The New Nanny State
Pamela Accetta Smith
Wisconsin is seeking to
redefine its dairy image. As it turns out, the state is quite
aggressive in its pursuit of recruiting farmers interested in raising
goats; existing goat farmers are expanding their herds and some dairy cow
farmers are even to switching to goat herding, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
A major new goat cheese plant opening this summer in
Lancaster, Wis., is behind the buzz of this burgeoning activity.
Canada’s largest maker of goat cheese, Woolwich Dairy, is building
its U.S. headquarters, and first plant in the States, in southwestern
State cheesemakers looking to capitalize on
gourmet food trends also are raising the demand for goat’s milk, says
the Dairy Business Innovation Center, an organization that helps specialty
Goat cheese is also growing in popularity because of
its unique flavor profile, and because consumers with a dairy intolerance
may more easily digest goat’s milk.
A promising new dairy goat niche could bolster the
image of America’s Dairyland, as the state is losing 30 dairy cow
herds per month and anticipates losing its coveted cheese production crown
to California as early as next year, the JS reports.
According to stats, Wisconsin already is the
nation’s top producer of goat cheese. More than a dozen cheesemakers
specialize in goat cheese, and another half dozen craft farmstead goat
cheeses on farms where the animals are raised.
The Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service says the
state now has 14,521 dairy cow herds and 165 dairy goat herds, noting that
goat farmers have ambitious plans to increase their milk production and
herd sizes over the next five years.
Wisconsin’s 165 milking goat herds produced 27.6
million pounds of milk over the past year. Gallon for gallon, goat’s
milk brings about twice as much money as cow’s milk, reputedly
because it is used for gourmet cheeses that sell for around $13 to $24 per
It appears that goats are turning out to be more
profitable, easier to raise and, according to some farmers, a lot more fun.
Now that I’d like to see.
$OMN_arttitle="The New Nanny State";?>
$OMN_artauthor="Pamela Accetta Smith";?>