Wisconsin Farmers’ Union is offering two $500 scholarships for attendees to the two-day Making More From Milk course set for March 24-25 in Madison. The course, organized by Global Cow and Global Dairy Outreach, offers dairy producers an opportunity to explore various diversification options and a chance to think about the future of their businesses and their families.
“The course comes out of a desire to provide real, solid information that leads towards some definite action for dairy producers—be they cow, goat or sheep milk producers,” says one of the course organizers, Jill Stahl Tyler from Global Cow. “The speakers who talk to our group don’t sugar coat their experiences. They are very specific and blunt about the work they’ve put in — and they are relentlessly passionate about their commitment to dairying.”
Making More From Milk encourages interaction and creates a supportive environment that often continues after the course concludes. This includes hearing from various producers who have a found unique ways to add value to their dairy. Panel discussions with various consultants and resources also offer a chance to meet with professionals who can help move course attendees’ dreams into reality.
On the first day, the course offers two “behind-the-scenes” visits: a retail specialty cheese store and a restaurant that specializes in local foods. “We want the farmers to be able to see their potential products through the eyes of those who work directly with the consumer,” notes Karen Nielsen of Global Dairy Outreach.
The second day takes participants off-site, traveling to three locations where farmers have successfully found ways to add value to dairy and “make more from their milk.” They include an ice cream parlor next to a family farm; a farm with its own fluid milk and ice-cream processing and agritourism; and a farm that specializes in farm tours. The day concludes by looking at next steps and business planning.
“In these tough economic times for dairy farmers, it’s important for them to be able to explore value-added options,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. “We’re pleased to support this in-depth course and help farmers consider alternate paths for their farm’s future.”
The WFU scholarship, due by Saturday, Feb. 15, can be found at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com. Complete course details and additional scholarship details are available at http://globalcow.com/making-more-from-milk/. An optional add-on includes a full day of hands-on cheese making on March 26.
Wisconsin Farmers Union is a member-driven organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities and all citizens through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors and civic engagement. Learn more at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.