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Had a lady call us the other day asking questions about buying a cow. She is a member of a herd share somewhere around Columbus, Ohio. They pay a yearly $250.00 for the "ability" to buy milk from the farm. They then pay $80.00 a month and receive 8 gallons of milk a month. Yes, this is not a typo, that is what she pays. The farm has a full list of people buying milk and others wanting to join.
I was floored with these prices, and that people are waiting to pay them,especially in Ohio. Anyone else know what prices are around you?
Here where I live (about 1 1/2 hours from Columbus) raw milk from a herdshare runs about$4.00 a gallon, with a one time signup running from $25. to $200.
A person could make a fortune from there farm at Columbus prices.
Joanie
 

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It's legal in IL to sell raw milk on the farm - no herd shares here!

We sell for $6.00/gallon.

Folks from WAP in Chicago pay upwards of $15/gallon in an illegal, interstate co-op.

It burns me - not that their price is high, but when they get caught, it gives IL the opportunity to make this illegal.
 

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In AL I just bought a cow share- about 1 gal milk/wk- for $25 upfront and $25/month. Far drive but they'll let me do it 2 gal/every 2 weeks. So $6/gal (aside from driving) is less than the $7 I pay for 2 half gal of organic milk in the commissary (similar prices to Target, higher than awful WM Horizon organic).

Actually I just want the fun of having dairy products without the aggro of owning a cow here myself, so if the milk is lovely and irrisistible we'll increase our cowshares to our actual 2-3 gal/week and accept the drive, or buy our own cow. If not I'll have cream and milk very few weeks until I tire of playing with it. I may actually pasteurize the milk :) I mostly want fresh 'local' unhomogenized milk not raw milk.
 

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Unless it is written into milk regs for your state, it is not a legal way to skirt the law. In fact having them admits you sell milk illegally. I sell milk to soapers only. Lots and lots of soapers :) Vicki
 

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It is not legal in Ohio.
Some claim it is, but it has not been challenged in court yet.
It's a shame they are letting the bill die because the officials want it to addresses herd shares and not in an encouraging way.
Would have been nice to see it legal for liscensed Grade A dairies to sell raw milk.
Would have given us a better chance.
They think they are safe with herd shares. For the next four years with the current officials maybe...but not enough for us to risk our Grade A license.

Technically the $250 if for the intial share of the herd/cow..whatever. The $80 a month is for "upkeep" of their part of the herd/cow. They then receive a portion, though the way they are doing they are just selling milk.
If someone were running an honest share program they would receive their percentage of the weeks production every week. If they owned 1/10th of a cow and the cow produced 210 pounds of milk during that week, the share holder would receive 21 pounds of milk for the week. If the cow were going dry and only produced 70 pounds for the week the share owner would receive 7 pounds of milk. When the cow were dry..they wouldn't get squat. But people aren't generally running true share operations.
I've seen some who are, but for the most part they are simply skirting the law for now.

We'd have to go the difficult route since we are honest. We aren't interested in selling part of our animals that we work hard to own.
 

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Wow, I can't believe those prices! Our neighbor sells us milk and she only charges $1.75 per gallon, but we give her $2.00. And I thought we were spending too much on milk, so we got our own cow! I usually go through about 8 gallons a week, though, between what we drink and what I make out of it. Our cow will have paid for herself in 6 months to a year, depending on how much we get from her, and after that, we'll be money ahead.

$10.00 a GALLON???? Unbelievable.

~Lannie
 

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And so Lannie, you will now sell all your neighbors milk for $1.75 a gallon? Can you even get it poured into the jug for that price? Know in goats you can not and have any kind of flesh on the doe at all. We all want a fair price for our milk. She was a very very good neighbor to your family. Vicki
 

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She sells her milk for that price to everyone, not just us. We're the only ones that pay more than she asks, and she resists it every time. I'm not saying that milk isn't worth more, just that I was surprised it was as high as $10.00 a gallon. I haven't bought commercial milk for over two years, so I don't even know what it's going for in the store. We have no "dairies" around here, in fact, the neighbor is the only person I know of within 100 miles that even HAS a milk cow. Of course, there might be others, but I don't know of them. If I do decide to sell some of my milk, I guess I'll have to sell it for $1.75 won't I? Otherwise people could just go down the road and get it from my neighbor for that. :) But I doubt I'll have much extra - we have lots of animals here that can use up the excess, and I've been learning to make cheese. ;)

~Lannie
 

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considering the worth of calf born to the cows, the milk is free

i have done the math

for the whole farm animals( chickens sheep geese ect) our cost of grain and hay averages to a dollar a day for each adult cow) a calf should bring more than $365
so what ever milk or eggs or meat we get has already been paid for
 

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I use the "cowshare" technicality, and charge just $1 for the "ownership," no one owning any more of her than another.

There is a Certificate written in the framework of an agreement that they sign that explains it all to them. It's done more or less under contract law, and under our form of government we have the right to contract, so long as we're no longer minors, so there's really nothing unlawful about it.

$4 per gallon is charged to cover my costs of maintaining cow, which doesn't cover it, of course, by any stretch. I don't have a lot of other animals to feed it to, a husband who doesn't like her flavorful butter, cheese, or yogurt.

There is a $3 deposit for a gallon jar, unless they put theirs into the rotation.

I keep a roster with their phone numbers in it.

They can pick their milk up from the walk-in fridge at a small, local store, whose owners are very good friends of mine. It's just a pass-thru arrangement I have with them, and they won't accept any percentage of the cost for doing it. They see it as "paying it forward."

The demand for raw cow's milk in our area is slowly beginning to take off, and I have more people interested in milk than at any time in the past four years...which was when I began, so I'm hoping to get cow AI'd during the next couple of cycles so a June calf will be on its way...PRAY heifer, please? She's had four bulls so far!!!

If this ceases to be do-able, I'll just have to leave it at the store for "thieves" to take at will, and if they want to leave a donation behind, that's their business, and I can do nothing about it...that's where I keep the milk!
 
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