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On-Farm Cheese Factory
A sideline service that has worked well in Europe is now being tried in Minnesota by a small group of dairymen cooperating with the University of Minnesota.
  The concept of Minnesota dairymen making cheese on their own farms, using their own milk, originated with Dr. Edmund Zottola, University of Minnesota Food Microbiologist.
  Zottola, who explored the idea while on a tour of Europe, is convinced it will work in the United State. So are the first Minnesota dairymen to try it.
  The Farmstead brand of cheese, official name of the cheese produced by participating dairy farms, was first marketed in late December by Carrol and Yvonne Broadbent, of Wyoming, Minn., located on the northern outskirts of the Twin Cities.
  “Initial response to farm-produced cheese has been great,” says Ron Schwartau, project coordinator for the University of Minnesota.
  But will it make money? Schwartau says an initial investment of $40,000 will be required for a building and equipment necessary for the operation. “Dairymen should expect a pay back in five years at 9%. if a dairyman is getting 3,000 lbs. of milk, he could clear $20,000 to $25,000 per year, less labor, from making cheese,” says Schwartau.
  He feels cheese manufacturing could be a source of additional income for the dairyman who has the incentive to try something different and is willing to take the risk: “He should have a good operation that is producing high quality milk, the key to producing fine gourmet type cheese.”
  Most of the participating farms will be making Gouda, formerly available only in cheese shops that handle imported cheese. To make cheese on the farm requires 6 to 7 hours of labor per day and 10 lbs. of milk for a pound of cheese. The cheese retails for $2.00 per lb. at the farm and is sold to stores for about $1.75. Plus, the farmer sill has whey and cream, two valuable by-products of cheesemaking, Schwartau points out.
  For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Schwartau, Farmhouse Cheese Project, 1354 Eckles Ave., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Mn. 55108 (ph 612 376-3932).

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