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 - bv082214 - crowe in amazon 2 Batesville resident experiences wonders of Amazon Rainforest Leah (Hafer) Crowe recently returned from a “life-changing” experience in Peru.“I was at the Casa Ita research station in the Amazon Rainforest along the Madre de Dios River for 12 days from June 16-27. After the field portion of my class was finishe

    August 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws - bv081214 - schebler A Wales of a time While most college students covet having the summer off, Emily Schebler, a Ball State University sophomore, has spent the last six weeks delving deep into everything Welsh.The daughter of Rob and Marta Schebler, Batesville, was selected to participat

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv081214 - schebler A Wales of a time While most college students covet having the summer off, Emily Schebler, a Ball State University sophomore, has spent the last six weeks delving deep into everything Welsh.The daughter of Rob and Marta Schebler, Batesville, was selected to participat

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv080814 - EC orientation ECHS freshmen welcomed ST. LEON – East Central High School administrators and staff members decided to try something different on the first day of school. In the past, motivational speakers have discussed various topics with students, but this year, after the teens went to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • How county seniors stay young BROOKVILLE – “You don’t stop being active because you get old, you get old because you stop being active.” That’s how the modern altruism goes and that’s the reason behind the Franklin County Senior Center, according to executive director Cathy Pelso

    August 8, 2014

  • nws - bv080114 - roell car Retired farmer wins a new car Floyd Roell had a feeling. Last year, he bought a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, but had no premonition. This year, the giveaway kept popping up in front of his face, reminding him about his granddaughter, but still no sixth sense.“This

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv072914 - kids kick drugs (new) 'You can say no' to drugs About 50 youngsters participated in the Southeastern Indiana YMCA’s Kids Kick Drugs program July 26. Master George Dwenger (a person receives the title of Master after completing the 4th Degree Black Belt) told the youngsters, “First and most importa

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Featured Ads
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
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.