Another dumb question: Can you sell cheese?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by WolfSoul, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    Ok, everybody answered me so well on the selling of milk question and maybe somebody already asked this question (if they did, I apologize already,) but ... can you sell goat cheese or do you have to have a Grade A dairy? I thought since the cheese was heated the rules would be different, but I don't know. Anybody know?

    Karen and Kids
     
  2. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    391
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    The short answer is no, you can't legally sell cheese you make at home to the public. The regulations governing commercial cheesemaking vary widely from state to state, but almost all require significant financial investment in equipment and buildings (milk house, parlor, cheesemaking room or commercial kitchen, pasteurizer or aging room for 60 days). Thousands of dollars of investment.

    And FYI, cheese is never heated to pasteurization temps during its production. It needs to stay quite close to body heat temperatures, or it doesn't work.

    The milk used to make cheese can be heated to pasteurization temps before hand (and in many cases must), but it has to be processed in an approved commercial pasteurizing unit with recording thermometers, and those are expensive.

    Or it can be made with raw milk, and aged for 60 days. That length of time precludes the fresh, soft cheese folks normally make with goats milk (it won't keep that long because of the moisture content), and ties up your investment for a significant while. It also requires considerable skill to age cheese successfully.

    Sorry, no easy answers...
     

  3. geminigoats

    geminigoats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Maine
    Each state is different on their rspective specific laws, so check with realmilk.com to see what, or even if your state's laws are listed. Then call the state ag dept and ask for the dairy dept, get the information. It more than likely will mean going Grade A, however, that doesn't mean having to spend a fortune. I know folks who have set up a reasonable cheesemaking operation for not a lot of money.

    Bernice
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,817
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    No matter what you try to do on your farm, or sometimes in your life, there will be those who say this can't be done, that can't be done etc. Never listen to anybody, always look up those rules and information for yourself. How do the guys who sell taco's in their trailers at fleamarkets sell food? Do the feds come up to them and ask to see where they purchased their cheese in the taco's from? No...so how would a law be enforced to ask you where you got the cheese you are selling from? A seperate kitchen, why not use a catering truck or trailer setup? The liscensing is not what keeps you from doing things, it's not thinking outside the box.

    Dogs eat cheese, I feed mine homemade cottage cheese, the exact recipe I use to make feta, to my females who are pregnant or nursing. Find our in your state, on realmilk.com if selling for animal consumption is something you can do. It doesn't have to ONLY include milk sales. Teach cheese classes, sell the products, the molds the cultures the recipes. There is always ways around anything, if it is your passion.

    Way to many folks talk about things they have never done.

    You have to be diversified, will you make a profit selling cheese small scale, no, but add the cheese to.............. colostrum, milk, meat, breeding stock, soap, lotion, herbs and veggies from the garden, eggs...to your cheese sales, and you have a nice little profitable buisness, one that runs for 10 months out of the year and gives you 2 months off. Or you can milk year round, freshening in December and June, I need the break. Is it enough money for the mall shopping, fake fingernail, new car every 5 years kind of gal? Hell no, but for us homesteading types who wear jeans, who drive trucks, and whose Christmas gifts include milking machine parts, semen tanks and cement :) ( my list last year) it's a nice living. And if you are stupid enough to make a profit on your schedule F, well than just forget what I have said :) Vicki
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    I agree somewhat with Vicki... that you "can" sell cheese without doing it to the letter of the law, but, at least up here, you would not be allowed to bring your cheese to a farmer's market, or sell it through a retail store, without having that state certificate. And if you decided to do it anyway, I guarantee you'd find yourself with a health inspector on your doorstep and a wicked fine to boot. Some things are taken very seriously.

    That said, friends of mine sell their sheep's milk cheeses "privately." You're allowed to sell from your back door and by word of mouth any number of farm products you are not allowed to sell to the public. Raw cow's milk is probably the most common example. You're allowed to sell a certain volume of raw milk to a private clientelle without a license. Ditto cheese (the usual disclaimer: check with your state).

    My friends host a harvest festival in the fall and, along with the lamb (which is butchered at a USDA inspected plant so they can sell that retail) they offer samples of their cheese. People who fall in love with it are told frankly that they're not set up to sell to the public, but if they want to drop by the farm...

    It works for them.
     
  6. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    391
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    I was just thinking the very same thing.
     
  7. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    I just read this. This was a hoot! No way am I a fake fingernail girl. I'm right with ya on the jean-wearing, no makeup, driving truck kinda woman thing. Loved this answer! Thanks. karen

    Is it enough money for the mall shopping, fake fingernail, new car every 5 years kind of gal? Hell no, but for us homesteading types who wear jeans, who drive trucks, and whose Christmas gifts include milking machine parts, semen tanks and cement :) ( my list last year) it's a nice living. And if you are stupid enough to make a profit on your schedule F, well than just forget what I have said :) Vicki[/QUOTE]
     
  8. DWFarms

    DWFarms Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My friend in NC is starting a Grade B Dairy. It is for cheese making. She also has soaps and shampoos and body bath. It is alot of work with the monthly testing and red tape but It is something she wants to do.

    Just like it was said in a earlier post. All states are different. Some places allows it some doesn't. But, thats according to how far you wanna go. Under or With the law.
     
  9. mailman

    mailman Miniature Cattle

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    Upstate Vermont
    Bravo, Vickie!, Nice to see someone out there that doesen't take no for an answer without exploring ALL possibilities. I wish I could meet you someday I am sure we could be friends.....Dennis (Upstate Vermont)

     
  10. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,817
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    Thanks Dennis! What a nice thing to say. Vicki
     
  11. devittjl

    devittjl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    I have heard of people selling shares (investment) in their goat herd. These people then legally own part of the herd. So when they get their milk or cheese they are not purchasing it but just receiving a "dividend" from their shares!!
     
  12. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    It depends on what state you are in. Some states allow you to sell so much raw milk, off the farm. Michigan, where I live, doesn't allow you to sell nothing.