Expanding Non-Traditional Dairying in Vermont: Seasonal Variation in Water Buffalo Milk Composition and Effect on Cheese Quality

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2004-33610-14458
Agency Tracking Number: 2004-00285
Amount: $76,154.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Star Hill Dairy. LLC
Bx 295; 2749-01 Church Hill Rd, South Woodstock, VT, 05071
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Muller
 (802) 457-4540
Business Contact
 David Muller
Phone: (802) 457-4540
Email: david@starhilldairy.com
Research Institution
In general, the composition of milk changes quite substantially with season, but the timing and magnitude of compositional changes can vary greatly depending on host of factors relating to environmental conditions, animal health, feed quality, management practices, etc. The extent to which seasonal changes in milk composition negatively impact cheese quality depends on the nature and magnitude of the variation in the milk supply and the type of cheese that is produced. Production efficiencies and the premium value of buffalo cheese, allow integrated milk producer/cheese processors can realize 2¿ times more revenue per buffalo than per dairy cow. Furthermore, since water buffalo can be managed in the same facilities that currently exist for dairy cows, they represent an opportunity for dairy farmers to dramatically increase revenues without making dramatic changes in their operations. At increased production levels realized through improved genetics, even a non-processing dairy would realize 1 ¿ - 2 times the revenue it currently receives from a normal dairy cow by selling buffalo milk to consolidators or processors. Water buffalo dairying represents a completely new agricultural venture for VT and the NE. The milk from water buffalo is much higher in fat and protein than cow's milk, consequently dairy products such as yogurt and cheese made from water buffalo milk are quite different from their cow's milk counterparts. Consequently, water buffalo Mozzarella cheese has the potential to become a significant value-added domestically produced niche product.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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