- Animal Products: dairy
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, value added
PASA proposes a series of educational workshops and trainings over the course of three years, designed to empower farmers and entrepreneurs to develop and market value-added dairy products, including artisan and farmstead cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, butter, cottage cheese, and more. PASA seeks to provide Pennsylvania dairy farmers with the opportunity to diversify farm income through participation in field days, intensive learning programs, and conference tracks and workshops on producing and direct-marketing value-added dairy products. Given that the majority of Pennsylvania dairy farms are relatively small family operations, struggling to make dairy farming viable for the next generation, the demand for practical trainings which offer attractive business options for maintaining the solvency of the family farm is great. The series of value-added dairy programs will provide farmers with the knowledge necessary to develop markets, test recipes, brand their products, and manage for quality. PASA’s value-added dairy programs will be offered statewide, with an emphasis on the western region of Pennsylvania where PASA is leading the Regional Food Infrastructure Network (RFIN) project. RFIN research on current dairy product availability, consumer demands, and accessibility of infrastructure to support new locally-produced foods will enhance PASA’s value-added dairy program by offering services that extend the scope of this project, including business plan development, distribution, and marketing support.
Performance targets from proposal:
Of the 45 farmers and entrepreneurs who devote serious time, money, and energy to experimenting with developing a value-added dairy product for market, 15 will go on to successfully introduce this product for direct market or wholesale distribution.