Creating an Educational and Economic Value Chain for Specialty Dairy Products in Appalachian Ohio

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2016: $165,500.00
Projected End Date: 03/01/2019
Grant Recipient: Rural Action
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Tom Redfern
Rural Action

Information Products


  • Animals: goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will provide the educational assets and peer learning framework for value chain development in the artisanal dairy product sector. Innovative women farmers heading established goat dairies, artisanal cheese production and on-farm livestock operations will co-design the project. Women and low income farmers will be the targeted beneficiaries of peer to peer based strategies farmer co-designed to address a shifting regulatory environment with focused curriculum on GAP, Season Extension, HACCP, and FDA dairy production.

    Project objectives from proposal:


    4 “Mentors in Training” will emerge as mentors in their fields, adding educational revenue into their businesses as a sustainable profit center.


    100 limited-resource farmers will participate in peer-to-peer workshops to be trained in specialty dairy operating models, regulatory compliance and improving profitability.


    100 limited-resource farmers will implement strategies from knowledge acquired during peer-to-peer workshops, increasing their income and access to markets.


    Workshop participants and instructors will gain access to a network of small dairy professionals. Mentors in Training will build relationships with 10 participants and create innovative partnerships that may result in improved market access and increased profitability.

    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.