2024 | Herd Share Info
What is a herd share?
A herd share is a contractual arrangement between a farmer and an owner of livestock - the shareholder or member - through which the shareholder is able to obtain raw milk, meat, offal and other profits of the livestock proportionate to the shareholder's interest in the herd. Herd shares include cow-shares, goat-shares, and sheep-shares, and are sometimes referred to as "farm-shares" or "dairy-shares," although the term "farm-share" can also refer to an entire farm (buildings, land, equipment, etc.) held in joint ownership.
A herd share enables consumers to obtain raw (unpasteurized) milk in a jurisdiction that may otherwise prohibit the sale of raw milk. Parties may also choose to enter into herd share agreements even in jurisdictions that do permit some type of raw milk sale because a herd share may provide a more economically secure business model for a dairy farmer than conventional dairy farming otherwise would provide for.
Herd Share with Topolino Farm
Wikipedia gives a pretty good description of a herd share. At its core, you (non-farmer) are buying a piece of my dairy herd, then paying monthly board to feed, house, and milk her. I do all the work, and you get to come meet the girls and take your milk as a reward.
Each farm will run its herd share a little bit differently. Our herd share will run from April(ish) to December. We do not expect you to pay board over the winter when we are not milking. Each spring you will buy in again and pay your monthly board fees. We have NO DEADLINE for signing up; It is first-come, first-serve. If you want to sign up in the middle of the summer, please ask!
Please follow the blue button below to view current prices and the exact legal terms. Note that raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process of heating the milk to kill any possible bacteria or contaminants. Consuming raw milk is your choice and you should do your research to make an informed decision for yourself and your family. The FDA does not consider raw milk to be safe - please note that at one time the FDA claimed that chicken eggs were unsafe.
Pasteurization of milk became standard to combat poor living conditions and milk handling. It became standard practice in the 1890s to combat contamination from water, flour, chalk, and other substances. It is thought that dairy farmers were trying to stretch out the milk by "cutting it" with other things that would bring them more $ per gallon.
Today dairy is handled very differently. We are fully aware of food safety and have no desire to water it down or add anything. Topolino Farm's milk is pure goat milk and nothing else. When we milk we are harvesting food - I don't want any hairs or poo or anything else in my food. Milking is performed as cleanly as possible. Our house drinks the same milk you will be taking home. Please check out these two links (and any others you find!) to make your own opinion.
Before you begin your herd share, you are welcome to take a tour of the farm (it's short, we're small) and witness milking in the morning or evening. I will be happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have. If you cannot be here for a milking please let me know and we will set something up another time to get your questions answered.
Benefits of our Herd Share
What do you get with our herd share?
- RAW milk; Gallon, half, or quart per week
- Free Goat Snuggles in the spring (1 person)
- Half-price Goat Snuggles for the Shareholder's family
- Hang out time with the adult does/milk makers
- Pictures with the does
- Privy to any shows we attend - you are welcome to meet us at the showgrounds and help out or just cheer on your girls!
- The first to know about any special announcements
- FREE "How-to" education about everything on a goat farm
- Discounts in our Store and at Markets/Events