Help Save Swede Farm Dairy!

Area farmers' market mainstay needs customer support

Regular shoppers at Austin area farmers' markets are bound to know the friendly Carlson family of Swede Farm Dairy – if not by individual names, certainly by their excellent line of goat milk products. Those exemplary products are in danger of disappearing from the markets, but there is a way to help.


Tim and Lee Ann Carlson moved their large family out of Houston to a 10-acre farm near Waller some years back and became a full-fledged goat dairy in 2008. With quality products and an active, friendly presence at Houston and Austin farmers' markets, their business grew into an enterprise that could support a 14-person family. In the past couple of years, they began to supplement the milk from their own herd with milk purchased from a larger goat dairy nearby.

This allowed for some expansion and everything was working well until the other dairy ceased operation unexpectedly in May. With most of their own goats "dried off" in anticipation of early breeding, the Carlsons found themselves in the predicament of not having nearly enough milk to sustain their business or support the family. Just surviving from May until August quickly burned through their financial reserves and now they are faced with the daunting decision of whether or not to sell their herd and get out of the dairy business. They need $35,000 to buy goats currently "in milk," renew licenses, keep their vehicles on the road, and a roof over their collective heads.

The Carlsons (courtesy of Tim Carlson)

After thorough research. the Carlsons launched a crowdfunding campaign with GoFundMe because it is a platform that provides whatever is pledged to the beneficiary regardless of the time frame and also makes regular deposits as the money comes in. (Donation rewards include a limited-edition t-shirt, development of a custom cheese in your honor, and a children’s farm party.) Up until now, they've done all their promotion via social media. For complete details about their situation, check out their Facebook page or just go straight to here to make a crucial investment in their future.

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