Dairy Products


Only about one-third of the U.S. milk supply is actually processed into milk and cream products; the remaining two-thirds of the milk supply is used to manufacture a wide range of dairy products. Sales of these dairy products, such as butter, ice cream and yogurt, account for tens of billions of dollars annually in the United States. Producers can capture a part of that billion-dollar market by processing and selling their own line of value-added dairy products manufactured on their farms.  March 2013 ... Dairy Products



  • Butter Basics - This page contains background information on butter production, composition and standards.
  • Dairy Management Inc. - This site contains dairy product, ingredient and nutrition information.
  • Dairy Product Manufacturing Procedures, Methods, Recipes, Cheese Reporter - This page lists technical references available for purchase on cheese, ice cream, yogurt and related dairy products through the Cheese Reporter.
  • Dairy Short Courses & Symposiums, Dairy Products Technology Center, California Polytechnic State University - A variety of short courses ranging from frozen dairy desserts to farmstead cheesemaking are offered throughout the year. For course listings, select the Outreach & Continuing Education button. 
  • Fankhauser’s Cheese Page, University of Cincinnati Clermont College - Biology and chemistry professor David Fankhauser offers an online cheesemaking lesson.
  • Fermenting Yogurt at Home, National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia. 
  • General Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service, AMS, USDA, 2002.
  • Ice Cream, University of Guelph - This Web site offers information on ice cream formulations, ingredients and shelf life.
  • The Ice Cream Short Course, Penn State University - This seven-day university short course, the oldest of its kind, covers everything from ingredients to equipment and freezing.
  • National Ice Cream Retailers Association - This association serves retailers in the ice cream, yogurt and frozen dessert business. Members receive monthly information on business related topics such as industry trends, labeling information and tax tips.
  • Quality Standards – Dairy Products, AMS, USDA. 
  • Smalldairy.com - Small Dairy provides information resources regarding on-farm and artisan processing to assist those interested in dairy processing.
  • Value-Added Dairy Options, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), NCAT, 2001 - This document contains questions dairy producers need to consider before getting involved in on-farm processing and marketing.
  • Whey, Once a Marginal Byproduct, Amber Waves, ERS, USDA, 2008.
  • Whey to Ethanol, Rural Cooperatives magazine, USDA, 2008 - This article considers if surplus lactose could be fermented to produce ethanol. Two industrial-scale, whey-ethanol plants in the United States currently produce 8 million gallons of fuel ethanol a year.
  • Yogurt, University of Guelph - This Web site offers information on yogurt formulations and ingredients.
  • Yogurt Making Illustrated, University of Cincinnati Clermont College - Biology and chemistry professor David Frankhauser offers a yogurt-making lesson online.


  • The Small Dairy Resource Book, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, USDA, 2010 - Information sources for farmstead producers and processors.

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Brown Cow Farm, Antioch, California - Based in northern California, this farm offers a variety of natural yogurts mixed in small batches that come in cream top, low fat or nonfat. They do not contain artificial ingredients. In 2003, the company joined the East Coast-based Stonyfield Farm.
  • From Conventional Dairy to Certified Organic, Grass-Based Creamery: Cedar Summit Farm, Rodale Institute, 2004 - This dairy farm in New Prague, Minnesota, produces organic milk, cream, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream.
  • Kilby Cream, Rising Sun, Maryland - The Kilby family turned a commitment to dairying, community and quality into a delicious value-added business. Kilby Cream opened for business in 2005 on a Kilby farm; their focus is premium ice cream.
  • Neighborly Farms, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Iowa State University - In the hills of Randolph Center, Vermont, Neighborly Farms has established an organic dairy and cheese-processing facility on the farm. Through one side of the viewing room, visitors can watch the 48 black and white Holsteins cows being milked or turn to the other side of the room and see cheese being made.
  • Shooting Star, Rodale Institute, 2004 - David and Edie Griffiths of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, reflect on nearly two decades in the yogurt business.

Links checked July  2013.