- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Falling milk prices and rising production costs have prompted some California family dairies to augment their income by marketing handmade, artisan cheese, reported Ben Wortham in the Wall Street Journal.
Wortham cited the UC Cooperative Extension publication Coming of Age: The Status of North Bay Artisan Cheesemaking, written by UCCE community development advisor Ellie Rilla and published earlier this year. Of the 22 artisan cheese producers in Marin and Sonoma counties in 2010, 10 were dairy farms that use their...
Thirty percent of the farmers offering agritourism events supplemented their regular farm income by $50,000 or more in 2008, according to a study by the UC small farm program that was covered on the front page of today's Fresno Bee. Nearly two-thirds of California agritourism operators planned to expand or diversify over the next five years.
"There is no question that there is a lot of potential for growth, and we are seeing it happen," the story quoted Shermain Hardesty, small farm program director and a co-author of the report.
The development of an artisan cheesemaking industry in Sonoma and Marin counties is enhancing the ambience of agriculture in the picturesque rural community, according to Stephanie Larson, the director of UC Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County.
She made the comment in an article that ran over the weekend in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat about dairies adding value to their product by creating gourmet cheeses. Much of the data shared in the story came from a report developed by UCCE community development advisor