I am looking to start a dairy sheep operation in Arkansas. I grew up a part of a family in the meat cattle business. I’ve always had a desire to run a dairy farm, but I’ve chosen sheep over cows or goats because of the high demand/low supply market, and a personal affinity for sheep. I'm working with the FSA to get funding, and I'm crunching numbers to figure out an exact amount to apply for. There are some questions that I am looking for answers to from an experienced individual: What minimum number of ewes should I initially purchase to be able to turn a profit, make a decent living, and pay off my loans in a timely manner? Is it more efficient to have fewer rams run with your ewes year round, or to have more rams kept separate and then introduced when you want to trigger estrus? What process does the milk go through from the sheep’s teat to the buyer? Where is a good place to look for equipment? Milkers, vats, freezers, bagging equipment, etc.? Research has told me that the most likely buyer of my milk will be a cheese maker. Is this true? What would be the best way to find that buyer? What sort of prices can I expect in the current market? Anyone that could answer these questions and more would be greatly appreciated!