Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Raw Milk in 2013. Plans for Improvement.

So onto our plans for raw milk sales in 2013. In my last post you got a reminder about the history and an update on our present raw milk status.  Today I'll expand more about our future plans in general and after that, in a future post,  you'll get the nitty gritty such as costs involved.

No, you can't have the nitty gritty now because Keith hasn't gotten it yet and I believe strongly that the husband deserves the nitty gritty from his wife FIRST, then the rest of the world gets it.

So the general plans are this:

1. We will continue to sell raw milk direct to consumers in 2013. There are three  primary reasons for this. The first: we believe it is an excellent part of a healthy diet and adults have the right to consume the food they desire and parents have the right to provide the diet they feel is best for their children. Second: very few dairy farmers will sell raw milk anymore, thus decreasing supply and increasing demand, and third; raw milk sales are just a small part of the on-farm-sales that ensure a profitable farm.

I would like to mention here, that in my opinion, "Profit" is not a dirty word. It is in fact, crucial if small family farms are to survive.

2. We will continue to advertise our raw milk sales but not in any big way, because frankly...we don't need to. As of today we are producing enough milk to feed our hogs AND serve our current customer base. So by advertising I mean, I will keep raw milk info on our farms web page HERE and we'll talk freely to any newspapers who want to interview us about our raw milk sales, but we will not take out any more print ads.

3. We will continue to serve as advocates for the right to consume raw milk, speaking to other groups, clubs as requested and writing articles for publication both as a source of revenue and as means for education of the public.

4. We will continue to self monitor our own sanitation regimes and milk test results since the public health department has made it very clear that as far as they are concerned, we just don't exist. Except when the County Health Department inspects our small (licensed) retail store and when the Illinois Department of Agriculture inspects our freezers and policies as required by our meat broker license. Yeah, other than THAT, government officials choose to ignore us.

5. We will increase the amount of education we do with our customers regarding raw milk consumption even though no regulatory agency requires it and no other local dairy is available to serve as a role model. We will do it simply because we feel it is the right thing to do. I'm considering regular email updates, a newsletter, some informal classes, increased farm signage, (strong handsome young body builders wearing those A-Frame signs maybe) not sure yet.

See you next time where we try to figure out how much grass (fencing, electricity, water, minerals, health care, gas, organic bedding,  etc etc etc...)  is needed to make one wonderful gallon of raw milk.


  1. I had literally just finished reading an article on the Hershberger raw milk trial on another blog right before I read your post. All I can say is, bravo to you for standing up for what you believe, and I hope your courage and your care (in testing, etc.) will be rewarded. I'm so looking forward to having our own raw milk, but it will just be for us and our family. Sorry, but the government is just too scary for me!

    We got a government Farm Census in the mail. We aren't registered as a farm and haven't gotten the GA homestead exemption. We don't sell anything. We just happen to live on acreage and have a couple of animals. How on earth did we end up on the US government's radar as a Farm?

  2. Zephyr. This is my theory. The SECOND you do anything on the internet you are labeled, filed and numbered. Not always bad if you want to sell products. Very bad if you want to stay quiet but bottom line is...you don't want to be on anyones mailing list? Burn your computer.

    And thanks for nice words about stnding up for what we believe in...but if you want to read about a REAL hero check out the struggle Mark Baker has fighting the eejits over a few pigs.

  3. Donna, if i lived closer, i'd definitely be one of your customers. But, until you move to the coast to try farming (i'm not moving inland ever again if i can help it), i'll just have to make do with supporting my local farmers and ballyhooing the wonders of raw milk.

  4. I keep trying to talk my husband into a vacation to central IL. He looks at me cross-eyed. When I tell him that I want to visit you and buy raw milk and soap and that it would be super fun he just backs away slowly. sigh. Someday....