Question of the Week
Answer: Developing a new market and/or milk products will take some time and work. You will have to consider what available markets are near you, what prices the market will bear, the potential extra labor for new products, etc.
In Kansas, you can sell raw milk from your farm, but the law states that you cannot advertise the sale of milk or milk products in any way other than by a sign on your farm. So legally, it would be difficult to market/advertise your product unless your farm is situated on a busy road. You should contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture Dairy Inspection Program for information on what type of requirements you must meet in order to sell raw milk.
The list below identifies several resources that will help you think through the steps of starting a value-added dairy operation. Raw milk or other niche milk products are considered value-added products because you are not selling milk on the conventional commodity market. While adding a value-added component to your operation can be profitable, it also comes with many challenges including increased equipment/infrastructure needs and time and effort to market new products.
In addition, ATTRA has a variety of publications on topics related to value-added and processing that can help. To learn more, see our Marketing, Business & Risk Management section at https://attra.ncat.org/publication.html#marketing.
The Kansas Dairy Law. Kansas Department of Agriculture. www.ksda.gov/includes/statute_regulations/mainportal/DAIRY.pdf
Questions You Should Answer Before Starting a New Dairy Processing Enterprise. By B. Henehan. www.agmrc.org/media/cms/dairypq_A862019ABEC77.pdf
Dairy Your Way. 2006. By the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. www.misa.umn.edu/Publications/DairyYourWay/index.htm
Value-Added Dairy Processing Feasibility Report. 2003. By R. Hammarlund. Kansas Department of Commerce. www.agmrc.org/media/cms/fluidmilkprocessingreport_887CE9E92FFC8.pdf
Small dairy co-ops adding value for members by targeting niche markets. By Carolyn Liebrand. USDA Rural Development. www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/jul05/bucking.htm
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