Author Topic: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility  (Read 1909 times)

Offline Storeyslone

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Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:43:16 PM »
Hi Everyone,
I'm a young sustainable agriculture student in North Carolina, taking a REAL business course as part of my curriculum.  I'm trying to come up with a feasible model for a small scale dairy (I'm talking as small as I could get and make any profit) to write a bare bones list of equipment, licencing, and pricing. I've noticed the micro-processing units and would like to look into Kentucky state regulations for vat size, and also raw milk cheeses. I'm obviously an ultra novice and just beginning to peek into the world of cheese. I was also thinking of writing two separate plans one for a small herd of goats to supply milk and one for the bare bones cheese room. I would love advice, links or previously written business plans, or just some inspiration that a small dairy could be possible.
I'm also open to corresponding through emails with anyone who would be willing to as I go along with my plan.

Also are there any successful  cheese making ventures in certified kitchens?

I've seen a few small successful ventures with a cheese making business paired with other small ventures, any examples of these?


Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 03:00:19 PM by Storeyslone »


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 02:51:48 PM »
Visit Sailor's creamery in Lexington and see what he did. Usually, a small dairy works only if it's very small and you can do it part time. Else, you have to milk 30 or so to make a living.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 04:23:48 PM »
In Kentucky, and most places, you are not allowed to make cheese in a commercial kitchen, certified or not. Cheese making has to be a separate, dedicated activity.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 04:32:28 PM »
Quote
I've seen a few small successful ventures with a cheese making business paired with other small ventures,
Like what kind of ventures? No state I know of is going to let you make cheese in an area where there is other activity part of the time. Do you mean there's horizontal or vertical integrations in the business, or joint ventures or cross-selling or something like that?
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Storeyslone

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 05:40:01 PM »
Yes, like a bed and breakfast, or soap making, or art.


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Offline Storeyslone

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 05:45:00 PM »
25--30 goats or so seemed reasonable to me that was my initial thought, I was curious to whether you could make a profit even doing this. Although I wondered if others had made something smaller work, I guess lifestyle and expenses would factor a lot into what you needed to get by.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 05:52:32 PM »
Even smaller than that... maybe. It'd be pretty tough in most places. One way to try and go about that is to sell a high-moisture, high quality cheese you can freeze, such as a chevre frais, or one of its many bloomy variants. To do that, you'd need to pasteurize. And small pasteurizers are not so easy to find and get approved, and they cost a decent amount. So you'd be looking at a while to break even.

If you did raw milk, no pasteurizer, but then you're dealing with inventory, cash flow, and similar issues. Say you did something like a 90-day classic tomme variant. Cool, but you need to manage affinage and inventory and find time to do sales. It's possible to do, but unless you're turning out volume and doing everything as a 1-2 person shop, there's just not enough money to be made. And the max a single person could handle reasonably, is 30-40 in milk.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 05:54:43 PM »
If you can achieve horizontal integration and leverage existing client contacts to upsell or cross-sell, sure. Very possible to integrate with agritourism, partner with other artisans, pursue white label or custom manufacturing, etc. But that's not necessarily a feasible model. You'd need to either make each piece profitable or use one as a loss leader or cost of marketing/sales.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline linuxboy

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Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline emily.r.shifflett

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Re: Goat Dairy Business Planning/ Herd Feasibility
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 08:49:33 PM »
So I'm a bit late to this party (just joined the site, trawling through old posts, sorry). I wanted to see how you're doing with this project. I'm in sort of the same boat but out here in California. What I've learned so far from me calculations and observations is that you can totally make a profit at the proposed size, but you've got to be willing to invest in polyculture for helping your goats out and making some extra profit. The soap making is a great idea because goat milk is the best milk to base soaps off (just my personal experience, I'm sure others out there have different opinions). I find it easier to work with and that it produces a better soap.

I'd love to hear how your plan is progressing!


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