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Starting or growing a creamery enterprise can be a promising strategy for realizing financial viability in a challenging market. It’s also a big investment and can hold significant risk.

Fluid milk sales have been declining for decades in the United States, while milk production has nearly doubled over the same time period. This has made it exceedingly challenging for small dairy farms to remain financially viable in today’s markets.

In response, many small dairies are looking toward diversifying their revenue streams with direct-market, value-added dairy product enterprises. This could be a promising strategy: Though fluid milk consumption in the United States has fallen, consumption of value-added dairy products like yogurt and cheese has risen.

In this brief, you’ll read the stories of three dairy farms that enlisted the help of a consultant to take a hard look at their proposed or existing creamery enterprises. By reading these stories, you’ll gain perspective on what might be accomplished through a similar creamery consulting process for your own dairy operation.