New “Getting Started in Dairy Farming” Guide Now Available at No Cost

The 11-Step Guide Provides Information and Resources for Getting Started in Dairy Farming

The Center for Dairy Excellence recently published a new, 11-step guide to getting started as a dairy farmer. The guide was created to help young professionals who want to find a meaningful career as a dairy producer learn the initial first steps to getting started. The guide also includes an in-depth list of industry resources to help individuals learn how to develop profitable, sustainable business models.

“Individuals who are considering getting started in dairy production often have a few questions: What kind of initial investment do I need? Will I get a return on that investment? Will I enjoy working long hours with relatively few days off? We created this 11-step guide to help you answer these questions and more,” said Emily Barge, Communications and Marketing Manager at the Center. “No matter what your path might look like — whether your family is helping you get your start or you are beginning from scratch — this guide provides 11 starting points and links to industry resources that should help you eventually own and manage your own herd of dairy cows.”

The resource includes the following sections with links to additional dairy industry resources, including videos, spreadsheets, templates, mentoring groups and more.

  • Step One: Get Some Experience
  • Step Two: Find a Mentor
  • Step Three: Create a Business Plan
  • Step Four: Make Sure You Have a Milk Market
  • Step Five: Form an Advisory Team
  • Step Six: Find a Facility
  • Step Seven: Secure Financing
  • Step Eight: Find Cows to Purchase
  • Step Nine: Establish a Records System and Risk Management Plan
  • Step Ten: Get Things in Place
  • Step Eleven: Take Delivery and Start Your New Career

Visit to access the guide and share with someone you know. The resource is available at no cost, and it is available digitally or as a downloadable file. A printed version of the guide can also be mailed to you by calling 717-346-0849.

The Center also has a “Dairy Job Opportunities” tool for dairy producers who have employment opportunities they are looking to fill on their operations and young professionals who are looking for work. The online resource allows dairy producers to submit their job openings to be shared with the Center for Dairy Excellence’s networks and digital channels. To submit an employment opportunity currently available on your dairy operation, visit

For more information about these resources, contact Emily Barge at ebarge@centerfordairyexcellence.orgor call 717-346-0849.