Current Progressive Dairy digital edition
Advertisement

Dairy goat farm succeeds in cheese and milk production

Nicole Van Lith Published on 11 June 2015

Sara Aide and Duane Segner

Just north of the Illinois border in Gratiot, Wisconsin, Sara Aide and Duane Segner’s 600-head dairy goat farm, Never Enuf Dairy, rests off Highway 78. Every morning at 4:45 a.m., Aide and Segner begin the busy day of feeding, milking and caring for their animals.

advertisement

advertisement

Segner and Aide started their dairy goat herds individually but have combined their herds in the last two years and expanded in size to a total of 600 head, milking 230 head daily. In April 2014, the couple purchased property that was formerly a sheep farm and have been transitioning it to Never Enuf Dairy ever since.

Segner and Aide came together through goats and the fortune of a help-wanted ad. In early 2013, Segner put out an ad in the local newspaper asking for help milking his herd.

“I milked for him a couple times, he asked me out on a date, and we’ve been together ever since,” Aide says. Segner and Aide are the only two who operate the large dairy farm, completing chores like milking and feeding in only two hours’ time.

Never Enuf Dairy is gaining wide recognition in their community for outstanding milk production, tasty cheeses and happy goats. Having only been in operation for two years, their accomplishments in the business are admired by their community.

Aide and Segner credit their success to the time and effort they put into each animal.

advertisement

“We spend a lot of time with the animals making sure they get the best care we can offer, and in return, they give us the best-quality milk,” Aide says.

According to Aide, their goats produce around 8 to 9 pounds of milk a day, while commercial goat dairies are producing 4 to 5 pounds.

The couple has produced three types of cheeses with their goats’ milk: “GoEdder,” a yellow cheddar; “Just Kidding,” a combination of Swiss and Gouda; and “Need Mor,” a Parmesan.

Though goat cheddar is usually white, to magnify on their brand and uniqueness, Aide and Segner made their GoEdder cheddar yellow to set them apart.

While Never Enuf cheeses are in a few local stores around Gratiot, the plan is to expand to farmers markets this upcoming summer. Aide said the goal is to eventually produce other products such as fresh cheeses, yogurts and ice creams.

“We would like to come up with different mixtures than what is out there now,” Aide says. “Just like our No Mor, no one else in the U.S. [that we know of] makes Parmesan out of goats’ milk.”

advertisement

Aide and Segner hope to have a milk and cheese processing plant constructed within five years at their farm. Currently, Hook’s Cheese Company in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, makes all of Never Enuf’s cheeses. The dairy also sells their milk to Montchevré, a cheese plant that relies on more than 360 independent family goat dairy farms.

Along with quality care, genetics, feed and nutrients play a big part in generating the Never Enuf happy and healthy goats. The dairy currently has a variety of breeds such as Alpines, Lamanchas, Saanens and Nubians on the farm.

“We have really been upping the genetics in our Nubians and crossbreeding for the milk components,” Aide says. “We have the milk behind them already with their genetics, but we want to change the components of the milk to get more solids for the cheeses and different products.”

Aide says they are eagerly waiting for the next-generation kids to begin milking to see the effects of the crossbreeding. Kidding starts in October and ends the first part of June at Never Enuf, creating a year-round kidding for optimal milk production.

Although Aide and Segner both grew up on dairy cow farms, they made the transition to goats for a few reasons. Aide invested in goats five years ago due to her son’s skin issues with food ingredients, and Segner became interested in starting his own herd to employ himself and start a business.

“Going from nothing to what we are right now is our greatest accomplishment,” Aide says. “Taking the best care of our animals, and breeding high-quality genetics will always be the reason for that.” PD

Nicole Van Lith is an agricultural communications and journalism student at Utah State University.

PHOTO
Sara Aide and Duane Segner came together through goats and the fortune of a help-wanted ad.Photo courtesy of Sara Aide.

LATEST BLOG

LATEST NEWS