Got Extra Milk: What about direct to consumer sales? Raw Milk or Processed

There are always a few questions that surface about the direct sale of milk and dairy products to consumers, with either raw milk or processed (pasteurized, etc.) Dr. Leo Timms notes the number of calls and inquiries has exponentially grown the past two months with food chain logistics of getting milk moved to appropriate markets, less exports as well as decreased service industries (restaurants and schools) but more being sold at retail stores and markets. With some plants full and milk at the farm level possibly being dumped in manure storage or field applied (regulations apply here so contact you DNR and extension people). Thoughts to direct marketing to consumers is getting attention not only to market that milk but capture more retail value. But there are MAJOR RULES and laws to this also.

Giving away or selling raw milk and dairy products is controlled by individual states. In Iowa, it is ILLEGAL to disperse (sell or give) raw milk and dairy products to anyone. There is a listing of rules and regulations by all states (  The APPROPRIATE CORRECT ANSWERS can be found by contacting your individual state Dairy Bureau director in your Department of Agriculture. For Iowa, this is David Brown and his contact information is 515-250-6371 or

So the subsequent question is can I go direct to consumers if I process the milk. If milk is to be processed and sold as dairy products, these processes and products are also regulated by each state  Dairy Bureau in their Department of Agriculture. People who want to process ( including on farm processing) must have plans submitted and approved by the state regulatory body. Then once built, all facilities, equipment, and processes must be inspected and approved and a license must be obtained to continue. Finally, those products will continually be inspected and have to meet all state and federal regulations. Again, THE KEY is to contact your individual State Dairy Bureau Division!! THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS!!!

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