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best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:18 pm
by dave_shelby
I am looking to farm and have been considering dairy as the best option (over stocking). I am debating, among other things, the type of milk to raise. I have a friend who is has an organic farm milking over 200 head and has done quite well, so have thought about organic. I have also thought about organic grass fed milk (no grains) as the local market here in Virginia seems good for that. And I may just do a standard dairy too.

So here is the question. I have some money saved and a job that I can work from home so can relocate. What is the best location to buy a dairy farm. It seems like Missouri and Wisconsin both have fairly inexpensive land and so there are some reasonably priced dairy farms for sale. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:05 pm
by skyhightree1
" I have also thought about organic grass fed milk (no grains) as the local market here in Virginia seems good for that. "


Whats wrong with Virginia?

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:14 pm
by TexasBred
How do you plan to market this grass fed organic milk? You'll either need your own processing plant, locate close to an existing one or sell it off the farm which would be a lot of raw milk to move everyday.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:20 pm
by dave_shelby
There are some coops that can process and market grass fed. The largest one I know of is Organic Valley. What I do not know of is what areas are close to their processing plants.

Virginia is great, its just that land is pricey and I havent found any reasonable priced dairy farm. There is one for sale in Maryland, but its Maryland, great market but the state government is dominated by three urban counties.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:39 pm
by dun
I don;t know about the rest of MO but the Ozarks has lost and is in the process of losing most of the dairys.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:47 pm
by skyhightree1
dave_shelby wrote:There are some coops that can process and market grass fed. The largest one I know of is Organic Valley. What I do not know of is what areas are close to their processing plants.

Virginia is great, its just that land is pricey and I havent found any reasonable priced dairy farm. There is one for sale in Maryland, but its Maryland, great market but the state government is dominated by three urban counties.


Do you think this price is way off base? I found this the other day and thought it was reasonable for what it is and has on it. Also it would maybe help you if you didn't skip over your location maybe someone on here from VA near where you are could help you out with what you are looking for.

http://www.napierera.com/listings/detai ... =80259988&

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:49 pm
by HDRider
Have you considered the legalities of selling raw milk?

State by state map of milk sale laws.
http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw_milk_map.htm

http://www.unitedcountry.com/search06/S ... &AU=N&FT=P
OZARKS SMALL SCALE DAIRY FARM. 46-ACRES. $89,000. This property is set up for a small dairy or cattle farm. Includes a dairy barn, 18x36 pole shed, 14x20 shop, pond, creek, drilled well and approximately 15 acres of pasture. 16x80 Mobile home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. County road frontage, fruit trees, only minutes to Lake Norfork. This would make a great hobby farm or place to relax and enjoy the Ozarks living. Priced to sell. $89,000.


http://www.landsofamerica.com/landsconn ... rtyDetails
Acres: 110 Price: $258,500.00
Type: Acreage County: Greene
Address: Nearest City: Paragould
State: Arkansas Zip: 72450

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:34 pm
by Stocker Steve
dun wrote:I don't know about the rest of MO, but the Ozarks has lost and is in the process of losing most of the dairies.


What happened ? I thought the New Zealand dairy guys were buying up cheap land with lots of rain and short winters to set up grass based dairies?

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:48 pm
by dave_shelby
skyhigh, the price is skyhigh. It appears reasonable but is over my price limit. I havent looked at the eastern side of the state. Im in Madison. I have looked at the NRV, Franklin and Bedford.

Is this what you are talking about - http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g3052 MO Ozarks has some good looking farms for sale. Good grass and temperate. Whats driving people out, I could see a decade ago, but milk prices are good now?

No I have not considered raw milk. What makes that more profitable? I am going to look at the links your provided.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:32 pm
by dun
Stocker Steve wrote:
dun wrote:I don't know about the rest of MO, but the Ozarks has lost and is in the process of losing most of the dairies.


