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Alternative Dairy Initiative
So you want to start a farm?

Starting a Dairy

Thinking about starting up a dairy operation? 

There's a lot to consider and most of your decisions will be based on your particular circumstances:

  • Whether or not you have access to land, buildings, animals, equipment.
  • What are your physical/financial/temporal limitations?
  • Why do you want to start a dairy? Money, experience, both?
  • What are your production values? 

As you consider these questions, you will gain a clearer understanding of your motivations and limitations.

"Work smarter, not harder."

Once you know what you can do and why you're doing it, you can get into the more fun questions:

  • What kind of milking animal do you want? What breed?
  • What is your ideal herd size?
  • Will you milk all year round or seasonally? 
  • Will you make value-added products?
  • How will you sell your milk or dairy products?

The more you consider these questions at the start, the easier of a time you'll have when it comes down to actually doing it. Additionally, starting small can help ease you into dairying and you'll learn as you go along. 

At ADI, we're happy to help you answer any of those questions. We also have an abundance of resources to help you get on your feet:

  • If you are truly a beginnner, check out our Micro-Dairy Startup Guide for a brief introduction into what starting up a dairy requires. 
  • Know what you're doing and need to get set up? Check out our State by State Dairy Technician Directory for equipment dealers and set-up advice. *This directory is organized by state. However, many of the dealers/technicians will ship and work out of state. 

 Check out our For Farmers page for more information!


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