The Rocky Oaks Goat Creamery in Clovis plans to use a recent grant to produce goat yogurt. Rocky Oaks photo
Written by Frank Lopez
Millions of dollars in funding has been awarded to nearly 30 dairy companies in the Western U.S., including two in the Central Valley.
Over $4 million in grant funding is being awarded to these dairy companies by the Pacific Coast Coalition Dairy Business Initiative, which is hosted by Fresno State.
Rocky Oaks Goats Creamery in Clovis and WonderCow in Madera are among the eight California grant recipients.
Awardees for the grant span four states and will receive between $1,500 and $1 million for innovation and sustainability-related investments, including equipment and training.
Rocky Oaks Goat Creamery is a Round 2 winner of the initiative, being awarded $5,900.
Wonder Cow is also a round 2 winner, receiving $64,429.
With their funds, Rocky Oaks Goat Creamery will produce new products — goat yogurt, what they’ll call “ROGCurt,” and a cream-cheese style cheese called “Prince Crumbles.”
These products are expected to result in increased employment and a 20% jump in local sales and distribution to farmers’ markets, according to a news release.
Margie and Joel Weber opened Rocky Oaks Goat Creamery in 2018 with the goal to produce high-quality cheese from the milk produced by their Anglo-Nubian goats, a British breed.
According to a statement from Rocky Oaks Goat Creamery, they are the first and still the only goat creamery in Fresno County.
WonderCow, Inc., founded in 2021, manufactures bovine colostrum-based powders for flavored colostrum beverages.
Bovine colostrum is a supplement made from a milky fluid released from udders of cows shortly after they’ve given birth.
Colostrum is given to newborn animals and infants to promote growth, but research shows that bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections and improve gut health.
WonderCow, Inc. will use the funds for a new colostrum beverage, but also possibly for colostrum butter, yogurt and ice cream.
The Pacific Coast Coalition Dairy Business Initiative is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and also includes support by Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal Ply San Luis Obispo, Champan University, other California and out of state colleges, and the California Diary Innovation Center.
Applications for a new round of funding for equipment will begin to be accepted from Aug. 1 to Sept. 29.