HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fluid milk sales in the U.S. have been declining for decades, while milk production has nearly doubled over the same time period. This has made it exceedingly challenging for small dairy farms to remain financially viable in today’s markets.
In response, many small dairies are looking toward diversifying their revenue streams with direct-market, value-added dairy product enterprises. This could be a promising strategy, since although fluid milk consumption in the U.S. has fallen, consumption of value-added dairy products like yogurt and cheese has risen.
Pasa Sustainable Agriculture conducted case studies of three Pennsylvania dairy farms that enlisted the help of a consultant to take a hard look at their proposed or existing creamery enterprises. From a small grazing dairy considering adding an on-farm creamery to an existing creamery operation that decided to diversify both their pasturelands and their product line, the resulting brief, Farmstead Creamery: Consulting for Success, offers encouraging models for how farms can adapt to meet the challenges and changes of the dairy market.
–Pasa Sustainable Agriculture