Complete Guide to Lard Soapmaking for the Small Pork Producer

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $3,690.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2021
Grant Recipient: Hazel Hill Farm
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Emily Martorano
Hazel Hill Farm

Work changes required due to COVID did not allow time to write the guidebook.


  • Animal Products: soap


  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, value added

    Proposal summary:

    Many small or diversified pork producers find themselves with a backlog of lard in their freezers that is often discarded or sold cheaply. This lard can easily be turned into a useful value-added product (soap), but there is not a clear and approachable guide to starting a complementary soap enterprise and effectively marketing your product. This project aims to create a booklet specifically aimed towards market farmers that will guide them through the process of gathering essential materials economically, safely making cold process soap, and packaging, pricing, and marketing said soap.

    Proposed Booklet Contents:

    • Guide to essential tools, materials, and ingredients and where to find them
    • Step-by-step instructions and safety precautions for cold process soapmaking
    • Five tested and calibrated recipes for different batch sizes and oil ratios
    • List of 15-20 fragrance ideas using all-natural essential oils
    • Plans to cheaply build your old soap molds and slicing jigs for large batches
    • Guide to pricing, packaging, and displaying soap at market or in retail locations
    • Sample enterprise budgets for soap enterprises of different scales, including start-up costs and ongoing costs per batch
    • Guide to marketing lard soap, including a downloadable professionally-illustrated informational poster

    Project objectives from proposal:

    • Formulate and repeatedly test five recipes for lard-based soaps
    • Create easy and economical plans for farmers to make their own soap molds
    • Research and document different ways to package and display soaps at markets and in retail environments
    • Create a guide to marketing lard soaps, including a downloadable professionally illustrated poster
    • Collect the above and other pertinent information into a booklet freely available to farmers online via farmer networks
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.