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New Dairy Farm and Plant Construction Plan Tips

Dairy Farms

Remodeling or new construction of the milking, milk handling or milk storage systems on a dairy farm requires that plans be submitted to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development for review prior to commencing construction. Some of the general information required in these plans is as follows:

  • Milk lines and wash lines - size, material and location
  • Water connections and supply to wash vat/tank - protection of milk and water supply from contamination
  • Location and means of adding cleaning chemicals to vats/tanks - protection of milk and water supply
  • Water supply - isolation from contamination, safe water sample, approved construction
  • Disposal of wash water and waste - avoid contamination of surface or groundwater
  • Vacuum system - size, capacity, and protection from contamination
  • Milking equipment - approved construction
  • Diagram of work to be done - location of milk lines, vacuum lines, wash lines, receiver jar, bulk tank, plate cooler, milkhouse, restroom and parlor.

Once plans have been developed, the DY-343, Application to Install, is completed by the producer or equipment installer and sent to the local inspector or to the MDARD Lansing office.

Dairy Plants

New equipment, new construction, or remodeling of existing dairy plants requires a detailed review of plans prior to installing the equipment or commencing construction. These plans should be developed with the knowledge of the local inspector so the review is ongoing through the plan development stage.

In addition to assistance from the local inspector or MDARD dairy plant specialists, Michigan State University Extension is also a good resource. MSU's Dairy Product Specialist, Gary Smith, may be contacted via e-mail at

Along with planning for production, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy should be contacted for assistance in waste disposal planning.

Typically, MDARD will be interested in areas such as product handling and the isolation of raw milk from pasteurized product, dairy product protection from adulteration and bio-hazards, the equipment cleaning program, the production processes, the pasteurization process, restroom location, water supply and water supply protection, record keeping and product storage.