I have friends who want to do a goat share with my goats for milk. They have to lease because of Washington State laws. The goats will stay on my property under my care. They will come over and milk and take home what they milk out. What should I charge? I have no idea how to work this. It will basically be a CSA. Any ideas, pointers, etc?
I have no experience with this, but my first thought is this: if they are taking the milk from one goat that they are milking, they should still be responsible for all the costs of feed and care for that one goat, plus a bit for your time.
I was nice a few years ago and raised 3 pigs for friends while I raised 2 for us. I only charged their share of the feed. In hindsight, when I calculate my extra electricity to run the water pump and tank heater, the extra fuel to go buy 3 extra batches of feed (I buy 1000# at a time), and the extra gas to cook for 5 instead of just 2 (Yes, I cook feed for my pigs when it gets cold and we happened to get them late last year),not to mention my extra time, it cost ME money to raise their pigs. Only one person brought extra garden cleanings, and no one helped with chores, not once-and that was part of the deal. And I had to load them and haul all to the butcher myself too.
I realize one extra goat will not cost much more, but I just mention these things for your consideration. Someone who has never owned a particular animal does not realize the extra time and nickel/dimes involved.
I'm not getting anymore goats(says the girl who told her husband "we are only going to have 2 goats) They are just going to lease some of the girls I do have. They are going to pay half the breeding costs. For obvious reasons they are not going to be milking everyday. Probably twice a week on average. The rest of he milk is mine. The contract stuff doesn't bother me, just trying to figure out what I should charge. If you ladies were going to lease a dairy goat, what would you think is a fair price?
Well since she is yours and you have most of the milk, why not figure how much milk they will get a week on average throughout her lactation and charge by the gallon. Say she produces 1 gallon a day with 2x day milking, they will get 1 gallon a week. What is the gallon going for. I charge $9 a gallon so I would charge them $10 a week.
Not sure if it helps.
look up goat shares on google. I did this and didn't find instructions per say, but you can find ads from other farms that do that and see what the going rate is, and how you can adjust that to your costs. How much does it cost to feed, maintain each goat on your farm? How much labor do you put into the goats each day? All factors to consider.
If I understand correctly, these people want milk, but it's illegal to sell milk in your area? These are already your goats and will stay so, but the others but a "share" so they can get milk legally? If yes, I think steff has the best answer so far
Pretty sure you cannot state a per-volume price, because then you're selling milk, not a part of the herd.
Personally, I charge 25/month for a share. A share costs 15.00. If you decide to stop getting milk, you get your 15.00 back. A share consists of ONE milking per week during the first 5 months of lactation, and 2 milkings per week for the 2nd 5 months of lactation (to compensate for lowered production and to ensure we have enough milk to feed our own babies). Volume varies. We supply jars which MUST be returned or replaced for a fee. Or, you can avoid that by simply providing your own jars.
She has a "buy in" of $25 & you get 2 half gallon glass jars with plastic lids full of milk.
After that your share cost $9 a week & you get both jars filled each week. You can buy additional "shares" if you want more than a gallon per week. When your contract is up, if you don't want to renew, you bring back the jars & lids & get $16 back for returning them.
She took in a sample contract to an attorney & tweaked it to suit her needs..... I know part of it states the risk of raw milk & has a liability clause in it too (Kind of "drink at your own risk, I'm not liable if you get sick")
KrisD, you may want to double check your information on the legality of selling milk via a share program. IMNAL, but everything I have read says that as WA allows raw milk sales that they do not alow the herd share "loophole". If you sell milk for human consumption (raw or not) you have to be a licensed dairy.
About Cow Shares
Some farmers use cow shares or farm share agreements as a marketing approach to sell their cows milk. The consumer purchases a share of a cow (or goat or sheep) and in return receives a portion of the milk produced. WSDA considers this a sale.
Legal cow shares can exist in the State of Washington as long as the producer obtains proper licensing with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (milk producer and milk processing plant licenses).
Producers may not use a cow share agreement to avoid meeting state requirements.
Assuming that I am reading/interpreting this is correctly it may be worth your while to (once licensed obviously) just sell them the milk by the unit rather than mess with shares.
I don't think there is a way to "not allow" the share loophole, as long as somebody owned a whole share. There is nothing, NOTHING, stopping you from consuming a product from your own animal. If you own a whole share, you technically own a whole goat under the care of somebody else. The fees you pay are boarding, husbandry, and labor fees. Thats why they must be very specific in the contract. I spoke to a USDA agent, asking what I can do to sell milk. She sent me the packet on being Grade A and yada yada (and unless you have a 100 acre farm and lots of money to get the right setup, its impossible), but then told me that there is nothing that can legally stop you from selling shares. She wouldn't tell me how to do shares, she said I could do the research on that, but she said its possible. I know I said to google the prices and such, but instead of googling the law, go on your state website, find an email address, and actually talk to somebody.
