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Jan 18, 2016 10:32 AM ET

Archived: Elodie Farms: Raising healthy, happy goats whose milk is transformed into such a fresh, healthy and delicious product

iCrowdNewswire - Jan 18, 2016
Personal Story

My name is Dave Artigues, and I own and operate Elodie Farms in Rougemont, North Carolina. Before becoming a farmer, I was a Master’s level clinician in the psychiatric wards of Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Sixteen years ago, I left my job at Duke to raise my boys in a rural setting. I taught myself how to make goat’s cheese and built a business that serves as not only as a source of delicious, local cheese to the Durham Farmer’s Market, and local restaurants, it is also a hub for agritourism events. Weddings, “Porch Dinners”, school tours, cheese classes, and even a summer camp (where children learn where their food comes from), are a great way to share the farm experience for those who long to reconnect to our agricultural roots.

My boys are now grown, my business has both benefited, as well as contributed to my community, and I am ready to move forward. My dream is to combine my life skills of healer and farmer to work with The Barklay School in Ridgeway, South Carolina. Barklay is a small farm school for children with Autism and other learning disabilities. I will be a resident farmer/teacher for the students, teaching all aspects of animal husbandry, cheese making, and life skills in a beautiful, rural , and thereputic setting.

I could write pages more, but space is so limited. Thanks for your time!

Business Description

My name is Dave Artigues, and I have owned and operated Elodie Farms since 2000. I come from a large family (9 kids) which taught me perseverance, a good work ethic, and most importantly, a sincere joy of sharing. I did not intend to become a dairy farmer, but I fell in love when I made my first batch of cheese from the very goats I had raised. It was delicious! I had taught myself how to raise healthy, happy goats whose milk is transformed into such a fresh, healthy and delicious product. I make all sorts of cheese from chèvre to parmesan, and they have been greatly received by my market customers as well as the best chefs in the area.

My cheese is extremely popular, and it’s a real joy to make. Nonetheless, I am most proud of how the community is involved in my passion for sharing. Elodie Farms has been hosting monthly farm to table dinners called “Dinner on the Porch”. A different chef from our favorite local restaurants cook gourmet meals using ingredients from my farm. This is our 8th season for the dinners. I am also pleased to give tours to home schoolers, Montessori and public schools, and other groups of elderly folks who so enjoy the tour and cheese.

Six years ago, I started a summer camp for kids between 6 and 16, where they are taught where their food comes from. We have doubled in size each year because the kids and their parents love it so much. now I want to utilize my life experiences and teach at the Barklay School for disabled children in Ridgway, SC. Since I am closing the dairy and transferring to the school, the loan will pay for animal care and moving expenses. Thank you!

What is the purpose of this loan?

This money will take away a tremendous financial obstacle. As a dairy farmer, the winter months provide very little income. It will allow me to move myself, my son, equiptment, and goats to South Carolina. It will pay my monthly bills, costs associated with moving the operation, and feed and medicine for my goats (about 50 does).

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