Ag minute: Goat cheese on the rise

For 65 percent of the world’s population, the answer to the advertising jingle, “Got milk?” would be a resounding yes. The milk in question, however, is not from cows.

In the United States, milk and products made from milk, notably cheese, have long been the sole domain of dairy cows. That’s changing now as consumer demand for goat milk and artisan cheese made from goat milk is on the rise. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are now about 30,000 dairy goat farms spread across all 50 states, an impressive number considering that goat cheese wasn’t commercially produced in the U.S. until 1980.

Understanding the challenges and rewards of the goat dairy industry will be the topic of Goat and Sheep Dairy Enterprise Exploration: Getting the Most Out of Your Milk, an upcoming workshop sponsored by Amazing Grazing, a collaboration of the Kansas Farmers Union and the Kansas Graziers Association. On Saturday, Jan. 17, Charuth Van Beuzekom-Loth, co-owner of Dutch Girl Creamery in Lincoln, Neb., will share her extensive knowledge and experience in goat dairying, cheese production and marketing. The workshop will be held at Pachamamas in Lawrence.

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