Are you interested in starting a dairy farming business? Do you want to venture into livestock farming? Are you a retiree and you are looking for the best business to start with your retirement funds? Then i advice you read on.
You don’t necessarily need to have love for animals especially cows before recognizing their money-making capabilities. Most people are aware of the business of rearing cows for meat but they tend to forget that you can begin a dairy farm business.
In this case, you will be breeding cows for their milk and make quite a lot of money from milking cows and selling them off to big dairy companies, or even sell the product off as your own products if you can afford to buy the processing equipment. If you are interested in learning the pros and cons of how to go about starting a successful dairy farm business, then read on.
How to Start a Dairy Farming Business – Sample Business Plan Template
1. You need experience in this business
Bear in mind that you will be dealing cows in this business and it is quite risky as the cows can get aggressive without warning. So you need to be experienced in handling cows and understanding their mood. In order to acquire such knowledge and experience in the business, it is advisable that you work for a dairy farmer before you consider starting your own farm.
Many dairy farmers were brought up on dairy farming while some others inherited it from their parents and branched out on their own. If you were not born into it but rather you just want to give the business a trial, you will need to get your hands dirty and work on a farm before starting yours.
This is because the only way you will know if you truly enjoy dairy farming is from personally engaging yourself in it and secondly, the experience you gain while working as an employee in a dairy farm will help you in building your own business.
2. Start with the best breeds
To start on a positive note, you should begin with 45 to 50 of the best cow breeds you can purchase. You can also reduce debt by renting land and buying used equipment; you can think of upgrading your business technology later. Never begin with poor producing cows because if you begin with poor-producing cows, you will always be struggling to rebuild your herd and you might never be able to catch up.
3. Keep cost as low as possible
As a beginner, you have to try your possible best to keep cost at its lowest minimum. For example, you can make use of family labor. Talk to the people around you to help you work the farm, if you can. This is because the fewer people on the payroll at first, the better. Try and keep costs as low as possible.
4. Connect with other dairy farmers
Of course you know that you are not the only dairy farming business owner in the area. If you are, then you have to go it all alone. but if you are not, then you have to connect with other farmers. Locate other dairy farmer with whom you can swap tips, share ideas, share equipment and grazing pastures.
5. Acquire more knowledge about dairy farming and the industry at large
In business, knowledge is power and the application of knowledge is tremendous power. As a dairy farming entrepreneur, your cup must never be full. You must continually keep learning how to improve your business efficiency, technological improvements and industry development.
You can also consider acquiring a little formal education on the business. Look for a university with agriculture department because most universities with agriculture departments have dairy specialists on their faculties. You can learn a lot from their research works.
11 Challenges of Starting a Dairy Farming Business
- It is capital intensive
- It is labor or management intensive
- Outbreak of diseases
- You need intensive and extensive knowledge of the business
- The problem of quality of the milk produced
- It is difficult to start a dairy business in an urban area or city because of the high cost of land.
- The maturity period for the cows to start producing milk takes time thus leading to tight profit margin
- Marketing your milk or diary products is quite a challenge because your products are likely produced in the rural areas and the dairy processing companies are located in the urban areas.
- Maintaining high production efficiency
- Difficulty in increasing scale of operation
- Weather or climatic conditions