Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana


February 14, 2014

Goat cheese business is booming

When Mike Hoopengardner announced to friends and strangers, “‘We’re going to build a goat dairy and make goat cheese,’ people thought we were absolutely nuts,” he told about 50 attendees at the eighth annual Food and Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs seminar Feb. 8 at the Batesville Intermediate School cafeteria. This year’s theme was “Small Farm Enterprises = Big Opportunities.”

He and wife Kristy Kikly own Redbud Farm, home of Caprini Creamery, Spiceland, one of three goat dairy creameries in Indiana. Daughter Jessica, 16, who does the milking, “is as big a part of our operation as Kristy and I are.”

The itch to become farmers began when the family had two goats and two llamas on five acres in Fortville. Whenever Kristy Hoopengardner tells her husband, “‘Mike, I’ve been thinking,’ I just cringe,” he joked. The Eli Lilly scientist with a Ph.D. “does research and she thinks” all day. Now she was pondering their home life. “‘Is there a way we can make money with these goats?’” she asked him.

They traveled to goat dairies and tried goat cheese.

Seven years ago, the couple purchased 57 acres, 7 wooded and 50 covered with corn stubble. Hoopengardner bought a Massey-Ferguson tractor. “Next to my wife and daughter, it’s my best friend.” He installed over two miles of fencing and will add one more mile to complete the couple’s rotational grazing plan.

The speaker highly recommended using Natural Resources Conservation Service expertise if building or amending a farm. “We have this cost-sharing plan ... We ended up getting $35,000 in cost-sharing. They gave us additional money to build fences.” He installed a 5-foot-tall one to keep goats in and predators out. The posts are 10 feet apart so it will last longer.

The farm’s watering system was suggested by NRCS. “Instead of a standard 4-inch well, we put in a 6-inch well 300 feet down.” Water lines are 1.5 inches thick instead of the typical 0.75. “We used a lot of this money to make this system better and make my life easier as we get older.”

Text Only
  • nws - bv070814 - muething RAA gave theater founder his start When John Leo Muething was 5 and living in Batesville, his three older siblings and parents, Dr. Steve and Meg Muething, starred in the Rural Alliance for the Arts production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” but, much to his dismay,

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv070814 - jeffers West Point graduation Jeffers savors West Point experience Tom Jeffers, a 2010 Batesville High School graduate, recently graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Fort Sill, Oklahoma, resident is the son of former Batesville residents Tom and Kathleen Jeffers, Alexandria, Virginia,

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv062714 - STEM - sara bauer Students learn valuable STEM skills Two area students attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Middle School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Workshop June 2-5.Alexandra Cottingham, Batesville, daughter of Rebecca Krieger Cottingham and Michael Cottingham,

    June 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws - bv062014 - Eckstein family Cancer hits home for local family Cancer survivors and those who have lost their fight with the disease will be honored during the June 21-22 Ripley County Relay for Life. One local individual who will be remembered is Mark Eckstein, Batesville, who worked for the Batesville Water an

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv061314 - Wilson, Alex Wilson explores CIA and Ukraine Next month in Chicago, Alex Wilson will start working as an investment banking analyst at Bank of Montreal (BMO), doing financial analysis and modeling for a group within the Capital Markets division. The 2010 Batesville High School graduate just ear

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv060614 - Betts in Scotland Student helps mastermind museum exhibit Tomorrow Alex Betts, a 2009 Batesville High School graduate, will be standing at a museum door in England, welcoming his family (parents Bill and George Ann Betts and brothers Jairus, 19, and Arno, 14) to an exhibit he helped create. "Diving into Dur

    June 6, 2014 3 Photos

  • nws - bv051614 - McDonough speaking Detective recalls working with Princess Diana BROOKVILLE - Rich McDonough has had an exciting career as a private detective, working for various celebrities and political figures. He told the story about one of his most memorable clients, the late Princess Diana of Wales, on April 16 as part of

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv050214 - Kreinhop, Bertha with book Cancer battle recounted in book

    May 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv041814 - Harley, Bill (entertaining) Students sing along with Harley

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv032114 - sidell mission trip 1 Sidell helps people in Burkina Faso

    March 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.