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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious if anyone on here has a dairy license in the state of Washington? If so, is it a real pain to get a license? I'm currently thinking since I like working with all my kids, oh yeah I mean goats if I can find a way to make it profitable since right now I'm unemployed. My sister is up from Florida, and she saw right off the bat how much I love doing this... I would have to get a loan most likely to get the whole 7+ acres fenced off, and to build my milking parlor and possibly a kidding building..... I'm thinking of keeping all my original stock, but to start getting registered stock... Oberhasli's come to mind, and Alpine.... Is this plan even feasible? Am I nuts? I think if I could make enough profit with milk sales, and selling kids it might work, but I'm not sure.... Any suggestions on websites where I can find specifics???? If I am completely nuts, don't hesitate to let me know that too:)
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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we are close but need to change some stuff in the barn. But for the most part here are hints that will need to be followed. Your milking parlor must be made of non porous or absorbent material. Meaning no exposed wood more or less. Concrete floor with a nice finish. Cant be attacted to where animals live so you will need a loafing area between animals and the parlor. Or at least a run. Or close enough to a gate where you can go out grab the animal and walk it to the parlor. I hear a cargo shipping container modified can work. If you milk by hand, you will need a special bucket and lid. The lid has to holes in the top of it that you need to shoot the milk into from the teats :) Milk needs to be chilled to 45 degrees right away and it will need to be filtered as well. So ya, its a pain in the ares.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We actually have a cement slab that used to be the garage that we can build up for a milking room, and right next to it can be the milking process room... There is already water down there, so I would need a hot water tank too. The barn where the animals are housed is about 30 ft or so. I would probably invest in some hand milkers until I can get a good milking machine. I could also make sure there is ice water and chests in the milking room for fast cooling, and then process next door. It does sound like a pain... but for some stupid reason all this seems worth it... Yep I'm weird:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Find out if you have to pay for inspections or any other costs like that.
So far it seems like I would have to pay $55.00 annually, and also have a certified vet test for disease, the usual as well as if I remember correctly Q-fever, tuberculosis, and and something else I can't remember... I think I read that they HAVE to be tested twice a year... So, if a certified vet has to do it and let's say I have 10-15 does, and 3 bucks, and whatever for wethers that will probably cost a pretty penny... Last time I checked with a vet, $75.00 house call and $40.00 per animal, but and that was just last spring when I was calling around... Maybe if he does it twice annually he might cut me a deal... Also, I haven't gotten as far as milk testing... I was reading up on all this stuff last night, and well I have many more pages to go...... I'm treading cautiously but it would be so cool to actually be able to do this for a living since I do love working with my kiddos:)
 

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I'm watching you
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Just move to Oregon, it's a lot cheaper.
You can't cool by ice and such. You'll have to get a bulk tank with chemical cooling.
 

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I had a friend who put one in just outside of Port Townsend, WA. She had the full operation and sold to stores like Safeway. Hers was a Grade A dairy.

She sold out when she was in her late 70s so not sure if it is still in business or not.

Maybe look on line and see if you can find out anything about a Grade A goat dairy outside of Port Townsend, WA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a friend who put one in just outside of Port Townsend, WA. She had the full operation and sold to stores like Safeway. Hers was a Grade A dairy.

She sold out when she was in her late 70s so not sure if it is still in business or not.

Maybe look on line and see if you can find out anything about a Grade A goat dairy outside of Port Townsend, WA.
I found one Whiskey Hill Goat Dairy 4 miles out of Pt. Townsend... I wonder if its the same one... Couldn't hurt to go out there and take a look at the set up.
 

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Yep, that was her address. It looks different inside the milk room but ... it has been since the early 80s since I stood inside that room.

Different time, different laws for making cheese than bulk milk. Good luck ... it is hard work and 24/7 every single day.

She had the main barn set up so she could close it up and use lights to make the does cycle so she would have kids born year around. She raised LaManchas and Nubians only.

Her health finally started to fail so she sold out and moved back to Alaska to be near her two boys.
She had a really nice herd and she worked hard to get good udders that really milked a lot and held up. She hand milked only and that also took it's toll on her hands.

She was a wonderful friend and is missed every time I walk into my barn and see my girls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep, that was her address. It looks different inside the milk room but ... it has been since the early 80s since I stood inside that room.

Different time, different laws for making cheese than bulk milk. Good luck ... it is hard work and 24/7 every single day.

She had the main barn set up so she could close it up and use lights to make the does cycle so she would have kids born year around. She raised LaManchas and Nubians only.

