The new grant program is part of that "farm-to-table" enterprise. Those who apply will have to spell out the details of a business plan for their farm, including statements about current and projected income and new product marketing. As this is not something farmers are necessarily accustomed to doing, Zimmerman says, she's willing to help with the paperwork, but the county will also be offering classes on business planning.
Neuman says the Bowling Green operation is a good example of how this can work, as a farm starts small with a new product, perhaps having part of the work done elsewhere at first, and builds from there.
Bowling Green's cheese is made from their Holsteins' milk by a cheesemaker in Berlin, Pa. Once a month, a tank of milk — one of 15 tanks produced at the farm each month — is shipped to the cheesemaker, who sends back 8-ounce blocks and containers of spread.
The Joneses do the labeling, and need more space for that, for putting together holiday baskets and eventually, they hope, for making some of their own products such as mozzarella cheese and yogurt.
They're thinking about assuring the future of their children, 14-year-old Shannon and 12-year-old Jacob, who have shown interest in continuing the family's two-century tradition, Mitzi Jones says.
The cheese business, she says, is "something, hopefully, for our kids to build into when they grow up."
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