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Thread: 250lbs Bulk tank and bucket milkers.

  1. #1

    Default 250lbs Bulk tank and bucket milkers.

    Does anyone know of any farms that still have a smaller bulk tank and milks with buckets? Is it true co-ops don't pick up the little guys anymore? I'm in Michigan and in the center of the state a lot of the Amish still put cans out to the side of the road in the winter, I thought cans were totally done for but are there still haulers/co-ops that still except cans?

    I have an old stanchion barn with all the vacume lines and stanchions still in place but my floor is pretty rough with cracks, what are the standard rules and things farm inspectors look at?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    north-central virginia


    The "cans-by-the-side-of-the-road" thing is probably a deal they have worked out with a specialty processor. The chances of getting in on it would be pretty slim, I'd think. Wouldn't hurt to ask, though.

    In your case, your best bet would be to find someone interested in making artisan cheese or some other small scale dairy product. Some folks would be pretty gung-ho about making and selling a fancy yogurt, but would rather not milk their own cows.

    Edit to add: Inspectors mostly care about stuff being neat and clean, with a clear water test. No submerged inlets in your water system, a pest-proof milk house, a decent toilet, etc. Hairline cracks in the floor are okay, but if there's any heaving or displacement of the slabs, they'll expect you to repour. I've heard also, that Michigan is much stricter than Virginia, so I could be misrepresenting things. Look up "pasteurized milk ordinance" and download the most up-to-date one you can find. I found a 2015 revision on the FDA site. This is not a rule-book as such, but is a suggested set of guidelines for the states to use in designing their rules. With a bit of searching, you can probably find the Michigan state codes, which will include a section on dairy regulations. This will not be as detailed as the PMO, but will be the actual laws for your state. Basically, by reading the PMO and your own state's codes, you'll get about as good an idea what's expected without actually dealing with an inspector on a regular basis.
    Last edited by kipps; 01-01-2018 at 09:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    local Amish were using cans around here but they had to be in can coolers in the milkhouse. But the wheel of progress is spinning and I believe that cans are on the way out again.
    Buddy of mine was using buckets and a stepsaver up till a couple of years ago, still grade A approved as far as I know.
    I'd get in touch with a processor before I would even worry about the state of the barn. Getting on the truck isn't as easy as it used to be.

  4. #4


    I'm really close to the milk processing plant in cass city mi, if I was a certified milk hauler could I take my own milk off my farm directly to the plant???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Barron, Wisconsin


    WI info here, but it may be relevant. There is a dairy in the Neillsville area that has a specific can route to pick up all the Amish dairies in the area. There are many dairies that haul their own milk in tankers and I doubt getting certified is that hard based on the quality of some of the trucking companies that I have dealt with. That said, those were big 5000+ gallon trucks/tankers custom built for the purpose; driving a few cans into a plant may not pass inspection.

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