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New Book Focuses On Ohio Women in Dairy Farming

photo of Abbe Turner
Abbe Turner hopes her new book, 'The Land of Milk & Money,' will serve as a 'roadmap' for people interested in agriculture -- both consumers and producers. She co-wrote the book with her daughter, Madeline.

A new book profiles farmers in Ohio – specifically, dairy farmers who are women.

Abbe Turner, owner of Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, wrote “The Land of Milk & Money” with her daughter Madeline– a millennial and dairy farmer herself. Turner says she hopes the book serves as a “toolkit” for people who may be interested in starting a career in agriculture.

“Just shed a little light on some of the challenges: balance between family and work and production and farming and the animals and trying to navigate what it really means to be a small farmer that’s producing food.”

Turner adds that the book is not just for budding farmers, but also for consumers.

“It’s intended as a consumer piece to shine a light on why local food might be a little harder to access. And the challenges about getting nutrient-dense local food to your family table.”

Turner says one of the biggest challenges for women dairy farmers is access to capital.

“When we were out looking for funding to start Lucky Penny Creamery, people said things to us like well who would want to milk a goat?’ Or, ‘nobody eats goat cheese.’ And many people want to milk goats and raise goats – whether it be for their meat or their fiber or the wonderful dairy products they produce – but many people didn’t understand the business model.”

About half of the 18 operations profiled in the book are in Northeast Ohio.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.