7 do's and don'ts of value-added dairy ventures

If you'd like to learn more about starting a value-added business, check out the resources available on the Internet. Each of these resources offers links to many other sources.

  • Ag Initiative 2000 Consortium has value-added information posted at: www.agvalue.state.ia.us or call (515) 242-4805.
  • USDA farmer direct marketing data are available at: www.ams.usda.gov/directmarketing or call (202) 720-8317.
  • Brian Henehan, senior extension associate and leader of the Cooperative Enterprise Program at Cornell University, offers an extensive list of pertinent questions for producers considering value-added enterprises posted on the Web site: cpdmp.cornell.edu/ Click on "publications," then on "miscellaneous."
  • Washington Department of Agriculture Handbook for Direct Farm Marketing can be found at: www.wa.gov/agr/greenbook.pdf or call (360) 902-1884.
  • The Hometown Creamery News is available at: www.ibiblio.org/creamery/news.html
  • The Wisconsin Specialty Cheese Institute's web site is: www.wisspecialcheese.org or call (800) 697-8661.
  • Gary Frank, ag economist with the Center for Dairy Profitability at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has devised an Excel spreadsheet to help answer the question, "You can make it, you can sell it, but can you 'make' it selling it?" To use the decision aid FSTMILKP.xls (FarmSTead Milk Processing), go to: cdp.wisc.edu and click on "tools and other resources," then on "decision-making tools."
  • USDA Economic Research Service organic farming and marketing information is located at: www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/organic
    or call (202) 694-5050. The USDA order desk can be reached at (800) 999-6779 to request USDA materials.
  • "Developing New Niche Products, a Guide for Small Dairy Plants" is available through the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research. Call (608) 262-8015 to order. The WCDC Web site is: www.cdr.wisc.edu/