Our cow share program works out to about $5.00 a gallon for whole, raw, Jersey milk (they bring their own gallon containers).
I do not think in any stretch of the imagination that we are somehow taking advantage of the situation. Even when Dolly is in full milking production of 48# of milk a day, we feel we are getting a fair amount for the time and expense we put into having a milk cow. Winter hay is not free and our time is worth something to boot. When we have extra milk, it is given to the other livestock too keep our feed expenses down.
Raw milk isn't readily available and there is a growing demand for it. We just bought a junior yearling Jersey so we may be able to keep up with demand next year. If we need to charge a bit more to ensure that we have milk available for our own family and animals, then we will.
It is your business if you want to absorb the majority of cost to care for your animals yourself, but please don't try to make it appear that folks who are trying to make their farm animals pay for themselves out to be overcharging.
Before we bought our cow, we bought raw milk from our Mennonite neighbors who started charging us "family rate" of $2.50 a gallon. I thought that was cheap and offered to continue to pay his "English" rate but he wouldn't hear of it.
So what is a fair amount?? As far as I'm concerned, in any type of transaction, as long as both sides are satisfied with what they have in hand when they leave compared to what they had in hand when they got there, then it is a fair exchange.
Oh well, simply amazes me that ANYONE would pay that amount of money for milk, raw or othewise. I'll have to pass this onto a dairy farmer friend who has slaved 35 yrs for 'market' milk prices.
As you say, so long as folks are happy with your pricing. In this world, $1.50 is about all the market will allow. Must be your econimic sitution is well above ours (typical), good for you. You must be in a populated area??
Comparing our one-cow operation to a regular dairy farmer is comparing oranges to tangerines.
We have raw milk available and it goes right to the consumer, not to big business middlemen who changes the integrity of raw milk. More and more people want RAW milk, not the plastic stuff that ends up in the supermarket.
No, we do not live in a very populated area, but then the majority of our consumers are not local people. We are outside a town of about 15,000 but most of our customers drive 2 hours from Chicago, an hour from Rockford or the Quad Cities. The farthest cusumer came from Cedar Rapids IA, about a 4 hour drive.
You can get more information about cow share programs at RealMilk.com
I agree with you Cyndi. Lots of people are willing to drive a long distance to buy my Jersey cow milk, sweet cream butter, fresh eggs, aged cheddar and soft goat cheese. It is legal for me to sell my products from my farm. Not all states allow that and that is why people from other states drive to get the fresh products. I sell my milk for $3.00 per gallon if they have their own gallon glass container, if not they pay $3.35 for the new plastic container they buy from me and it is not used again just like what you get in the store. That is how much they cost me and am not charging any extra for me going to a nearby town to buy them. Supply and demand usually will set the price for anything that you buy.
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