For dairies considering an expansion, modernization or other type of transformation, it can be overwhelming. Many times, you may have asked “Where do I start?” in regards to planning and regulatory permitting. It starts with getting answers to your questions. This page is intended to help you get started on a transformation project and find the support and resources you need to move your project forward.
For more information, please contact Melissa Anderson at 717-346-0849 or [email protected]
Step 1: Know What You Want
Any dairy transformation project needs to begin with a well-crafted plan. Leveraging the right people to help you build that plan is critical. One of two approaches may be beneficial in crafting that plan.
- Dairy Decisions Consultant: The Center for Dairy Excellence can identify a consultant for you to work with in analyzing your options and fine tuning your plan.
- Dairy Transformation Team: Another approach is to establish an “transformation” advisory team. The Center for Dairy Excellence can help you identify a facilitator and the right people to get around your table to begin creating your plan.
Step 2: Know Where To Go
Two things are critical to any transformation project: planning and permitting. Understanding the thresholds defining requirements is also important.
Planning: Any dairy farm should have a written plan on how to manage soil to reduce erosion and how and where you spread your livestock manure. All farms are regulated, but some are at higher levels than others. For managing soil, farms need either a Conservation Plan or an Agriculture Erosion and Sedimentation Plan. For livestock manure, farms need either a Manure Management Plan or Nutrient Management Plan.
Permitting: Some permitting is specific to earth-moving activities, while other permitting is related to animal density or the total number of animals on the farm. To see the thresholds defining what a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation is, click here. Act 38 Thresholds are defined in this document.
Three resources that may help with these include:
- Your Local Conservation District: Contact information for all 66 of Pennsylvania’s conservation districts can be accessed by clicking here.
- Your Cooperative Extension Office: Extension agents can offer a wealth of expertise. Most agents prefer advance notice for meetings and visits. Visit this website to find your local extension office’s contact information.
- Dairy-related Engineering Consultants: The two organizations in Pennsylvania that have specific expertise in dairy consulting, engineering and permitting are Red Barn Consulting and TeamAg. You can also access the center’s Dairy Directory for more resources.
- A Certified Nutrient Management Specialist: You’ll find a list of those available in Pennsylvania by clicking here.
For more information on this area, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or [email protected].