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What is a herd share?

Herd Shares

For the first time, we are going to open up a herd share for raw milk. For a select few this means our ‘Little Farm Store’ will be open to them, and they can visit the farm weekly to pick up their raw milk. Unfortunately, in Kentucky, the sale of raw milk is illegal. It’s this way in many states in fact, only 8 out of 50 states allow this transaction including California, Maine, Utah, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Washington.

Why is the sale of raw milk illegal?

Well… I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that, but let’s just say our family’s philosophy is that healthy people don’t line the pockets of politicians, big pharma, or big AG. I will also say this, the fact that I cannot buy raw, unprocessed milk for my family, but I can go purchase a liter of alcohol and be prescribed a myriad of medications which disable driving abilities and come with a long list of side effects is absolutely ridiculous, but I digress.

So how can you legally buy raw milk? There are two ways:

  • For pet consumption only
  • Being a member of a herd share

I can legally place delicious, nutritious, whole milk in the cooler for sale so long as I label that it is only for your pets to consume. Now that is an expensive treat, with the average price of one gallon of cow’s milk going anywhere from $10 to $20, and goats milk starting at $14 per gallon, but what you do with it once you get home it is up to you.

The other way is a herd share. Similar to a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, you as a customer actually ‘buy in’ to the farm by owning a part of the livestock, and so can freely consume any product produced by your own goat or cow. Traditionally, that looks like a small, upfront, non-refundable buy in, and then weekly or monthly payments thereafter.

You are paying for the care and maintenance of that animal, supporting in the costs of the labor involved in daily milkings, equipment, grain and hay, any medications they might need, milk jars etc. Even the simplest of operations have quite a lot of cost involved in caring for a dairy animal.

Because you a part owner of the animal, you have the rights to its milk, and can come weekly to pickup fresh, raw milk for you and your family.

Why raw milk?

Well first its important to know that those that are dairy sensitive, and even lactose intolerant, can normally not only drink raw milk, but also reduce the inflammation in their gut lining. They aren’t actually lactose intolerant, their bodies are sensitive to the stripped and pasteurized nature of milk that has gone through radiation treatment. Real milk, raw milk, has bio-available nutrients your body doesn’t have access to with store bought milk. Even whole milk from the store is only 3.25% milk fat. That’s what those percentages mean… 1% means you are paying for mostly water in that gallon with only 1% of milk fat in it.

Raw milk is never pasteurized, homogenized, or altered in any way. Pasteurization, or heating, kills the probiotics that would normally be available. None homogenized means the milk naturally separates, with that delicious cream rising to the top of your jars.

Raw milk has more bio-available probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial bacteria, making it easier to digest. It’s very similar to the way gluten sensitive people can not only tolerate, but enjoy homemade sourdough. Active, living food is what our bodies are meant to consume and have been doing so for 400,000 years. Pasteurization sterilizes a product, and was only utilized beginning in 1882.

Heard Share Raw Milk Benefits

I can see myself spinning off on the topics of agriculture and that’s easy for me to do because of decades of research and an AG teaching degree, but this is about herd shares after all so I will step off my soap box for now.

I would encourage you to seek out a local farmer who sells milk shares and test it for yourself. You will taste the difference.

I spent 18 years without milk. I thought that my irritable bowel syndrome would prevent me from ever consuming it again, so I only drank almond, soy, rice milks etc. When I discovered raw milk, it changed everything for our home. Even my very picky husband likes it. We enjoy it so much, that I wanted direct and unabridged access to it, which led us to owning a milk cow and goats.

Come spring we will be flush with milk! We have two first time fresheners (new Mommas who give the most milk). We will have milk from our A2A2 cow Arabelle, and milk from our two Alpine does, Fran and Frida. We will be opening up just a few spots for our herd share and newsletter subscribers will be the first to know so be sure to sign up! We are looking forward to opening up our farm to those unique customers who truly value the old, simple ways of doing things and food straight from the source.

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