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Thread: Starting Out

  1. #1

    Default Starting Out

    I've been reading through old posts on this forum for a while now and I have noticed this question come up now and again in a variety of ways. I'd like to ask it again given the current conditions in the dairy industry and ag as a whole.

    If you were back at square one just starting out with nothing invested, would you still do it?

    Here's my situation. We have a moderately sized family grain farm in Ohio. I'm 29 and have had a good paying off-the-farm job for several years now, but ready to farm full time. Our operation needs to expand to make that happen but we are facing some stiff competition for farm ground. I'm considering livestock as a way to expand revenue (and profit, ideally) without needing to come up with hundreds of additional acres. Dairy is one option and it's toward the top of the list because of family history but I have no readily available facilities and would pretty much be starting from scratch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    De Pere, WI
    Posts
    3,584

    Default

    I believe there is a strong future for dairy. However, the ability to successfully operate a dairy hinges on efficiency or adding value through processing. If you aren't a sharp business person and have great herd management skill or a similarly skilled person than you'll struggle.

    Having a relatively secure market is of utmost importance and the more remote one is from other dairies, the larger your dairy needs to be. Minimum shipments of a tanker will become increasingly important in such an environment.

    Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
    DiederichFarm
    "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bluecreek, WA
    Posts
    287

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drdiederich View Post
    I believe there is a strong future for dairy. However, the ability to successfully operate a dairy hinges on efficiency or adding value through processing.
    I would tend to agree with the above. In the future, I see dairies going one of two ways. The first are dairies large enough to leverage the economies of scale. The second would be smaller dairies that have value added, either through processing their own, being organic, or filling some other niche (A2A2, grass fed, etc.)

    As I continue to build up my own farm, my plans are the latter, to have a small dairy and process our own milk. Starting from scratch, I think it's my best option to match my land base, markets and the lifestyle I want to have.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kaukauna WI
    Posts
    4,887

    Default

    Was just reading yesterday that every year the US produces 3 billion more pounds of milk than the year before.

    Food for thought.

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