The term “value-added” in the agricultural circle means that an agricultural producer or a group of producers of a business further processes a commodity in the value-chain which leads to the ultimate consumer. Sometimes, this can go way beyond the processing of a commodity.
A great example is the McCarty Family Farm that received Rural Economic Development Load and a Value-Added Producer Grant.
The family behind this family farm is McCarty family and the family members are father and mother, four sons, their wives and children. They are together operating 3 dairies with approximately 7,200 cows. They are also operating an evaporation plant (constructed recently) with the help of USDA.
The plant is used to remove the extra water from the raw milk, as result quality and sustainability of the milk increase. The cream is then transported to sour cream manufacturer, and they pasteurize the condensed milk and make it ready for shipment.
That processing is normal for any farms, but there is more value contributed when it creates additional jobs and the additional wages put impact on the local economy, and it builds a rural school where the children are getting learning facilities. The term “value-added” doesn’t stop here. The farm has taught us how to use water more efficiently. Remember the water that is extracted from the raw milk? About 39,000 gallons are produced and re-circulated each day in the processing of the dairy, minimizing the use of underground aquifer. Because of the condensation, the farms achieve a seventy five percent reduction in the number of vehicles needed for the shipment. Fewer vehicles mean less fuel and less fuel means it provides benefits to the environment.
This is how the McCarty family is providing great benefits to the country and increasing the opportunities of family farming.