The Goat Project Expands

Becca Knouss raises a small herd of milking goats on 80 acres in Bennington, selling their raw milk direct to consumer and making soap. She enrolled in our Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program in 2022 and began working with Sara Donegan of the Intervale Center to write a business plan to expand her operation to include raw milk cheeses. To assist in this expansion, Sara and Becca identified a need for cheese making education and milking equipment; having completed the Viability program, Becca qualified to apply for an Implementation Grant last year and was awarded $10,000 to purchase some milking equipment (headgates, bucket milking system, vacuum pump) and take two Vermont Cheese Council workshops on recipe development and cheese making science. These two investments will help Becca implement her business plan and improve milk quality. 


"Farm Viability has enabled me to build a strong foundation for my farm business by helping me develop a sound, well researched and well thought out business plan that gives me credibility for funding as well as a personal guide from which to make business decisions going forward. It is with the help of Sara Armstong Donegan that I have become more proficient with QuickBooks and keeping up the business side of farming as well as developing marketing materials and spreadsheets to help keep track of wholesale and retail accounts. Additionally, through FV I have been able to work directly with George and Kristan from Does Leap Farm as consultants who offered a tremendous amount of insight and knowledge. Without a doubt, my farm business has more potential for success because of the support and assistance from Farm Viability." – Becca Knouss