Dairy Farm Update: Bring On the Cheese!

| 8/7/2009 12:11:00 PM

The Sells in August 2009Quickly now, I have to get this news in before the little ’uns awaken.

On Tuesday, we had the state dairy inspector come and look over our milking facilities. This is a necessary step to getting our dairy license. One needs a state approved license in order to sell milk commercially.

Prior to Tuesday, we had been working to get that barn up and in order. Over the last couple months, we went from piecing together a milking system to milk Charlotte, to streamlining it with the additions of Tilly, Mabel, Anna and Bea. Then we continued to replace old parts and clean in the milk house and barn.

We pursued several local creameries to pick up our milk and one was very interested in us. We were along their current milk pick-up route, they were agreeable to our small number of cows and their field rep was completely ok with us selling raw on the side. This was Weyauwega Star Dairy. Then we added Leche and Isabelle to our barn.

Next, we had to make some FDA mandated improvements in the milk house. Install a hand washing station. Add a soap dispenser for said station. Have at least three milking claws (the tools used to actually fasten to the cows’ udder and pump milk, and we only had one). Wash the stainless steel pipeline system.

During all of this, we had to get our well water tested for chemicals, metals and bacteria. The field rep came out and took a sample and sent it to Milwaukee to get it tested at a state-run lab. The sample came back positive for coliform bacteria (pretty common in older wells and ours is nearing 100 years) and E. coli. That’s right, E. coli! We had the rep test from another source point on the well and resend it in.

Monica Madison
9/18/2009 12:21:14 PM

Congratulations! I think it was an excellent idea to have a second opinion on your well testing. I wish you all the best with your dairy and I love reading your blog.

KC Compton_2
9/18/2009 12:10:56 PM

This is great news! Congratulations on such hard and devoted work. And greetings to your happy cows! Wish I were close enough to be a customer. I could make me some cheese! :=] --KC

Colin J Jeffcoat IV
9/18/2009 8:21:51 AM

Great triumphal story. I am curious though, did you ever feel as though the US government was stonewalling you?

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