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When producers decide to make a change to their dairy facility, they sometimes view the proposed change as an isolated project in relation to the rest of the dairy operation. A more prudent approach would be to consider each facility change as an integrated component of your future dairy operation and not just as a band-aid for the existing one. 

For each change to be a viable integrated component, a vision of the future dairy facility should be in mind. A facility master plan is a plan that uses drawings and written documentation to articulate the vision of the future facility. A master plan will show the location of all existing and proposed buildings for the site. It will also show both existing and future major infrastructure items like utilities, roads, walkways, etc. Topography needs to be included so that proper drainage of surface runoff and piped waste can be ensured. Existing and proposed topography also allows for easy calculation of cut/fill volumes as needed. 

A crucial step in developing a facility master plan is to decide how big of an operation should be planned. This question must ultimately be answered by the producer after much thought and consultation with farm advisors.