Dairies near urban areas can create challenges and the larger the dairy (the more cows) the greater these challenges can be. I don’t think it makes sense to build a new dairy in an urban area, but as cities expand, that growth may bring them closer to existing farms. In this case, residents and farmers need to be good neighbors. New residents should not expect a dairy to move just because they built a new house next door. The farmer has considerable investment in a location. In addition to financial barriers to relocating, a farm may have been at its current location for generations and so the farmer has strong emotional ties to the land. Neighbors of the farm must understand it is a business and traffic is a reality; this may come in the form of milk trucks, feed trucks, tractors, employees’ vehicles, etc. Dust, odors, and flies are a reality of a dairy but proper farm management can reduce these. Proper waste management is important to any well run dairy regardless of its location. With neighbor understanding and proper dairy management, I feel a small dairy could not only exist near an urban area but could also provide a positive unique culture for its residents.
– Idaho Dairy Farmer, Clint Jackson
Posted in: Ask A Farmer