Micro Dairy share farm

Jo Powys

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi new to all this so forgive the basic nature of the post. We own a 73 acres farm in Powys and looking into share farming as we both work full time. We are thinking micro dairy ( probably raw milk) and also a vegetable box scheme. Have a Jersey house cow and her heifer calf to provide us with milk and plan to build a small dairy from scratch. Looking into milking trailer and dairy building. Also keen to grown vegetables with a view to offering a vege box scheme. We have all the finance and marketing skills and also access to all the software for selling etc. Static caravan on site. Do you think we will find a young ( young at heart) farmer interested in a share farming opportunity. We have a tractor, some other help we can provide etc and good at the grants and paperwork side. Looking to keep it simple and build with time. Do you think someone is likely to be interested in both dairy and the veg side ? Any help/thoughts welcome. We are looking at raw milk as only thinking micro dairy so want a higher end more specialist product and I think it is great. Can milk myself etc to provide them with time off etc.
 
1st impresion is that the scale of operation you describe is unlikly to generate enough ££££££££ to give you & your share farmer a return.

@Tim G in Essex has built a micro dairy in the essex using loads of hard work & innovation. He might be able to advise on viability ( & the pitfalls )
 
Last edited:

dairyrow

Member
Hi. Depends where you are. There's been a far few bottling vending machines and bottling plants put in the last few months.
 

delilah

Member
Hi new to all this so forgive the basic nature of the post. We own a 73 acres farm in Powys and looking into share farming as we both work full time. We are thinking micro dairy ( probably raw milk) and also a vegetable box scheme. Have a Jersey house cow and her heifer calf to provide us with milk and plan to build a small dairy from scratch. Looking into milking trailer and dairy building. Also keen to grown vegetables with a view to offering a vege box scheme. We have all the finance and marketing skills and also access to all the software for selling etc. Static caravan on site. Do you think we will find a young ( young at heart) farmer interested in a share farming opportunity. We have a tractor, some other help we can provide etc and good at the grants and paperwork side. Looking to keep it simple and build with time. Do you think someone is likely to be interested in both dairy and the veg side ? Any help/thoughts welcome. We are looking at raw milk as only thinking micro dairy so want a higher end more specialist product and I think it is great. Can milk myself etc to provide them with time off etc.
For the veg box side of it, contact these folks if you haven't already done so:

https://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk/

https://landworkersalliance.org.uk/
 

Treg

Member
Location
Cornwall
Think you may find this interesting
I would have thought it would be a good opportunity to help someone get started in Agriculture (y)
 

Jo Powys

Member
Mixed Farmer
1st impresion is that the scale of operation you describe is unlikly to generate enough ££££££££ to give you & your share farmer a return.

@Tim G in Essex has built a micro dairy in the essex using loads of hard work & innovation. He might be able to advise on viability ( & the pitfalls )
Thanks that is useful. For us it is more about making use of the land and being self sufficient in terms of our part of the share not so much about profit just saving money and not being dependent on buysing stuff in etc. Useful thought thanks. We know we would need to build a herd to a decent size etc and invest to get it all started.
 

Jo Powys

Member
Mixed Farmer
Think you may find this interesting
I would have thought it would be a good opportunity to help someone get started in Agriculture (y)
Really interesting thanks :)
 
Some reading on this thread @Tim G story
 

Bipper

Member
It could work. The issue is you have another income, which is fine, but with milking cows you will be asking someone else to make it their main job. Will there be enough in it for them to be able to live? You may need to be prepared to make very little, if anything, until you build sales enough to make it pay enough. The CSA idea is good as it ties people in for longer periods and you don't get left with weeks with no sales. Hard to get going though, interesting to see if recent events help to drive people to this.

I agree on the raw milk, non-homogenised is often what people really like, they just get that confused with unpastuerised. It shouldn't impact the taste, but homogenising can.
 

farmerdan7618

Member
Location
Somerset
I think if I was in your position I would go down the route of employing a farm manager rather than share farming.

