As the local food movement continues to grow, dairy leaders are encouraging dairy producers to get in on the movement. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler says the updated dairy strategy that was recently launched addresses local, on-farm processing.
“Do we have the pieces in place to be able to allow that and/or help make that grow? So, you know, the local food movement, a lot of people are familiar with what local food means, and I think there are a lot more people that are saying that can fit dairy as well. It could be fluid milk, it could be cheese processing that’s local or on the farm, it could be other products that are there. So, we’ve looked at what that means to be able to help provide that system, or the environment, that is in place to be able to make that possible.”
Kettler says they’ll strive to lessen regulations dairy producers might face when adding on-farm processing and look at possible incentives at the local and state level.
Indiana Dairy Producers Executive Director Doug Leman thinks this could be a great opportunity for small and medium sized dairies across the state.
“People love to know where their food comes from. There’s a certain segment of our society that they just love that and they’re willing to pay for that. So, I think there are going to be opportunities out there and I really encouraged part of this strategy to drive towards that. To allow for opportunities for our smaller and medium sized farms that if they want to look at trying to develop a niche market to maybe bring the next generation into their farm. You know, you’ve got to grow somewhere. Maybe it can be a niche market. Maybe it could be in on-farm processing.”
You can read more about the updated dairy strategy here.