(CNSNews.com)- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program has given $1,131,595 of taxpayer funds to producers of goat cheese.
According to the 2016 VAPG program description, among those given funds was Goat Milk Stuff, LLC of Indiana, receiving $250,000 “to process goat milk into cheeses, pasteurized milk, yogurt, and other milk products.”
Gothberg Farms LLC of Washington was given $134,000 “to process and market farmstead cheeses made from goat milk.”
$44,000 was awarded to Harlan Mountain Farms LLC of Idaho “to provide planning assistance to assess the feasibility of establishing an on-farm creamery for the production of fresh farmstead cheese using milk from recipients herd of Nubian goats.”
In addition to the $1,131,595 awarded to goat cheese producers, the USDA gave taxpayer funds to other goat-related projects.
The 2016 VAPG program description includes $45,158 to Black Mesa Ranch Inc. in Arizona to increase market share of their “goat milk fudge product.”
Brenda Stilwell of Kentucky received $49,972 “to pay processing fees, marketing costs and purchase additional products to produce ‘The Original Goat Jerky Snack Stick’ from fresh farm raised goats.”
The 2016 VAPG list was announced by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week and totals $45,368,454 in grant money given out to 325 projects.