Pennsylvania dairy farm finds success in cheese-making business

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MILLHEIM, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture will host a farm tour Aug. 30 at Calkins Creamery & Highland Farm in Honesdale, Wayne County.

Improving the odds

In today’s economic environment small, family farms often have difficulty sustaining their operations. Farms willing to add a value-added operation, such as making cheese or yogurt, can improve their odds of survival by producing, marketing and distributing their own products regionally.

This program, “Diversifying the Family Dairy Farm for Profitability & Sustainability,” will give participants a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build and manage a successful value-added dairy business.

Artisan dairy products

Emphasis will be on the production, marketing and distribution of farmstead/artisan dairy products. Points of discussion will include herd management, the economics of various shipping methods, whey-fed pork production, agri-tourism, small scale dairy equipment suppliers, training, industry trends and more.

Highland Farm, established in 1841, is a 260-acre, preserved, family dairy farm that raises Holsteins in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Calkins Creamery, a joint family venture, was constructed on the farm in 2006. The creamery produces and distributes 30,000 pounds of raw and pasteurized cheese each year to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh and everywhere in between. Bill Bryant and son, Zack, manage the farm, and daughter, Emily Montgomery, manages the creamery.

To learn more and register for this event and others, visit pasafarming.org/FarmBasedEducation.

PASA

For the first time, PASA is offering a new member special combo deal. Membership in the organization, combined with a Field Day registration — an $80 value — is being offered for $45. Visit pasafarming.org/FarmBasedEducation or call 814-349-9856.

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