Cheese Farm: Making raw unpasteurized cheese is an art form that requires dedication, patience and knowledge of the craft. Then combine cheese making with running a small dairy farm the challenge quadruples. However there are many people who achieve a good synergy.
There are two ways to start cheese making. The easier and straightforward way is to purchase raw milk from vendors or harder way harvest the milk from dairy cow directly.
Some farmhouse producers make cheese on a commercial scale and earn huge profit. Apart from experimentation and familiarity with basic cheese make skills the entrepreneur needs to learn the trade.
Learn the trade
Learning the trade involves books, online courses, formal or informal tutelage. The person can sign up for cheese making classes or become an apprentice. Make sure to familiarize yourself with different cheese recipes, purchase good equipment.
Types of cheese
There are different types of cheese, hard cheese, semi-hard. More are blue mold, fresh cheese, white mold and goat cheese. Fresh cheese are Mozzarella, Feta, and Cream cheese. White mold are Double crème white, Camembert, Brie.
Blue mold are Stilton, Roquefort & Danish blue, Gorgonzolla. Semi-hard are Havarti & Gruyere, Cheddar. Hard cheese are Manchego & Grana-Padano, Parmesan, Pecorino while goat cheese are Blue goat cheese, Chevre
- hard cheese
- blue mold
- fresh cheese
- white mold
- goat cheese
Why start a cheese making business
Cheese is a natural diary product that is healthy, has good nutritious value and high demand. Demand for organic cheese exceeds $6.5 billion in 2019 with a gradual increase every year.
The business is profitable requires moderate investment, inexpensive ingredients and basic equipment. Quality cheese requires good equipment, quality control and standardization.
Reasons to start cheese making
- natural diary product
- high demand
- the business is profitable
- moderate investment
- inexpensive ingredients
- basic equipment
- good equipment
- set your own standards(quality control)
Cheese making equipment
The type of equipment depends on homemade or procession line product. Procession line uses heavy industry fabricated machinery while home products require basic equipment.
Homemade Cheese equipment
To produce at home purchase an electric cream separators, electric butter churns and milk pasteurizers. Others are large stock pot, thermometer, skimmer, large bowl colander, cheesecloth and butter Muslin.
- electric cream separators
- electric butter churns
- milk pasteurizers
- large stock pot
- large bowl colander
- cheesecloth and butter Muslin
Cheese processing line
Commercial processing involves fresh milk tank, blending, stretching and molding. Other processes are whey discharge, fermentation, curd sterilizing, cooling.
Commercial grade equipment include homogenizing, milk storage, cheese pressing machine. Others are plate pasteurizer, storage tank, vacuum degasser, milk cooling tank, cheese VatCheese.
- milk storage
- cheese pressing machine
- plate pasteurizer
- storage tank
- vacuum degasser
- milk cooling tank
- cheese VatCheese
- milkplan bulk tank
How to start a cheese making business
To start a cheese making business you need to research your target market. The write a business plan and feasibility study. You can start from scratch, join a franchise or purchase an existing business.
Next learn the cheese making process and distinguish different cheese products before developing your own recipe. Register a business name, get insurance cover, and register the product. Understand what constitute premium cheese and marketing.
Things to consider
- research your target market
- write a business plan and feasibility study
- start from scratch or purchase an existing business.
- learn the cheese making process
- distinguish different cheese products
- developing your own recipe
- register a business name
- get insurance
- register the product
How to start a cheese farm
Apart from cheese making equipment to start a cheese farm you need a few cows and housing. Top breed are Ayrshire, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Diary short horn, Holstein.
- Brown Swiss
- Diary short horn
Dairy cattle feeding
Feeding equipment in a low cost facility are feed wagons, skid-steers, small tractor. Purchase quality grains, hay, wrapped baleage, baled hay, silage. Feeding equipment are either portable, fence line feeding, self-feeding systems or drive by feeding platform.
Dairy cattle housing
Make sure housing protects from weather conditions like direct sun, wind or cold. Provided dry bedding in rest area and assign different areas for milking, feeding, watering. Appropriate bedding resting pace is 50 -100 square feet depending on the breed of cattle. Another type of housing is free-stall housing with outside feeding. Others are bedded pack, free-stall barns with inside feeding
Cheese products are in high demand therefore marketing them is relatively easy. Sell the product in farmers market, supermarket or grocery stores. Sell to hotels, upscale restaurants, delicatessens, food outlets.
Another way is to open an artisan cheese shop and sell directly to customers. Use electronic media, print, social media and a website to reach your target market.