A Feasibility Study on How Affordable Micro-Creameries Can Help Manage On-farm Dairy Risks

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2021: $14,303.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Burley Berries and Blooms
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Megan Burley
Burley Berries and Blooms

Information Products


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Farm Business Management: market study, new enterprise development, value added

    Proposal summary:

    “By mid-April of 2020, the Dairy Farmers of America estimated that the loss of school, hotel, and restaurant customers led to farmers having to dump nearly four million gallons of milk each day[1]”.  A local food movement has been at the forefront of consumer purchases over the last decade. While the current pandemic has deeply disrupted the food chain, now more than ever consumers are looking to connect with their farmer and are seeking locally grown food.  As price takers “Dairy farms, with their highly perishable product, have little choice but to accept the low prices paid by milk cooperatives, which are decreasing in number and increasing in size due to recent mergers.”[2]  This project will analyze the current milk market in western NY and do a feasibility study to show the effectiveness of adding a Micro-Creamery (an affordable $15,000-$45,000 creamery with a vat pasteurizer and packaging equipment)  to make value added milk products and fluid milk to be distributed via the Burley Berries fruit and flower CSA.  The goal is to see how a local dairy farm can increase profitability while cooperating with a fruit farm to diversify their market while creating a brand and market strategy for a micro-creamery in Warsaw NY. Information will be shared with farms in the Northeast upon completion of the project via virtual workshops, a fact sheet, and a video diary.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to

    1. Research the successes, building design and challenges of 4 micro-creameries in the Northeast (2 in PA(Lanes End Farm, Brockway PA and Mitch Hill Dairy Farm and Creamery, Venus, PA), 1 in NY (Sunset View Creamery) and 1 in VT.
    2. Establish Base Market Research and study the feasibility of starting a micro creamery in western NY and present those findings at a dairy extension workshop for Penn State(Burley Berries has recently done a presentation for the PSU Dairy Team for their Women and Ag Series) and Cornell Cooperative Extension (Anika Gianforte, Harvest NY Dairy Specialist is the advisor for this project) and Develop a brand and marketing strategy for a micro-creamery at Burley Berries and Blooms
      1. Impact for other farmers: This study will provide an opportunity for farmers who are seeking this idea in other parts of the state a resource as they develop their own ideas for a micro-creamery
      2. Impact for other farmers: a video will be created following the steps of the project from start to finish
    3. Research cost effective Mico-Creamery Designs
      1. Impact for other Famers: a fact sheet will be developed comparing the cost of different micro-creameries and shared during the virtual presentations


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.