Sanitation for Farmstead Dairies

February 16-March 27, 2015 (Online)


Treatment of food-borne illness is no longer a realistic option. Today, prevention is the preferred method for maintaining human health. This priority is met by the creation of a sanitation program ensuring the continuance of good health. Manual cleaning and sanitation used by farmstead operations creates unique challenges that may be met through a proper understanding of the science of sanitation. Sanitation in large facilities also presents challenges: more employees are involved with the day-to-day operations, so that accountability becomes a key factor.

Course Description

Sanitation for Farmstead Dairies is a six-week online course designed to help participants understand and apply proper sanitation techniques in food processing establishments. You will receive the technical material needed to make informed decisions about your processing facility. In addition, this Web-based interactive program aims to strengthen the Wisconsin Dairy Artisan Network, allowing you to serve as a resource for others in the industry. There is true value in sharing new ideas and methods that lead to new products and improvements in the quality of current products. As a small producer, you are less capable of surviving the kinds of lawsuits that can result from an outbreak of food-borne illness associated with your product. In addition, the negative publicity of such an incident would bring harm to the entire artisan industry just as it is emerging as a significant segment of the dairy industry.

During the time you spend working with this class, you will develop a comprehensive Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures paper, commonly known as an SSOP. SSOPs enhance Good Manufacturing Programs, and both are considered prerequisites for a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) System. When sanitation programs are in place, HACCP can be more effective because it can concentrate on the hazards associated with the food or processing and not on the processing plant environment.

After completing this course, participants should:

  • Be able to define technical terms and explain their relationship to sanitation.
  • Find and interpret pertinent literature regarding sanitation.
  • Critique situations and make suggested corrections. Design an SSOP for their processing establishment.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is an enthusiastic supporter of the artisan industry. They have generously provided the funds needed to develop this course. Without their continued support, the educational format for small producers would be severely diminished.


Advanced registration is required. The fee for this course is $400.  Registration Formdocument 

A certificate of completion will be issued.

Course Details

The course will consist of six weeks. Assignments vary from lesson to lesson, to include discussion board questions and assignments based on the readings. These assignments will be used to complete the sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP).

Our online classes cover the same information as the face to face versions. One big difference is that the online class is self-paced over an extended period of time (6 weeks). Each lesson and activity is designed to take an average of 10-20 minutes. You may take lessons, submit activities and ask questions anytime between the class dates.

You will need an Internet connection, a web browser, and an e-mail address. On the first day of a class, class members will receive, via e-mail, a web address (URL) for the class, a username and a password to access the class materials. You must be 18 years of age to enroll.

Contact Us

Animal and Food Science
242 Food Science Addition
590 S. Spruce Street
River Falls, WI 54022