Small Dairy Intensive Workshop to Help Farmers Start Milking Operations

smalldairy4This winter, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and The Land Connection, are teaming up to hold a day-long workshop to teach would-be dairy owners how to start their own operation. The December 4th workshop will run from 9am-4pm and consist of two half-day programs, which will lead farmers through the many regulations pertaining to handling and processing milk and milk products from both goat and cow operations.

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery became the first farmstead cheeserie in Illinois in 2005. In those 11 years, interest in small dairy production has grown steadily. During the morning session, owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell will walk prospective dairy farmers through the facility permitting process, and Rebecca Osland of Illinois Stewardship Alliance will address Illinois raw milk regulations. A panel discussion of cow and goat dairy owners will follow.

The afternoon will be dedicated to an exploration of various types of milk handling and processing equipment. Detailed information about the benefits and drawbacks of several set-ups will be presented. Participants will also learn about animal feed rations and how the formulations affect the quality and quantity of milk production.

Participants can choose to register for the full-day, which includes lunch, or one of the half day sessions. The workshop will be held at the Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery classroom north of Champaign, IL, on December 4 from 9am-4pm. Locally sourced morning refreshments and lunch will be provided. Registration is $75 for the full day, $40 for a half day. Visit for more information.

About The Land Connection:

The Land Connection is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting farmland, training sustainable and organic farmers, and promoting a vibrant local food system.