Before I found this forum, I started looking up rabbitries and goat farms and any email address I could find got an email from me asking for some basic advice. Especially about marketing.
We're leasing the animals and they are boarding them here. That's why they are paying stud fees. Their money is for feed costs and boarding and that's what the contract will state. If they come to milk their own animals that's their business. I have read the law several times. It's about 15k to modify to meet Dept of Ag standards to license. I can sell cheese as long as it's hard cheese that's been aged.
What makes you think it will cost 15K. I got a raw milk license, the license is free. The only money we spent was on re fitting the area of the barn to be used as a milking parlor and milk room. That total was about $800.00
We also just last year got our cheese processing permit. The big $$$ were the Vat pasteurizer, which I would not have needed for aged but I still would have had to buy a large vat to accommodate 15-20 gallons at a time. The vat cost me $12,000.00 everything else was about $2000.00.
If you are aware that's great. I just wanted to put it out there as not everyone is (I have a friend who was burned by thinking they knew when they didn't).
Also, from how you describe it (direct ownership of the animals and gathering the milk themselves) it doesn't sound like what I have even seen described as a herd share so there was a terminology confusion as well.
No worries cscoggin I appreciate you pointing it out, if I hadn't read the law I would have needed someone to point it out. Also you may have helped the next person who wants to do this.
Steff: I already checked into getting licensed. I need to put a drain through a concrete floor, I need washable walls (mine are not currently washable), I need a double sink put in and plumbed (there is no plumbing there), I need a bathroom installed with another hand washing sink. Screen doors put up, a room divider, and a separate bottling area. My dad can't do the work because he had surgery so I have to hire someone. Unless I was going to run a lot of goats and sell a lot of milk it wouldn'tbe worth it.
Sorry if I was sound like a know-it-all, but I was asking all of these same questions a couple months ago, before I discovered this site.
Can I rant for just a minute here? I get so frustrated every time I read about a regulation and legislation on how farms, even the small ones have to be run. Why does the government even need to bother? The amish get away with doing this stuff all the time! Because of their religion they don't need to pass inspections and get licenses and yada yada yada. Yet if you want to sell raw milk you can't--even for pet food--all because somebody might sue you. Also, unless USDA certified, you can't sell more than I think its 500 dollars worth of rabbits in one year. Seems there is no way to be self sufficient any more, not legally. If only it were simple. You have your farm, you use what you need, you sell what you don't to help pay for the costs of the farm. Even that seems impossible nowdays with all of the legislation you have to go through. Phew. Let me just get down off my soap box now. Sorry bout that.
Shayanna, I have the same rant. I HATE all of the rules and regulations!
Most of the folks in my goat group also hate them, but there seems to be confusion on who to blame. All I hear from them is "Federal government this" and "USDA that".
I know who to blame. The Federal government isn't telling me that I can't sell raw milk to my neighbor. The USDA isn't telling me that I need to have their certifications to sell milk to anyone.
My STATE government, and in my area, that means mainly people who put out ads about how we're being regulated to death by the federal government, my STATE government has told me that I can't sell raw milk to my neighbor, and my STATE government says that I have to have USDA certification to sell milk to anyone.
Grrrr! And of course, all of my state politicians talk about how anti-regulation they are, and how we're all about independence and self-sufficiency, all the while, behind everyone's back, making it so a small producer can't do ANYTHING.
I completely agree with both of you!it is the state government that is the problem and that is why people like me have to find a way to skirt around it. I need to make my place pay for itself more and the state and the Feds are not helping me do that. But where there is a will there is a way, we just have to find it.
Raw milk sales are soooo tricky. In Wisconsin they are darn near impossible. And, what at least makes me happy, is that they are nailing the Amish for raw sales and milk shares too (they get away with everything else - but I won't even start). It's a very serious offense here.
I just think if someone wants to do it, make sure you know all the laws.
oh, we were watching Boardwalk Empire Sunday nite and when Margaret was touring the hospital (this is set in 1923), a woman aborted in the hallway and later the doctor blamed it on raw milk. Oh boy was all I thought. Yes, it may be true, but don't stoke the fire!
ADGA Nigerian Dwarf and MDGA Mini Mancha goats for show, home use and pets www.dbarjacres.webs.com Located in North central Wisconsin