The Individual Development Account (IDA) program at Food Roots is designed to help people get started or expand their food business. Since 2009, we've been inspired by the incredible entrepreneurs who take the skills and capital they gain from the program to build valuable local businesses that invigorate our local economy. Local food business are fundamental for a healthy and resilient local food system, so we want to highlight our wonderful IDA savers who are contributing to improving our local food system. Laura Kulju recently enrolled in the program, with very exciting plans for the future! Her award-winning Nigerian Dwarfs will melt your heart and their milk will moisturize your body... Read a little about Laura's story below:
How did you get into farming?
Laura: I’ve raised show animals since I was a kid; as an adult I developed an interest in sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and growing my own food. When I was introduced to Nigerian Dwarf goats a few years ago, I knew I’d found the perfect little dairy animal. At about 75lbs and just under 2’ tall, Nigerian Dwarf goats are the smallest breed of dairy goat. Their small size makes them easy to manage and allows even those with limited space to enjoy keeping a small herd. Despite their small size, Nigerian Dwarf goats are high producers of butterfat-rich milk, making their milk great for cheese production and for use in skincare products. Aside from their agricultural value, Nigerian Dwarf goats have great dispositions; they’re naturally friendly and affectionate.
How did you hear about IDA?
Laura: I was fortunate to be recommended the IDA program by Lainie Koch at Food Roots.
How are IDA funds going to help you?
Laura: I’ll be using our IDA funds to establish a small-scale goat dairy, from which we’ll produce goat milk skincare products.
Laura: In the meantime I’m working to start a nonprofit to connect persons with disabilities to our goats as a form of therapy; if you’ve ever gotten to know a goat you know they’re some of the most loving and joy-inducing creatures on earth, and I’d like to share that with as many people as I’m able.
To learn more about Laura's goats, visit her website: https://www.sitkasedgefarm.com/
To learn more about IDA, contact firstname.lastname@example.org