Workshop to focus on dairy

Photo by A. Verdina

Producing and successfully marketing dairy products, such as the milk, cheese, yogurt and butter pictured, is a big task for cow, goat and sheep producers in Tennessee. A workshop scheduled for December 19 in Loudon will focus on value-added options for producers.

Dairy producers who want to start or expand a value-added dairy business will soon have an opportunity to learn from experts at University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

Scheduled for December 19 in Loudon, the workshop will focus on manufacturing and marketing dairy products to produce new value-added areas to current operations.

“One of the best ways to reduce the risks associated with starting or expanding a manufacturing business is to learn all you can about the production process, costs involved, regulations and marketing the product,” said Hal Pepper, financial analysis specialist with UT Extension.

Pepper, along with other UT Extension and industry partners, will present an all-day workshop designed to help cow, goat, and sheep dairy farmers learn the ins and outs to value-added dairy product production and sales.

The “Taking A Closer Look At Value-Added Dairy Opportunities Workshop” will present information about the following business considerations:

•Consumer interest in value-added dairy products.

•Calculating milk production costs and on-farm processing costs.

•Dairy processing considerations.

•Sanitation and food safety.

•Permitting of dairy processing equipment and facilities.

•Marketing dairy products.

•Grant opportunities for planning a value-added dairy business.

John Harrison of Sweetwater Valley Farm will share lessons learned from over 20 years making cheese on his dairy farm and will provide a tour of his cheese-making facility.

The workshop is designed for cow, goat, and sheep producers and their employees who want to consider on-farm dairy processing.

“Taking A Closer Look At Value-Added Dairy Opportunities” will be held in Loudon on Thursday, Dec. 19. The workshop is free, but attendees must pre-register by Friday, Dec. 13, as space is limited. Register online at Lunch and a tour of a cow cheese manufacturing facility are included. Check-in and networking begins at 8 a.m. Eastern and the training will begin at 8:30 a.m. The workshop will end by 4 p.m.

The “Taking A Closer Look At Value-Added Dairy Opportunities Workshop” was developed by UT Center for Profitable Agriculture through funding provided by USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service.

For more information about the workshop visit the website for Center for Profitable Agriculture at Look for a link under the “educational events” menu.