$250,000 USDA 'Value Added Producer' Grant awarded to Goat Milk Stuff PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 11:03


Owners-operators Jim and P.J. Jonas and their eight children were pretty happy people on Friday morning, October 23, when their family business, Goat Milk Stuff, officially became the recipient of a $250,000 Value- Added Producer Grant (VAPG).

The impressive grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division. It's all a part of the USDA's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

Phillip Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development State Director, was also on hand for the brief ceremony in which the grant was presented as was Scottsburg Mayor Bill Graham and Scott County Economic Development Executive Director Robert Peacock.

“Today, we see an increase in value-added products in the marketplace that are derived from raw agricultural commodities,” commented Lehmkuhler. “These projects will help support the continued development of innovative products that are not only helping find alternative energy sources but also bringing higher value for agriculture commodities.”

When the Jonases moved to Scott County from the Charlestown area in 2009, they only hoped that their dairy-based soaps, detergents and other products would be accepted regionally. Now, they operate an international company, selling locally at their shop at 76 Lake Road North in Scottsburg and managing a burgeoning on-line business. Jim serves as the firm's COO while P.J. is CEO. The entire family works in the business, from milking their alpine dairy goats and cleaning stalls to preparing their products for shipment.

Their bright red building is a popular stop for area customers, and their tours of the facility are not only fascinating but also educational.

Last year, Goat Milk Stuff expanded to another building so that the family could experiment with a variety of recipes. The end goal was to add goat cheeses and caramels to their product line. The USDA RD grant will be used by them to manufacture and market their mouth-melting caramels to their customer base of 54,000 people and at the local store. Yummy!

Mayor Graham commented, “We are very proud to have Goat Milk Stuff in our community and for the Jonases to share with the world what they have and demonstrate what a Value-Added Producer Grant can do. They've gone from making soaps to making cheese and candies, which adds a lot of value to what you can derive from goats.” Mayor Graham added, “It's also amazing how they involve their children in the business. The kids are as much interested and invested entrepreneurs as their parents!”

Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects.

Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.


County Visitors Commission agrees to support several community events, projects PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 11:02



A livestock show, a Christmas ornament project, new banners for another event and support for the annual dinner meeting of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce were all topics discussed by members of the Scott County Visitors Commission (SCVC) at its October 6 meeting.

During the morning meeting, the SCVC voted to provide $500 to offset costs of a beef show for 4-H'ers at the Scott County Fairgrounds. Th show will attract 4-H'ers not only from local farms but also from the surrounding area.

The group also awarded $550 to the Scott County Historical Society. That organization is creating a Christmas ornament featuring the original Lexington courthouse and the original Scott County courthouse. It will mark the state's celebration of its Bicentennial in 2016.

Another request by the Historical Society, a sponsorship of its History Dinners series, was tabled until January.

Another $300 will be provided to Taste of the Vine organizers so that new banners announcing the November 14 event can be ordered. The fund-raiser benefits the scholarship fund established by Scottsburg Council 8052, Knights of Columbus.

The VC is purchasing a table for $380 at the Chamber's annual dinner on Monday, November 9, not only to show its support for the Chamber but also to allow its board members to attend the event.

In another matter, the board agreed to pay a $150 shortfall experienced by Airing of the Quilts in September. Discussion of the event ensued, and the board learned of several changes which may help attendance in the future.

A United Way of Scott County request for $5,000 died for lack of a second of the motion. The request did not meet the SCVC guidelines.

Additionally, Karen Weik of TravelIN appeared before the board encouraging the purchase of a $10,000 advertising package with that publication. The matter was taken under advisement so that Weik could discuss the package more thoroughly with marketing director Brandon Polley.

Chris Wakeman expressed his appreciation once again for the VC's generous support for a marketing study that will determine if the county can support a multi-purpose center to host a variety of shows and activities, including horses, livestock, farm equipment and entertainers. The VC provided half of the $45,000 study price tag, with the Scottsburg Redevelopment Commission an equal partner in the endeavor.

In his marketing report, Polley advised the owner of the old Scott Theater in downtown Scottsburg is still seeking funds to restore the building's lighted marquee. Cost estimates are as high as $45,000, said Polley. Historical grants are not available for such a project because the building has not been declared historical and is still in private hands, not a 501(c)(3) agency.

The 2016 version of the Indiana Festival Guide will feature nine events in Scott County, Polley reported.

Members of the foundation board which owns and oversees activities at Englishton Park near Lexington are seeking tenants for two buildings on the grounds, Polley related. He and administrative secretary Adrian Smallwood visited Englishton recently to view the available facilities. Englishton Park was once the private home of the English family, early leaders in Indiana history.

The September 19 Lexington community yard sale and tractor show was very successful, he reported. Firemen ran out of food at one point, he said, and parking was pretty scarce.

The Air Hogs weekend in September at Scottsburg Airport was also popular. Approximately 150 pilots participated. Because of the event, at least 40 motel rooms were rented.

An October 20 event was scheduled to encourage local groups and individuals to register their Bicentennial projects. The deadline to register for the State Bicentennial is December 15.

The Visitors Commission board will next meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 10, because of the November 3 General Election. Meetings are conducted at Scottsburg Heritage Station, 180 North Main Street.

Persons wishing to be on the agenda may call 812-752-9211 by Friday, November 6.




Recent accidents in Scottsburg result in two people taken to hospital with injuries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 07:14

Two accidents in Scottsburg on Friday, October 16, left people involved with injuries.

SCRSD: Oils, grease causing sewer lines to clog more frequently west of Scottsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 07:13

An unusual word of caution was issued recently by the Scott County Regional Sewer District (RSD) to its customers.

Two taken into custody on drug and alcohol charges after wreck near Austin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 07:12

Two young men, one from Little York and a second from Ellettsville, were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies after a side-swiping accident on Van Campen Road south of Austin on Saturday, October 10.

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