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USDA Approves Grants to Local Food, Cheese and Spirits Producers

Kelly Clark
Carson City
Release Date
Oct 09, 2014

Three local food producers have received grants totaling $105,596 to expand production and market their Northern Nevada products. The Tahoe Cheese Company, McCleary Ranch, and the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery all were recently approved for USDA's Value-Added Producer Grants.

 "The local foods movement is alive and well in Northern Nevada, and we're proud to be supporting that effort with the Value Added Producer Grant," said USDA Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler. “In particular, it is exciting that, while it took us a generation or so to develop wineries, Nevada has joined the boutique distillery movement in its early stages.  We at USDA are glad to assist.”

 Two of the local producers will be providing samples of their products at the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery Grand Opening scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Frey Ranch, 1045 Dodge Lane, in Fallon.

 The Frey Ranch Estate Distillery owners Ashley and Colby Frey hosted the Grand Opening to kick off their marketing campaign. The Freys also own Churchill Vineyards, a local winery, and recently developed the distillery to produce locally grown high quality spirts using grains grown on site. USDA Rural Development provided a $49,000 grant as working capital to help market products from the Fallon-based winery and distillery and improve efficiency of on-site sales. For more information visit the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery website at www.freyranch.com

 The Tahoe Cheese Company, LLC, and owners Charles Turner and David Green, of Carson City, received a $49,700 grant for working capital to assist the company with increased production and marketing of their specialty raw milk artisan cheeses. Tahoe Cheese, the first aged cheese plant in Nevada, is currently producing "Alpine Bleu" a premium farmstead cheese and "Tome de Sierra," an artisan parmesan cheese, with milk from Nevada dairies. Tahoe Cheese is sold locally at the Great Basin Food Cooperative.

 Elizabeth McCleary, of McCleary Ranch, received a $6,896 grant to develop a professional local marketing strategy for her farm/ranching operation, located at the old List Ranch just north of Carson City in Washoe County.  The ranch is home to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation that sells vegetables, fruit and berries.  In the near future the ranch will be launching its website.