What happened ? I thought the New Zealand dairy guys were buying up cheap land with lots of rain and short winters to set up grass based dairies?

No money in dairying. Most of the guys that are still doing it are tickled pink because they;re finally getting caught up on the last 5 years of being behind on their bills.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:53 pm
by skyhightree1
dave_shelby wrote:skyhigh, the price is skyhigh. It appears reasonable but is over my price limit. I havent looked at the eastern side of the state. Im in Madison. I have looked at the NRV, Franklin and Bedford.

Is this what you are talking about - http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g3052 MO Ozarks has some good looking farms for sale. Good grass and temperate. Whats driving people out, I could see a decade ago, but milk prices are good now?

No I have not considered raw milk. What makes that more profitable? I am going to look at the links your provided.


I grew up in Floyd County which had a ton of dairy farms there. The land is pretty reasonable.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:18 pm
by J&D Cattle
Saw a bunch of dairies out West along the Oregon coast. No clue of real estate prices out there though. I will agree with Dun about MO. I know of several dairies that have shut down or sold down around here. Many were able to stick it out and are making money but the last few years have been tough.

Good luck with where ever you end up!

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:26 pm
by dave_shelby
I've talked with both extension folks and a couple of dairy folks who are grazing in Maryland. And that's with expensive land. They claim to be able to make profits. Then again most are Mennonite so they know how to live cheap and get cheap labor. And one built an ice cream shop on the farm. I haven't found an extension agent or farmer in Virginia advocates grazing dairy.

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:17 pm
by GMN
dave_shelby wrote:I've talked with both extension folks and a couple of dairy folks who are grazing in Maryland. And that's with expensive land. They claim to be able to make profits. Then again most are Mennonite so they know how to live cheap and get cheap labor. And one built an ice cream shop on the farm. I haven't found an extension agent or farmer in Virginia advocates grazing dairy.


Just curious do you have any experience in running a dairy and milking cows-you do know that its a 7 day a week job-365 days a year? Its not as easy as you think to just buy some land and set up a barn to milk in-WI farm land is probably some of the highest land out there, not to mention taxes-if u are looking for good soil the northern states have that, but its costly to live in these places and winter is another factor-you aren't going to get rich milking cows-because everything is very expensive that goes into it.Like someone said right now we are all happy to be just getting caught up and paying some debt off that we all incurred from the past 5 years of low milk prices, high feed costs, and drought-
I sometimes wonder if I could go back in time if i would have ever started this dairy farm, because the financial stress has been high, its a good way of life but it has not been without some stress-and it shard work-working 7 days a week, with no time off but very seldom, never knowing what milk prices will be-you simply can not dairy without a second income anymore-I know 2 guys who do it, but they have been in the business for 40 years-no debts-no mortgage-and they are the 2 best dairy farmers that i know-but they have it down to an art-and have the cash flow to support it-starting out is very expensive-just saying think long and hard before you jump in

Re: best place to buy dairy farm

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:35 pm
by Servy316
I don't know of any farms for you to buy but I can tell you some about organic valley co-op and going organic. Out in Wisconsin (I'm from the La Farge area) not many people are having luck with grass fed, cows are getting skinny and weak and have evolved to rely on corn in their diet I do not suggest you do grass fed because it is a risk not worth taking. I will tell you this though Organic is a good choice and good investment our farm has been organic for 7 years and we have never been doing better, you will of course get a higher price for your milk but know a few of these thongs before going into it.

1) cows must graze 180 days a year

2) no hormones or pesticides or nothing,

3) you have cultivate your corn more and can't spray it, there is a fee for that

4) calves will not grow as fast as conventional calves because they will not be given all the extra nutrients that are in starter and replacer.

Overall it is a great business that is getting bigger all the time, Organic Valley is a great Co-op to be part of. One final piece of advice, if you do decide to go organic for any co-op you choose, I suggest choosing to buy a farm that is already organic so that you don't have to what a few years for the coverting time.