Her health finally started to fail so she sold out and moved back to Alaska to be near her two boys.
She had a really nice herd and she worked hard to get good udders that really milked a lot and held up. She hand milked only and that also took it's toll on her hands.

She was a wonderful friend and is missed every time I walk into my barn and see my girls.
Sounds like she was a neat lady:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I looked into it and let's just say I'm not going to pursue it. I hope WA does pass the legislation of 9 goats or less milking that you can sell your milk legally without a license. I enjoy doing it now, and it's a good hobby, but I'm not so sure I would like to do it for a living.... I have friends and family who want to buy milk from me as they had it at my house and love it... So, I will just sell to those and be happy about that...
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Is there legislature on the books now about goats milk in washington state? I sure hope so :) Although we are nearly ready to be inspected, it should be be nice to have the option to do some without all the red tape. Heck with 9 I could just about have between 25-30 gallons a day to sell :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is there legislature on the books now about goats milk in washington state? I sure hope so :) Although we are nearly ready to be inspected, it should be be nice to have the option to do some without all the red tape. Heck with 9 I could just about have between 25-30 gallons a day to sell :)
From what I read, yes, it was put in 2011 but nothing was ever said if it past or not.... I'm going to finish reading tonight..., but like you said I could have many customers buying milk with that. Oregon does I know... It's 9 milking goats or 2 cows, I think.
 

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Be very careful who you sell to. Make sure they understand that protecting the source is MOST important.

This is what happened to my friend.
She, like nearly all of us, was selling milk, eggs, butchered rabbits and raising hogs for sale. Several times the inspector had come by with gentle warnings ... he was a neighbor.
So, one day she is handing over two gallons of raw milk to a young woman with a sick baby, when who shows up but another inspector.
She was first time fined, but from then on they kept coming around and that young woman needed that milk.
So, J decided it was better to go legit than have them take the goats and fine her.
It took awhile to go legit so she was still risking it all to supply milk for that young mom.

At one point I wanted to buy her dairy but my X said no way, and I got pg and was bedridden for 5 months so ...she sold out about four years later.

It is a huge job and I have a brother in law that worked on a cow dairy for about 8 years. Once their power went out and they had to hand milk all those cows! They put in a big genny right after that. But, they called in anyone with good hands to help out that time. Even people who had never milked were asked to help. Believe me ... I was milking 24 does at the time but I about died ... my hands and arms hurt so bad!

Does WA state law still require that you put green food coloring in the milk and label it PET FOOD before you can even hand over the milk ... Under the law? That is why J had no recourse when she got caught that time ... the milk was not labeled and was NOT green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Be very careful who you sell to. Make sure they understand that protecting the source is MOST important.

This is what happened to my friend.
She, like nearly all of us, was selling milk, eggs, butchered rabbits and raising hogs for sale. Several times the inspector had come by with gentle warnings ... he was a neighbor.
So, one day she is handing over two gallons of raw milk to a young woman with a sick baby, when who shows up but another inspector.
She was first time fined, but from then on they kept coming around and that young woman needed that milk.
So, J decided it was better to go legit than have them take the goats and fine her.
It took awhile to go legit so she was still risking it all to supply milk for that young mom.

At one point I wanted to buy her dairy but my X said no way, and I got pg and was bedridden for 5 months so ...she sold out about four years later.

It is a huge job and I have a brother in law that worked on a cow dairy for about 8 years. Once their power went out and they had to hand milk all those cows! They put in a big genny right after that. But, they called in anyone with good hands to help out that time. Even people who had never milked were asked to help. Believe me ... I was milking 24 does at the time but I about died ... my hands and arms hurt so bad!

Does WA state law still require that you put green food coloring in the milk and label it PET FOOD before you can even hand over the milk ... Under the law? That is why J had no recourse when she got caught that time ... the milk was not labeled and was NOT green.
I will be careful, but if the legislation comes through that if you have 9 goats or less for milking then you don't need a license, that would totally work for me:) Yes, technically the milk has to be green...., but if it's for "soap making" who wants green soap:) I'll be careful... I have a 5 people who know the "rules" but are just wanting raw milk, so I will be able to just have it small scale...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, it might take a year or two, but I might end up getting my license after all. My cousins want to help with the buildings..., now it's just getting my mom on board:) I will probably just do a small scale..... and get a "part" time job outside the farm... Maybe I'll find Mr. Right by then that shares my love for goats and farm life:)
 
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