Goat Lady Dairy
Location: Randolph County, North Carolina
Years in Business: 20+ years
Product/Service: Goat cheese
NCIFund Role: Business Loan
Sector: Local Food
Impact: Support for local food systems


Ginny Tate’s vision for the dairy extended beyond the cheese it produced to the importance of preserving working landscapes. In 2003, Goat Lady Dairy worked with the Piedmont Land Conservancy on a farmland conservation easement to ensure the property would always be used for agricultural purposes. In 2009, Ginnie was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. When Ginnie Tate passed away in 2009, Steve and Lee Tate were determined to maintain the dairy’s original vision and expand the cheesemaking operation.


The Opportunity

In 2017, with Steve and Lee Tate looking to retire, Goat Lady Dairy approached Natural Capital Investment Fund because of our interest in supporting the long-term sustainability of businesses that are good stewards of natural resources. NCIFund’s flexible financing options allowed long-term employees Carrie and Bobby Bradds to purchase the dairy and preserve it as a key link in the local food system.

Impact 

Under new ownership, the work of Goat Lady Dairy and its mission of connecting urban neighbors with the land continues. While the Dairy's commitment to quality has enabled it to expand beyond regional sales to national distribution, the Bradds have made a point of honoring Goat Lady's local roots. They partner with local family farms for their milk supply, including Holly Grove Farm and Williams Dairy. Twice a month, they continue the tradition of offering Dinner at the Dairy, a guided tour complete with farm stories and a five-course tasting menu. In the spring and fall, they also host Open Farm Days to allow customers and neighbors to tour the fields.

After more than 20 years working at the dairy (as well as running their own meat business), the Bradds are committed to Ginnie Tate's vision: maintaining a responsible, sustainable business model that cares about the land and the way we interact with it. 


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