For Immediate Release
Contact: Kim Schmelz, External Relations & Alumni Development
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date: March 29, 2017
$100,000 Montchevre gift kicks off Southwest Tech Dairy Goat Certificate ProgramFennimore -
The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Foundation recently received a $100,000 lead gift from Montchevre to support the College’s new Dairy Goat Herd Management program. The certificate program was established because of the need to ensure that dairy goat producers are educated on providing high quality milk for the goat cheese industry as well as farm sustainability. Montchevre’s cheese production facility is in Belmont, Wisconsin.
“Having Montchevre as a leadership partner on this project will accelerate our ability to begin marketing and offering courses in 2017,” said Derek Dachelet, Dean of Industry, Trades and Agriculture at Southwest Tech. “We are very thankful for Montchevre’s generous gift to kick off the program.”
“Montchevre is thrilled to support the Dairy Goat Herd Management Program at SWTC,” said Arnaud Solandt, President of Montchevre. “In recent years, the goat cheese industry has evolved from its infancy and we’ve seen a great increase of goat milk products in the US marketplace. As the leading goat cheese manufacturer in the US, we are more than happy to sponsor a program with values that coincide with ours and that provides farmers with tools to produce the highest quality milk while maintaining their sustainability. This is an exciting time in our industry and we truly believe that this program will benefit goat milk production as a whole.”
Montchevre was founded in 1989 by French cheesemakers Jean Rossard and Solandt in Preston, Wisconsin and then moved to Belmont in 1995. Rossard and Solandt have grown Montchevre into largest goat cheese factory in America. The company combines traditional French cheese-making techniques with daily shipments of locally sourced, premium fresh goat milk to produce its highly popular cheeses and most versatile product line available today, with several of its innovations becoming today’s industry standards.
Clare Heberlein, instructor/coordinator of the program said, “Montchevre has been involved with the development of the dairy goat curriculum since the beginning of the project. They continue to be a driving force for this industry initiative and we are grateful that the company has decided to invest in our program.”
Montchevre’s gift will support the instructional costs for the 11 online courses, 5 mentorship courses and the 2-day hands-on Dairy Goat Academy as well as marketing and coordination costs.
The Dairy Goat Herd Management Certificate will focus on the production, financial, and management skills of a dairy goat operation. The academies will provide hands-on training and a mentorship program will focus on kidding, breeding, milking and general chores. The first set of classes will open to the public May 10, 2017 and will include – Introduction to the Dairy Goat Industry; Writing a Business Plan for Your Dairy Goat Operation and Farm Records and Financial Management.
For more information on the program and how to register contact SWTC at 608.822.2741 or www.swtc.edu/dairygoat.
Pictured left to right: Holly Clendenen, Executive Director of the Southwest Tech Foundation, Cody Taft, Milk Supply Manager, Jean Rossard, Vice-President of Montchevre, Deb Ihm, Southwest Tech Ag Coordinator, and Derek Dachelet, Dean of Industry, Trades and Agriculture