Author Topic: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington  (Read 1104 times)

Offline cfish001

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Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« on: July 29, 2012, 12:35:01 AM »
My husband, brother and I are in the beginning process of setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington.  We are just getting started with our own herd with 2 milking goats and plan on taking about 2 years to acquire all of the equipment we need to be able to sell our cheese.   The eventual size of our herd is still to be determined.  I know we have alot of planning and have alot of work  ahead of us.  I have already contacted the Dept of Agriculture and will work with them during this process.   Does anybody know of where we can acquire the equipment we need?  We are thinking of making our cheese in up to 40 gal batches.  Any help would be appreciated.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 12:38:02 AM »
Where in WA?

Suggest for your setup to use a used soup kettle and buy surplus restaurant stainless in good shape. Can equip everything for under 10K that way.
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 cfish001

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 01:57:07 PM »
We will running our goat dairy in Maple Valley, WA which is just south of Seattle. 

To start I plan on using just regular kitchen equipment - I was going to look for a turkey roaster for our first batches of cheese which we will be starting in 3 weeks.  We have been looking on the internet and I was hoping that someone here had found a good site for the used commercial dairy equipment we are going to be needing.

Thanks for your reply.
Carrol

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 02:08:23 PM »
There are a few good suppliers, such as http://www.ullmers-dairyequipment.com/

What kind of gear do you want to have? All raw, meaning no pasteurizer? If so, all you need is a vat, sinks, and tables to start. Craigslist often is good bet for used restaurant equipment.
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 cfish001

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 10:24:00 AM »
In Washington, if you want to make fresh cheese for sale it has to pasteurized.  We are not sure if we will be doing fresh cheese yet.  You can make cheese from raw milk for sale if it is aged over 60 days.  So we are not sure yet about the pasteurization part yet. 
In talking with the Dept of Agriculture, they suggest we get at least a 40 gal cheese vat.  I am looking for at least that size. 


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 11:25:02 AM »
Right, I realize all that re: regulations. My point was that a pasteurizer is going to be expensive, but then you would need to do aged cheese, which is not necessarily ideal for cash flow. This is a pivotal decision and will affect your sourcing.

If you decide to go raw milk, you can pick everything up locally at the equipment auctions or through craigslist ads. I've seen great 40 gal self-contained vats for $600-$1,200, for example.
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 steffb503

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Re: Setting up a raw goat dairy in Washington
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 05:38:05 AM »
When I was in the planning stage i swore I would only make raw cheeses. But the fresh ones sell really well and I would have been a fool not to make them.
Almost two years into the cheese license and I am very glad I got the pasteurizer.
I have one from Micro dairy design. The max I can do at once is 22 gallons. But that is perfect for me.  Larger vat would mean more milk would mean more goats would mean more work. I don't want to work that hard.
Also if you saw the small space I have you would understand Ican not fit a larger one.
But I would want to know the smallest amount the vat can do.
I have been in business my whole life, yes since I was a baby.
Dad had a factory, mom had a retail store. My sister and I grew up in them. The worst mistake people make in starting any kind of business is starting too big.
Think of your customer base. You want it to grow not shrink.
Having the extra space is a good thing and having the large capacity vat is also good as long as you can do small batches in it to start.
What will your market be? Will you have that market year round or is it seasonal?
I started with half dozen goats selling the raw milk 15 years ago. I would make cheese and give it to my friends and family. When they all encouraged me to go legal I was milking 15 goats, I am now only milking 20. Don't forget, those does will all have babies and you must sell those babies. They will all be dry and you still need to feed them. Feed costs are only going up.
I am not trying to discourage you rather I am trying to give you my experience so yo succeed.