Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Operation: Goat Lips Possible

*****Highly un-confidential material******
Operation: Goat Lips possible
Mission: to become a licensed manufacturer grade goat milk dairy with an on farm processing facility.
Status: Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy LLC is in the process of taking the leap from a raw milk goat dairy which allows products to be sold from the farm only, limiting the potential of sales significantly, to a dairy which is licensed to sell pasteurized or aged cheeses beyond the “farm gate” My goal is to sell my chevre and feta at Tulsa area farmers market thus increasing my sales and over time allowing me to make a full time living off the farm.
The mission is simple: develop a plan and design which follows all Dept of Ag, and Tulsa and Creek co. health department regulations. Which I have been told will be nearly IMPOSSIBLE!
The challenge- Very few people at the department of Ag and Tulsa and Creek Co. health department know what those regulations are. My job is to use a model of an operating dairy and on farm processing facility in Oklahoma (Wagon Creek Creamery) and shrink fit it to my small operation while at the same time making the guys in charge not feel like idiots, thus giving them a reason to shun me into back into the underworld of illegal cheese sales! Which I will only go if forced to do so.
The players:
OSU Food and AG Products- Tim Bowser (apparently he’ll help with some designing and product design and marketing, and makes for a good back up when running into problems with the State) Goal: become his best friend.
Dept of Ag- Frank Harris (I think he’s the guy in charge) and Sam Carter (the go-to guy? He’s the one I call first, I hear he’s very helpful and knowledgeable) Goal: make them feel smarter, bigger and better than anyone in the room! And let them know they are... ..saving the world.

The mantra: No more chocolate until the mission is complete! God help me.

Wish me luck Sally, Lingling, Racy, Belize, Dotty, Jewel, Sugar, Teenytiny, Coconut, Mochanut, Olive, Jupiter, Chip, Jack and Lefty. May the force be with us!
I won’t let you down!

1 comment:

Allen's Gourmet Grocery said...

Lisa, I wish you all the best in your endeavor...they sure don't make it easy for anyone! I have a friend up by Grand Lake who considered the same thing, and "they" told him it would be around $1 million to get it up and running, between the equipment and the permits. You might consider contacting some of the smaller producers to see how they swung it - the American Cheese Society has a listing of all of them. Best of luck!!! I look forward to buying your cheese at the farmers' market!