Add value to your dairy without adding cows

University of Minnesota Extension

Interactive half-day workshop to be held Feb. 20 in St Cloud and Feb. 21 in Rochester

“How to Add Value to Your Dairy Farm without Adding More Cows!” a value-added dairy workshop, will be offered at Coyote Moon Grille in St Cloud on February 20 and Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center in Rochester on February 21.

This half-day workshop will use an interactive and fun approach to teach participants how to creatively consider adding value to their existing dairy operation. The keynote speaker, Dr. Becca Jablonski has worked with dairy producers in New York and Colorado to successfully add value to their existing dairy. Various approaches include value-added milk processing on the farm, diversifying the farm with new livestock, incorporating agrotourism, or adding food grade enterprises. The event will allow dairy producers to build a network of peers who will learn from each other through engaging sessions and evaluate if value-added is the correct strategy for their farming operation. There is no cost to attend the workshop. The doors will open at 9:30 AM with the class starting at 10:00 AM and will conclude around 2:00 PM.

Dr. Becca Jablonski is an Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Dr. Jablonski’s has a nationally recognized research and extension program focused on the food system. Her program is comprised of two primary components: (1) evaluating farm profitability impacts through non-commodity market sales-this includes local food markets, certifications, or other product differentiation strategies and (2) assessing community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs.

Other topics covered at the workshop include current value-added dairy producers providing insight on their experience converting their dairy to a value-added operation. Other speakers will cover ways to finance on-farm processing and well as helpful technical and financial resources available to start considering value-added as an option for your dairy.

Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educator explains, “With the current state of milk prices and the farm economy, maintaining profits is tricky. By selling milk through direct marketing channels or bringing a different enterprise to your dairy farm—new revenue streams can be tapped and add to the success of the dairy.”

Doors open at 9:30 AM with the workshop starting at 10:00 AM and go until 2:00 PM. Lunch will be provided. Attendance is free and each participant will receive a resource packet to take home. This workshop is brought to you by Agriculture Utilizations Research Institute (AURI), Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Midwest Dairy, and the University of Minnesota Extension.

Registration is open. To register, visit at https://z.umn.edu/Value-Added.

University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

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