Ask a Farmer: How Are You Diversifying Your Operation?

diversifying farm

Photo credit: John Lambeth

Corey Lutz and his family are diversifying their operation to allow another generation to come back to the farm.

Nestled in the bend of the South Fork River sits our farm, Piedmont Jerseys. We have a grass-based dairy, where we milk 220 registered Jerseys. My wife and I have three grown children who want to return to the farm, so we are making plans that will allow them to do that. Profit margins in the dairy industry have fallen over time, so many dairy farmers are either expanding or going out of business. Neither was an option we wanted to pursue, so we are going the value-added route. We started researching and planning about five years ago, and eventually decided to process fluid milk and make homemade ice cream. Our plan is to sell off the farm to retail spaces and to add agritourism. To ensure the longevity of our farm, we’ve established a solid transition plan. Both our dairy and our creamery, Riverbend Creamery, were placed into an LLC with our family members as acting owners. We hope to have our creamery open to the public by Summer 2020.

Corey Lutz and his family raise dairy cows and grow silage crops in Lincolnton.

See more: Ask a Farmer: What Do You Recycle or Repurpose on the Farm to Have Zero Waste?

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