Two North Country Farms Receive Hefty Federal Grants

By Christine Souders |, Staci DaSilva |

Published 08/24 2014 07:44PM

Updated 08/24 2014 07:47PM

KEESEVILLE, NY - More than $80,000 federal dollars are coming to two North Country farms.

We talked to the farmers about how the grant money will increase production and spread the word about all they have to offer.

"Oh what a good girl," said Ashlee Kleinhammer, Co-Owner, The North Country Creamery.

Ashlee Kleinhammer and her business partner take care of twenty grass-fed dairy cows, and produce four types of yogurt and ten cheese varieties.

"Here are a couple brine tanks that we made cheese in on Friday," said Kleinhammer.

They took over North Country Creamery, previously Clover Mead Farm, in Keeseville New York last spring.

The year since has been a lesson in finances.

"Moments where we're like 'how does this cost this much money?' The business has been the biggest learning curve," Kleinhammer said.

Ashlee's is one of two Keeseville Farms receiving over $80,000 total from the USDA's Value Added Producer Grant Program.

"It's tremendous to us. It's a huge boost in what we can do and what we can produce. Our problem is supply not demand," said Kleinhammer.

To meet demand, the North Country Creamery will be investing in marketing.

Ashlee wants to get involved with CSA's or community-supported agriculture, a subscription-style selling method.

The grants will also pay for pre-made yogurt cups.

Currently, Ashlee spends about twenty cents per container sticking labels on by hand.

She goes through about 250 of these per week.

"We'll have the tops printed and the sides totally printed."

Her goal is to reinvest the money she saves into renovations at the milking parlor.

"We have a re-design where we're going to build concrete pillars out here, move the staircase."

Down the road in this farming community, Mace Chasm farm is receiving a $30,000 grant.

That money will go towards butcher shop supplies and marketing.

All in an effort to make the North Country a little more profitable and a lot more delicious.

New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer announced the grants.

Senator Gillibrand said, "We need our farmers to thrive if we're going to have a strong and growing economy in New York."

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.