Micro Dairy Profit

Discussion in 'Cheese & Dairy' started by lkmartin1230, May 16, 2017.

  1. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    How much profit can a micro dairy make if they milk 25 goat, sell bottled milk, and make cheeses too? Just curious. This is one of my future goals even if it's just a sideline income.
     
  2. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    This very much depends on the state in which you live. If you have to buy a $12,000 vat in order to meet regulations, there is not going to be much profit. Let us know where you live and more about your management style.
     

  3. Goat Town

    Goat Town Member

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    A few years ago a herd in the county where I live decided to go Grade A and sell milk and cheese. After a huge start up investment which included buying 75 animals, they began. At first their only market was selling cheese at the local farmer's market. A couple years later they worked out a contract with a local grocery store chain to sell their cheese (not their milk) regionally.

    A couple of years into it I had a conversation with the owner and she told me her model was to convert the milk into cheese because she could sell fluid milk for $8.00/gal., or turn that gallon into cheese and sell it at $32.00, or four times as much. She never really expanded her cheese market beyond making 32 flavors of chevre.

    They stayed in business for about five years. They sold their herd and started buying milk to make cheese, but that didn't last long because of transportation costs. They even approached me about going Grade A and selling them milk, but it wasn't something I was capable of doing. I did offer to milk for them, but they couldn't hire anyone, so it didn't happen.
     
  4. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    AL. I have a fairly small herd only 15 milkers at the moment, I only use the milk for lotions and soaps and use it for my brothers bottle calves. An older friend that is retiring offered me her vat for $5,000 used and still runs good. We have 2 other dairies in my area and I've tried to contact them for advice but no one has answered so I assume they are busy. But, these places have been running for 10+ years. They are about 45 minutes from me, and everyone drives there to buy from them.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  5. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    I'm in Ohio, so I can only tell you that I will have a Grade A 60 doe dairy, that we own free and clear, and the investment to make a building, separate from everything, with its own septic and water and power, and fill it with the proper equipment will be a $100,000. This is required by our state to make Grade A dairy processing plant. I will make aged raw milk cheeses, and my inspector has already told me he will want mostly new or nearly new equipment, nothing wood, all most be able to be washed down, including the office and entry space. I can make the numbers work, but only because my husband works and pays all the other bills, like health insurance, mortgage, etc. Once I have solid markets, he'll be able to stay home and be a "goat masseuse". He puts that down for his 5 year goal, for his current programming job!
     
  6. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    Honestly I'm not looking to milk more than 20-25 to milk for my start up and then later grow the herds size. I'm trying desperately to figure out the regulations and it seems like no one around here really knows. I have been told before my milking room and bulk tank room could be the same building but the have to have a thick wall in-between the 2 rooms and then my cheese making area would have to be closed off completely from my milking room,but could be attached to my bulk tank room.......I know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, this is just what I've been told. What are you having to do as far as buildings go?
     
  7. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    In Ohio, for Grade A, our inspector wants the cheese making facility to be 200 feet away from the animals. It won't, but I have the regulations on my side on that one. Make sure you have self-closing doors and some way to have positive air pressure in the cheese room. That way the flies have a really hard time flying in. That is the only way I can have my cheese room within 200 feet of the animals. Our cheese room will be up by our house, about 400 feet from the barn, with a driveway and a gate in between.

    The regs say you must have 2 doors between any "clean" area and any area with animal access. So, for your parlor, you only need 1 door between it and the livestock area, but the bulk tank room must have 2 doors between it and the living area.

    Like so: Living area: door: Milk parlor: door: milk room with bulk tank: Door: cheese room: door: utility room: door : outside.

    All of those doors need to be self closers. and I would position a filtered in wall fan between the milk room and parlor, blowing into the parlor, to reduce flies. You'll also need a filtered air source for the cheese room. If you add a cheese cave, it can be off the cheese room. Make sure you have floor drains in each room, and we put a U style clean out just outside the parlor. Your cheese room drains might have to go into a regular septic and you will have to have a separate bathroom, off of the utility room, which goes into the septic. The drains from the milk room and parlor can drain into a composting type system.
     
  8. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    Oh okay. I'm sure it's probably the same here. Finally visited a dairy about 1 hour away from me and they had their cheese facility close to their house and the animals farther back. My guess was theirs was about 400 ft from the barn. They had the animals then a door into parlor, and ramp going up to stanchions,then on the other side of the room they had a door for animals to get back outside and then a door to the bulk tank room. I'm starting to get an idea of what I'm wanting and how I want it set up. Planning on visiting a few more over the next year or so just to see how others are set up. If I'm putting $$ into it and I want it to be functional for sure, for both me and my animals.
     
  9. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    If your creamery has to be 400 ft away from the barn how are you getting the milk there? Buckets? Or is there a regulated way of doing it?
     
  10. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    We're using milk cans. We just have to have a truck that is cleaned regularly to transport them. You could also get a transport tank for larger amounts of milk.
     
  11. lkmartin1230

    lkmartin1230 New Member

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    Thank you for your help! It's much appreciated.