Curious about business development and innovation in the agriculture industry? You don’t have to look much further than Arizona Farm Bureau’s constantly evolving membership. Broad and diverse, the latest example of the entrepreneurial spirit thriving in agriculture within our membership involves a rare breed of milk goat.
Diversity in Our Membership
When I think of milk the first thing that comes to mind is Holstein Cattle and Oreo cookies. I don’t always associate dairy products coming from any animal other than cattle. But, one of our newest Arizona Farm Bureau members is associated with an emerging dairy market and they hope to help grow and diversify the dairy industry! Capream Dairy is a goat dairy located in Prescott and their membership helps highlight that at Farm Bureau we represent all sizes and types of agriculturalists. They raise their goats for milk, cheese, gelato, gelato sandwiches and are in the process of developing more products! Their entrepreneurial spirit to diversify their business for growth is one to be admired!
Left to Right: Gerald, Gary, Amber, Julie, and Gregory.
The Farm Bureau Visit
Julie Muphree, Outreach Director for Arizona Farm Bureau, and I visited the dairy in April and we were shocked at how good Capream’s milk tasted. It had an unexpected sweet undertone and rich flavor! The flavor, however, is no accident. Gary Carder veteran and owner of Capream Dairy has been selectively breeding Swiss Oberhasli goats for their milk’s nutritional profile and flavor since 2009. He’s enjoyed their milk since childhood because he suffered like many with an inability to digest cow milk. From 2009 to 2019 Gary has grown the herd from two to 180 head. That’s quite an increase in herd size and an increase in milk production, which also called for an increase in the size of his team!
Cheers to Capream Dairy! Pictured are Gary and Julie
The Capream Team
During the past ten years, Gary’s business team expanded to include Gregory O'Reilly and Gerald Rogers. Gerald Rogers is the flavor expert and gelato maker. He attended Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Course, which is the oldest educational program dealing with the science and technology of ice cream. Gregory O’Reilly brings with him an immense amount of experience in international agribusiness, environmental innovation, marketing, and scaling. He is the venture development strategist for the company and handles most of the business outreach. However, I’d like to point out that all three team members participate in every step of the dairy from feeding, milking, pasteurizing, product development, branding, product delivery and in-store demos.
You might be asking why did Capream choose Swiss Oberhasli goats? Besides great milk flavor, Oberhasli goats produce milk with about a 2.8 percent fat profile, making it ideal for gelato and consumer health. Their milk also contains the A2 casein protein, which allows some people that struggle to digest cow milk to successfully enjoy goat dairy products. It is also lactose-intolerant friendly and hypo-allergenic, which is highly desired by consumers.
Sources of Financing
For many beginning agricultural entrepreneurs and business owners, securing financing can be a challenge. Capeam Diary utilized operating loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to help with operating costs of the dairy, particularly with purchasing dairy equipment. These loans are a valuable resource for agricultural producers to start, maintain, and strengthen a farm or ranch. Gary said it best in a recent article by the USDA FSA, “The support I’ve gotten from USDA has been a huge part of my enjoyment in this whole experience. It’s helped grow a small upstart from nothing.”
Community involvement is important to Capream, as it is for many of our Farm Bureau members. The company is currently exploring opportunities to partner with the school system to give students hands-on experience with the goat industry. “I want to leave something behind for our community,” said Gary.
With goals to expand the company over the next few years, Capream hopes to grow its employee base by creating job opportunities for people in the area and stimulate economic development. They have a great vision for the company, want to leave a positive legacy, and be a good employer.
Welcome to the Farm Bureau Family
We are proud to have Capream Diary, with their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, commitment to food safety and their community, as one of our newest agricultural members and wish them the best in their business expansion goals!
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