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Evaluating a Raw Milk Dairy

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking about making the switch to raw milk, and there appear to be several options where I live--farms an hour or more away with drop-off locations in my city. I've only just begun researching this. I know everyone says how important it is to know where your raw milk is coming from, to visit the farm and see how it is run, etc., but what specifically should I be looking for or verifying?

 

I read in a thread from quite a while back that some dairies test their milk, but I think that was referring to a state where raw milk is totally legal and regulated. Do some dairies test milk even if they aren't required to? Should I be looking for that? I just called one farm to check on their prices and also asked if they test their milk; they said no, not apart from just making sure the cows aren't sick. In my state, it is illegal to sell raw milk in retail stores but legal for farms to sell it to individuals, so I don't know if any farms test their milk around here.

 

Within the practices of small family farms, are there better and worse practices that I should be aware of?

post #2 of 4

I am curious abut this also. Anyone know?

post #3 of 4
Not too sure but we buy raw milk from my sister's farm and here's what I've noticed: They clean the cow's teats with soap and water thoroughly before milking. Cows roam all day in a field that is not sprayed at all. My sister's family drinks the milk so they trust it. She sterilizes the jars before filling them. They have 3 cows and 1 calf who all have names and my sister talk about them lovingly like they have real personalities smile.gif I'm sure they do but it's still cute:) The barn where they sleep is cleaned regularly.

Basically, clean (as clean as a farm can get, those places can seem pretty messy to suburban people like me!), sanitary practices, and friendly to the animals. Hope that helps!
post #4 of 4

Yeah, you want to make sure they have good practices and are clean, care about the animals, etc.  You probably want to know if they are 100% grassfed with access to pastures, and if they aren't what else they are eating and how much.  I think some farms do regular testing and others don't.  I would take into account the reputation of the farm too - are there a lot of satisfied customers? Do the owners seem to respond well to their customers? Do they drink their own milk?? If there are other farms in the area (even if they aren't close enough for you) try talking to them so that you can get a feel for more than one place and see if your comfort level with your local farm is better or worse.  HTH!

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