1) BUYING OR SELLING RAW MILK IS ILLEGAL: In most states, it is illegal to buy or sell milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Why? Many health and government officials cite significant health concerns, saying, “Milk is an excellent medium for microbial growth, and when it is not pasteurized, bacteria and other pathogens soon proliferate.” Cow sharing, however, allows the cows’ owners to enjoy milk straight from the source.
2) EAT HEALTHIER: The number of advocates for raw milk continues to grow. Perhaps the leading proponent is the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price. It has chartered an internet blog dedicated to raw milk advocacy at realmilk.com.
3) IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE: The process known as cow sharing or herd sharing is a win-win business decision. The cattle owners reap the benefits of owning the cows, such as having legal access to fresh, raw milk at a fraction of the cost of keeping and milking a cow (or a herd of cattle) on their own. Meanwhile, dairy farmers who have the land, infrastructure and knowledge to host the cattle get a steady source of revenue well in excess of that from conventional dairy sales.
4) BECOME MORE SOCIAL: In places where raw milk is considered “contraband,” folks who want access to milk straight from a cow’s udder have two choices. They can operate a dairy farm or, if their backyard isn’t quite ready for that kind of hoof action, buy just the cow (or even part of the cow) and let the farmer worry about feeding, housing and milking their moo-moos. Some herd shares include as many 43 cows supplying six families, multiple members deep. This makes for a great reason to throw a party in the barn!
“4 Reasons to Cow Share” article originally published in THE NEW PIONEER magazine, print and digital subscriptions are available.
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