Milk Program 

Q: Can I sell raw milk?

Answer: Yes.  The Arkansas Legislature passed Act 816 of 1995, which allows the sale of up to 500 gallons of raw milk to be sold in a month.  This is provided that the customer comes to the farm.  Raw milk cannot be sold in a store or off the farm.

Act 1209 of 2014

Q: What do I have to do to start a dairy operation?

Answer: You would need to contact the Arkansas Milk Program. Your Milk Specialist will inspect the barn if it is an existing building.  Your Milk Specialist will tell you what it needs to meet the Grade “A” Specifications and provide you with a copy of the specifications.  You should also contact the local Natural Conversation Resources Services (NCRS) (formerly the Soil Conversation Service).  The NCRS will help you develop an animal waste disposal plan.  They will work with you to get any permits from the Pollution Control and Ecology (P C & E) that you may need.

Q: What makes milk sour or go bad?

Answer: Heat.  Milk must be kept cool – 40 degrees (40o) or less.  Milk will grow bacteria and sour if it is allowed to get hot as in the back seat of a car.  Milk must also be kept clean and covered in the refrigerator.

Q: My laboratory report had a reading of 800,000 per milliliter for Somatic Cell Count.  What does this mean?

Answer: Your cows probably have mastitis.  Mastitis is a disease of the udder in cows.  Since it is a disease, you should have a veterinarian check your herd and milking operation.

Somatic Cells are cells in the milk found by counting the Somatic Cells in a milliliter of milk.  Somatic cells are leukocytes or white blood cells and other cells.  It is usually caused by the disease mastitis.

You may prevent mastitis by:

  • Fencing all ponds and not letting the cows stand in water over the cows’ teats.
  • Checking each quarter of your cows’ udder every month with an approved cowside mastitis test (paddle test).  This test should identify any sick cows.
  • You should contact your veterinarian about treating all positive reacting cows.  Your veterinarian will be able to identify the cause of the mastitis and prescribe the proper treatment.
  • You have your milking equipment tested for proper vacuum and leak and make all necessary repairs.

Rules and Regulations