U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has named Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese in Gooding, Idaho as the "Small Business of the Month" for June 2017. Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate.

“In Idaho, we have a number of innovative agriculturally-focused small businesses that continue to advance and thrive, much like Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese,” said Senator Risch. “Steve and Stacie Ballard began their business more than 20 years ago with just a handful of Jersey calves, a strong work ethic, and the help and support of their children, Travis and Jessica. Over the years the Ballard family business has grown momentously, developing a well-known cheese facility and producing award-winning specialty cheeses unique to Idaho. I am proud of the great contributions that the Ballard family continues to make in our state, and look forward to their continued success.”

The Ballard family produces numerous types of hand-crafted cheeses, including cheddar, gouda, and cheese curds. Their facility produces approximately 3,000 pounds of cheese daily. This well-executed cheese production system combined with small batch sizes enables the Ballard family to achieve the right consistencies for high-quality cheeses. In 2013, the Ballard’s cheese facility was distinguished by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy as having Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency. By adjusting their operational processes, their facility in Gooding has reduced their energy costs by about $23,000 annually. Beyond the Ballard family’s thriving retail throughout the state, the Ballards also provide educational resources with their cheese purchasing information to Idahoans who are interested in learning about cheese making methods.

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to entrepreneurship and provides oversight of the Small Business Administration. The committee also researches, investigates and reports all problems relating to America’s small businesses to the full Senate. As Chairman, Risch will honor America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Senate each month.