Legalities of goat shares

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dosthouhavemilk, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have searched the archives and was unable to find a thread about this, so my apologies if this has been talked to death before.

    We have 26 goats right now (9 of the wethers go to market soon). 14 of them are does and of those 14 at least seven would make wonderful milking goats for a goat share. We have the equipment to milk them and the equipment to strain and store the milk. However, I am very concerend about the legalities of it here in Ohio. We have a Grade A dairy lisence (Jerseys and Jersey/Norwegian Red crosses) and I do not want to put that in jeopardy.

    Does anyone have any information on the legalities of goat and cow share programs in Ohio?
    realmilk.com doesn't really address it.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    not sure about ohio , i know for sure in wisconsin goat/cow share is way huge NO NO
    call the dairy dept, if youre leasing the animals, thats a different story, but "goat share in exchange for milk" is pretty much illeagal
    dont jepordize your other liscence,just call , and say youwere approached about it, and wanted to check on the laws .
     

  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    The last time I checked the laws governing the sale of milk did not differ between goats or cows. Do the laws of your state allow you to sell cows milk that way? Here in Michigan it would be against the law and you would be in great jepardy of losing your Grade A if you tryed what you are suggesting.
     
  4. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We would not be selling the milk. The people would own a share in the goat herd. They would pay for the care, vet costs, and milking of their part of the goat herd and would then take their share of the milk.

    It is definitely illegal to sell raw milk in Ohio except as pet food and it needs to be labeled as such. However, it has been suggested that goat and cow shares are the legal way around the no selling raw milk aspect of it.

    We would not be doing cow shares....only goat shares.

    Thanks.
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    thats exactly what i was talking about, the case n wisconsin involved several people getting seriously ill from this type of milk lease program ,
    check ohios laws, most likely its illegal , any activity in the farm can jeapordize your other liscence

    please , check it out more , you might be able to sell fluid goat milk , but the processing and pastuerization laws must be met, you cant do the "share" like what youre thinking , and give raw milk
     
  6. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Well, one theory is that selling animals as live and then transporting them to a slaughterhouse is a way to get around the licensed slaughterhouse regulations that most states have for meat products. So, instead of a customer buying an uninspected chicken, they are technically buying a live chicken from you, and you're transporting it to the slaughterhouse (or slaughtering it yourself) for free.

    Perhaps the same logic would apply here-your "friend" leases a goat from you live (with a deposit of, say, $5 :D ), and they pay you a boarding fee (which is actually your goat share price) monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Included in your boarding fee (which would obviously cover your feed, supplies, etc.) is use of your milking machine, which you're willing to operate free of charge, since you're already using it for your own goats ;), as well as storage. That way, their milk is their milk, regardless of its intended use since laws don't prohibit a person consuming their own goat's raw milk. If they want to to combine their milk with the other owner's milk in a milk pool to split, they can do that, too, because there is no money exchanged as in a sale. Laws are in effect to govern sales, not freebies to friends.

    You would need to have a contract on file that explains how this works. The lease could run up every six months or can be broken at any time if both parties agree in writing. Just like a car lease, the ultimate ownership of the goat reverts back to you at the end of the term, but while the lease is active, the lesee can act as though they own the goat.
     
  7. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Like I said....if it legal for cows than it would be legal for goats. I think, since you have a grade A dairy operation, you would be putting the whole thing at risk.......but......that's just my opinion. Clever wording does not change the fact that you are selling milk, and raw at that. I know of a number of cases where it has gone as far as the state supreme courts (this type of selling) and they were found to be selling milk and were heavily fined. We did a great deal of research on it about 10 years ago. You have my sympathies........I am still angry that we are so regulated, but have never found a way around it. In my state I can't even turn my milk into cheese and sell it without being grade A and having a ton of inspections and a whole separate kitchen.
     
  8. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    I can see it now. . . "Woman with stomach ache sues for securities Fraud. . ."
     
  9. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    I own a part interest in a cow. Yes, it is a way of getting around the ridiculous regulations regarding selling raw milk (or milk that isn't inspected). Whether it would hold up in the courts is another matter entirely. Everyone keeps it rather quiet because no one wants to rock the boat.

    The problem is that most of these "part interest" deals are, as in my case, a way of doing an end-run around the regulations, and would most likely be considered as such by a court. We ostensibly pay for vet, board, etc. and then receive as part of our ownership some of the milk from our animal. However, the reality is that none of us "owners" actually do anything that an owner would, and I can't say that the amount of money that we pay for our part ownership really reflects the actual costs of owning a cow, just the cost of the milk (although I suppose one could argue that the cost of the milk reflects the costs of ownership).

    Another popular arrangement that folks employ is to sell containers. The milk that they put into it is just a gift. ;)

    Personally, I'd be very reluctant to sell goat interests. Leaving aside the question of whether you could be shut down, the bottom line is that you have very little control over how people treat the milk when it leaves your farm. Poor refrigeration on the trip home, for example, could cause some serious health problems, and most folks aren't shy about suing. :(

    You might want to check out this link. It has some information about raw milk and Ohio. Goat and cow milk should be pretty much the same.

    http://www.realmilk.com/happening.html