $49,900. Funds will be used as working capital for labor, packaging, labeling, and miscellaneous costs associated with processing pasteurized yogurt, Greek yogurt, Mexican chocolate, milk, and aged cheeses from grass-fed Ayrshire cow’s milk.
Spotted Goat Farm, Texas, $20,000. Grant funds will be used for working capital associated with labor, packaging, labeling and marketing expenses, and ingredient costs to produce farmstead and artisan cheeses from goat and cow’s milk.
Mill-King Market and Creamery, LLC, Texas, $150,000. Funds will be used for working capital (labor and utility costs associated with processing raw milk and cream), as well as packaging, labeling, supplies, distribution, travel, marketing and promotional expenses.
Will Brothers, Virginia, $200,000. Funds will be used to implement a targeted marketing plan and increased production of artisan dairy products.
Main Street Farmstead, Virginia, $200,000. Funds will be used for working capital to hire human resources, pay for marketing activities, and purchase supplies, with the ultimate goal of direct marketing of dairy products.
Weijohn Farms, Inc., dba Blueberry Hill Farms, Washington, $49,917. Funds will be used to produce, procure ingredients for and market a frozen blueberry-based gelato-type product called “Sorbatto.”
Pure Eire, LLC, Washington, $200,000. Funds will be used to increase processing of fluid milk and butter products and to launch a marketing campaign to increase sales and distribution.
Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy, Inc., Washington, $100,000. Funds will be used to produce organic bottled milk and for packaging, labeling, promotional and operational expenses.
Kurt Timmermeister, Washington, $45,000. Funds will be used to hire an ice cream maker to produce ice cream that will be sold at a Seattle retail storefront to expand the market for this Vashon Island dairy farm’s frozen treat.
Myshan Dairy, Inc., Washington, $39,885. Funds will be used to expand the market for unique products: Guernsey cow milk and locally produced and artisan cream cheeses flavored with locally produced honey and berries. The company will accomplish this by establishing their own small processing facility on its farm.
Harmony Fields, LLC, Washington, $36,000. Funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study to assess the viability of establishing a sheep dairy and creamery for the production of sheep milk cheese on the farm.
Heartland Cooperative Services, Wisconsin, $200,000. Funds will be used for value-added marketing activities associated with expanding the sales of omega-3 milk for omega-3 cheese.
Penterman Creamery, LLC, Wisconsin, $200,000. Funds will be used for the value-added processing and marketing activities associated with Marieke Golden Cheese with the end goal of expanding sales and marketing.
Westby Cooperative Creamery, Wisconsin, $200,000. Funds will be used to expand the product line and market into organic Greek yogurt.