Cow shares

Waddy, KY

I've been toying with this idea for a while now for when I retire. The place we bought a few years ago still has the bulk tank and all the pipeline equipment and milkers in a 24 stanchion barn. I don't think I'd want to get over 10-15 head which the physical plant would handle. We'd have to buy feed and some better hay as I don't have enough ground for corn or enough alfalfa to keep them happy and get the production that I'd expect from them.

We're pretty much right in the middle of a triangle between Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati. I'm already involved in the Farmer's Markets in Lexington and Frankfort. I've heard that people are interested in unpasturized milk and this is a way to get people involved in their food. Anybody here doing this?

Janet

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Janet, look into Kentucky's laws on raw milk sales. In NYS, even if someone owns a cow that is milked in our barn, we cannot legally give them raw milk. You can get a license to sell raw milk here, but the permits and fines (which always happen, as the state is dead set against the sale of raw milk) are prohibitively high. And there's that being tied to the wrong end of the cow for ever.

Richmond, TX

Our laws regarding the sale of raw milk are also very strict.

Waddy, KY

It's illegal in KY also to sell raw milk. In this instance you're not selling the milk. People buy an interest in the cow. Then they pay a fee per week /month for the upkeep of their interest in the cow. They're guarateed at least one gallon of milk per week from their share depending upon the arrangements. Basically they're paying you to be the custodian of their animal providing it feed, health care, housing and doing the milking.

There's already a few people in KY doing this. I haven't talked to them yet but I will before I take on something like this.

Janet

Richmond, TX

Clever. I wonder whether that arrangement would fly around here?

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Yeah, that's illegal in NY, too. There was a big case earlier this year and I lost track of it, but the farmers were losing.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Earlier in the summer, people got sick from raw milk from a dairy north of here. I don't know the details, but it's not going well for the farmer. Fines, lawsuits & lose of income. Milk he can not get rid of now. A real mess!
Minnesota made raw milk sales illegal back in the 1950's.

Richmond, TX

Time magazine just had an article about the legal aspects of selling raw milk.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Wisconsin is screaming about it too. No matter how you do it, somebody will either "get sick" or blow the whistle on you and it will cost mucho shekels for a lawyer. Probably best to not even pursue it.

Totally agree with you on the being tied down. You will NEVER get away. Your life as you know it now will be over. Unless you have better luck getting someone to milk the beasts for you than what we had. That is why the Spousal Unit and I are seriously considering doing some relief milking and chores for extra money. We could make at least $100.00/day. Our Farm Credit guy said "you'd have more work than you could do once word got out".

Waddy, KY

Actually I'm not sure that my life would change much having a bunch of milk cows around. We don't go anywhere as it is and don't see it in the future.

I milked cows from the time I was big enough to carry the bucket milker around til I got married at 21. I can actually say I loved my cows and enjoyed milking. We were milking 120 at the time and truthfully I'd go back to it right now if I could. Yes, I am touched in the head I guess...

This won't even begin to happen for a few years until I can retire from my job. I'm sure I don't want to be milking and trying to get to a job that starts at 8 o'clock. And by the time I retire I could totally change my mind or there could be some sort of other problem that could change my mind for me.

Davenport, WA

i live in washington state,it is not a smart thing to try the cow share thing.hardly anywhere here 2-3 yrs ago a nice family farm had been doing it undected for a while they had people coming from the big city to get it,then i forget,but their was 8-12 people who was in the hosipital nearly died.they came in shut them down,of course lawsuits.it is againest the law to have cow shares,there is a site,cant remember the name but i would sure check with your state laws,i know its almost everywhere,they also 2-4 yrs ago shut a farmer down in northern calif,because he had a lot of custermers,in oregon,the feds got him for interstate tranportaion.believe me its not worth it.i could go on and on.yes ive owned cows,milked and use to give it to friends,i wouldnt give any of it to a friend anymore.i am getting my lincense to make,sell jams,jelly,you wouldnt believe the hoops just to do this.and heres another one i almost fell in the floor laughing,i raise heeler dogs so i make dog biscuits,cookies,well guess what?i have to be licenend to make and sell them at a farmers market,plus they have to be made in a commerical kitchen just like my jams,jellys!

Winston-Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

The laws are certainly stacked against all the small farmers out there. It's a bit insane really.

Here is a great site to keep us all informed on the latest laws about food. http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

I live in Washington state and purchase raw milk from a health food store. So far this is still legal here. This is a subject close to my heart. I really believe in the value of raw milk. I would sure like to know the details about people getting sick. I know it can happen. I would like to read what the farms involved have to say. Negative press on this matter doesn't surprise me at all. When I ask a farmer about his milk, I want to know whether the animals are grass fed and then I ask how the grass is fed.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

The farmer in MN that was selling raw milk has so many law suits against him he will lose everything. Another batch of people got sick about 6 weeks ago. That's when they shut him down completely. I don't know what happened to his cows, because no milk plant would take his milk either.

It would be a cold day in h*** when I drink raw milk. I don't like being real sick! I had enough of that when I had H1N1 last year.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Since we sold our cows I don't drink milk...........I dispise the taste of pasturized/homogonized/"killed" milk. I do eat cheese and cottage cheese and yogurt, so I am getting my dairy.

Richmond, TX

I grew up on raw milk and I am about the healthiest person I know. Everyone with farmland had a cow and drank raw milk back then. Unless something odd has happened to cows recently, I suspect a lot of the illness blamed on their milk is actually of other origin.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

People of today are being sanitized into oblivion.......nobody can stand anything. Farm kids are probably the healthiest around. Hate to think how much dirt our boys consumed growing up. LOL

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Porkpal that is exactly what I was intimating in my post. I don't believe it's possible to get balanced information. Raw milk is subject to a campaign to stamp it out. Industrialized farms cannot provide safe raw milk and it doesn't serve their purposes to have the public believe raw milk is better for them. That's a mighty powerful lobby.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Well, someone that "thinks" they know all about it said that supposedly raw milk has enzymes that aid digestion. I don't know..........

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Raw milk is a divisive subject in any group of people. Those of us who believe it's good for us have researched it. We've read multiple sources of information. Generally I think we come from the point of view that the prevailing wisdom isn't necessarily true. Last night my friend said to me that eventually my raw milk was going to make me sick. It was said with conviction. I said I believe it contributes to my immunity. He said I hold some weird beliefs. Oh, well. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Which one of you is sick more???

Just askin..................

Richmond, TX

Today's lifestyle is so sterile no one has a chance to create an immune system. Everything makes them sick.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Read this & draw your own conclusions. No need to debate this issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_milk

I had an aunt that had TB, rest her soul. I don't need to go through that!

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Anna, he is very sickly with various ailments. My own experience is years of no colds or flu. I attribute his own sickliness as the source of his statement. Good question.

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Country's link has many sources listed ranging from pro to con, appropriate to a "dictionary". Some have in depth information about the components of unheated milk. And some confirm the notion that it could kill you. Very balanced.

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