What do I need to know to start an on-farm milk bottling facility?
C.W.FloridaAnswerIf you decide to set up a bottling facility you will need to work closely with your state dairy inspector. You can contact your state department of agriculture to locate the office that handles dairy inspections. Working closely with the state dairy inspector will help you to meet all requirements and avoid costly mistakes.There are several publications and articles listed below that will help you with value-added processing of milk, including information on things you should consider before starting a bottling facility, as well as what equipment would be needed for your facility. The articles listed below also feature producers who have started their own bottling facilities. It is always helpful to hear what other producers have done. If you do decide to start bottling milk, the web site www.smalldairy.com, will be helpful. This site has resources and contacts for processing equipment. You can also buy and sell used equipment on the site, which helps to keep costs down.Resources: See the ATTRA publication Value-Added Dairy OptionsHenahan, B. n.d. Questions You Should Answer Before Starting a New Dairy Processing Enterprise. 4 p.Anon. 2000. What Do You Need to Get Started in Bottling On-Farm?. CreamLine. Spring 2000. p. 4-9.Ruhl, K. 2001. Building a Small-Scale Milk Bottling Plant on a Shoestring Budget, part 1. CreamLine. Fall 2001. p. 8-10.Ruhl, K. 2002. Building a Small-Scale Milk Bottling Plant on a Shoestring Budget, part 2. CreamLine. Winter 2002. p. 1,3-5, 15-18.Moynihan,M. (ed.). 2006. Dairy Your Way. Minnesota Department of Agriculture. p. 63-70, 89-97.Wirt, K. 2003. On Farm Milk Processing. High Plains Journal. 2 p.Morrison, E. 2001. Bottle at your own risk. Ag Innovation News. Vol. 10, No. 2. 2 p.Morrison, E. 2001. Bittersweet end. Ag Innovation News. Vol. 10, No. 2. 3 p. Dunaway, V. 2000. Small Dairy Resource Book. p. 48-56.