Opportunities for Veterinarians in the Artisan Cheese Industry


  • Joseph J. Klopfenstein Vergennes Large Animal Associates, Vergennes, VT 05491




niche dairy, dairy cattle, cheese, butter, niche producers, goat dairy


Production of niche dairy products such as artisanal cheese, specialty butter, and other value added products is a growing segment of the dairy industry. Niche dairy producers are often well educated individuals knowledgeable about production and marketing oftheir product, but lacking in experience with animal production. In addition, their small size often means that niche producers have not had the opportunity to develop a relationship with professionals used to provide services to production dairies. With their broad based knowledge in areas of animal health, milk quality, nutrition, and food safety, veterinarians have many opportunities to provide both traditional and novel services to niche dairies. Veterinarians interested in this industry should become familiar with the cheese making process and the effects milk quality and nutrition can have on cheese production and food safety. Practitioners interested in this segment should also become comfortable with goat dairies and the unique opportunities they present. Veterinarians may learn about artisanal cheese and other value added products by becoming a member of the many producer groups that have become established.






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