Small Dairy Business Plan for On-Farm Mini-Processing Facility

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2002: $9,980.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, marketing management, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, employment opportunities, sustainability measures


    The project was designed to develop a model small dairy farm with on-farm processing of fluid milk and milk products for the grass-fed market. They gathered data on a mini-dairy processing unit for value-added production in the geographic region of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The study indicated that there was sufficient demand from people and supermarkets to sell up to 1,500 pounds per day of a pasture-based dairy production. The marketing study showed potential for growth and plans for construction of the on-farm mini-processing unit were initiated in January, 2003. Various dairy products were sold including cream-lined whole milk, yogurt, yogurt, butter, ice cream and cheeses. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the farm has gone out of business.

    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.