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Calkins Creamery & Highland Farm Field Day - August 30th

Local Dairy Farm Finds Success in Cheese Making Business
6th generation Wayne County farm to share experiences in diversifying the family dairy

Join PASA on Thursday, August 30th at Calkins Creamery & Highland Farm in Honesdale, Wayne County, for an informative farm tour as part of PASA’s 2012 Farm-Based Education (FBE) schedule.

In today’s economic environment small, family farms often have difficulty sustaining their operations. Farms willing to add a value-added operation, such as making cheese or yogurt, can improve their odds of survival by producing, marketing and distributing their own products regionally.  

This program, “Diversifying the Family Dairy Farm for Profitability & Sustainability”, will give participants a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build and manage a successful value-added dairy business. Emphasis will be on the production, marketing & distribution of farmstead/artisan dairy products. Points of discussion will include herd management, the economics of various shipping methods, whey-fed pork production, agri-tourism, small scale dairy equipment suppliers, training, industry trends and more.

“Our goal is to empower farmers to implement practices that improve profitability and reduce environmental impact while producing safe and healthy food for the community,” stated Rebecca Robertson, coordinator of PASA’s FBE programs. “We do this by facilitating opportunities for farmers to learn from other farmers. These innovative farmer leaders who share their time, experience and operations are the key components of our Farm-Based Education programs.”

Highland Farm, established in 1841, is a 260-acre, preserved, family dairy farm that raises Holsteins in Northeastern PA. Calkins Creamery, a joint family venture, was constructed on the farm in 2006. The creamery produces and distributes 30,000 lbs of raw and pasteurized cheese each year to Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh and everywhere in between. Bill Bryant and son Zack manage the farm, and daughter Emily Montgomery manages the creamery.

“Calkins Creamery specializes in farmstead, artisan cheeses, using only fresh milk  from our own closed herd of registered Holstein cattle,” says Emily.  “Our cows are well cared for and comfortable. Cow comfort reduces stress and results in an increase of milk production and butterfat, resulting in a higher quality product.”

In addition to producing quality cheeses, Emily hopes their consumers will come to know where food is raised and manufactured. “Today, many people take food sources for granted, and we want to show them where it all begins,” Emily explains.

This event is sponsored in part by Town & Country Energy of Equinunk, PA. To learn more and register for this event and others, visit pasafarming.org/FarmBasedEducation. PASA strives to ensure all those interested in becoming a member of the organization or attending an event can do so at a reasonable rate. For the first time, PASA is offering a new member special combo deal. Membership in the organization, combined with a Field Day registration -- an $80 value -- is being offered for $45.

To access this special combination rate, and review the list of 30 events planned for this year, visit pasafarming.org/FarmBasedEducation or call 814-349-9856. This special rate gains attendees access to a quality educational program, a delicious locally sourced lunch, all of the benefits of membership through December 2013, and give them access to PASA’s growing network.

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