You seem to have both the land and the finance to be able to put enough cows in for a micro dairy, and can help out to allow time off. In my view it doesn't challenge a share farmer enough or provide enough opportunity of return. Share farmers tend to be highly ambitious first generation farmers with a goal of their own farm, and as such are fairly risk seeking and want to challenge themselves.

See no reason that your ideas for the farm can't work with the right marketing and people on board, but I don't think share farming is quite right for your situation.
 
Don't sell raw milk. It gives you the chance to wreck it for us all. Gently pasturise it, dame great taste minimal risk

In my opinion of course. Each to their own
Excellent advice.

I built up 5 milk rounds and we producer retailed 500 gallons a day in the early 80's.

The "Pintas of Peril" campaign from existing dairies went into overdrive - Eventually we put a 200 GpH HTST Alfa pasteuriser in and no-one, literally no-one could actually tell a difference provided we didn't homogenise the milk..

We still sold around 20% of the production as Green Top (which would have passed the phosphatase test ;)) with the blessing of the Local EHO and Trading Standards.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Powys is a massive county.
Location is key
^this. @Jo Powys location/market is key. I am at Montgomery and the number of dairy farmers retailing their own milk locally is getting daft now. Quite apart from those that have established milk rounds already, lots more have invested in vending machines, or pasteurising plants and honesty boxes.
Fair play to them all for having a go, but there’s a finite number of customers that are willing to pay the premium to make it a worthwhile job, and it must be getting close to saturation now.
 

honeyend

Member
I would have a look at the RMP,
and
All the ones I have spoken to have no problems selling their raw milk, its having enough milk to sell and not be above micro.
I think I would rent it out to someone with cattle, so the pasture is managed and try with goats first as a way in. The customer has a similar reason for buying the product, so it would help you test your market before investing more money.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
pasteurised is sensible, our neighbour makes cheese from unpasteurised milk, he privately TB's his 2 dairy herds, every 6 months, that means, he would only lose serious value on 6 months worth of cheese, if he went down. He has a pasteuriser ready to put in, if needed !!
Lady, i know, asked me, after filling her bottle from the vending machine, not mine, do we have to have a different breed of cow, to get the cream on top !!!!! That is the kind of person, you will be dealing with, very nice, but knows 0 about farming, other than it sounds nice !
I would think there would be plenty of keen young farmers, who would love the chance, for your scheme, perhaps starting part time, while 'things' build up.
 

onesiedale

Member
Location
Derbyshire
Within Powys I'm sure you will find a young farmer/couple who would be keen to look at a JV type arrangement to get started in dairying. Just make sure you all have the same visions and values.

A good place to enquire maybe with the county council small holdings estate. They have a large pool of good young farmers.
It was Powys CC that gave us a start with a 20 acre holding and then it lead to opportunities along the way.
As has been said above, location is key. Where are you based?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
pasteurised is sensible, our neighbour makes cheese from unpasteurised milk, he privately TB's his 2 dairy herds, every 6 months, that means, he would only lose serious value on 6 months worth of cheese, if he went down. He has a pasteuriser ready to put in, if needed !!
Lady, i know, asked me, after filling her bottle from the vending machine, not mine, do we have to have a different breed of cow, to get the cream on top !!!!! That is the kind of person, you will be dealing with, very nice, but knows 0 about farming, other than it sounds nice !
I would think there would be plenty of keen young farmers, who would love the chance, for your scheme, perhaps starting part time, while 'things' build up.
^this. One local dairy farm has been making & retailing ice cream for a while, and has an 'ice cream parlour' in the farm yard. He tells the story of how one customer was shocked to learn that ice cream came from cows. He took her to see the very cows, just across the yard, in the milking parlour. She was horrified when she saw the size of their udders and wanted to know why they weren't given bras to offer support.🤣
I do my bit in educating the general public when I can (we have busy footpaths through), but I know I couldn't deal with her type every day.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
186,419
Messages
4,247,072
Members
46,711
Latest member
datxanhluxury
Top