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Would you get milk from this farm? - Page 2

post #21 of 54
i don't teat dip. i'm allergic to iodine. there are non-iodine options, but i've never needed them. teat dips are to prevent mastitis. they are especially needed when the cows are machine milked in dairies and when the places the cows lay down in are muddy or dirty. high powered dairy machine systems open the teat orifices in a different way than other milking methods. this leaves them open to bacteria. i am just saying there is an 'idea' behind teat dipping and it works, it does, but it isnt a standard i would hold a dairy to. if they had mastitis issues, they would be dipping. but obviously they have their methods figured out.

there is more than one way to milk a cow, and some choose a more natural method than others. there are some things that are always 'true', like good feed and water, they're a must. a cow will not thrive without them. but teat dip? not so much.
post #22 of 54
I would. They answered your questions, right? Farming is hard work, especially with cows..and if they have 200 members, they have a lot of cows! It's a 24/7 job. Plus they have a lot to deal with, if they have that many members.

My DH found a farm that he goes to to pick the milk up, the person also delivers to a few food coops in the area. The milk is so much better than that crap they peddle at the store. They have a lot of hassle from the federal govt as far as trying to find a reason to shut them down. Family farms and the milking areas have to be cleaner than factory farms, otherwise the milk would be tainted (as in off flavors or smells). People just believe the hype about 'raw' milk...never mind that the factory farms where they pasteurize the milk doesn't have to be 'clean'..since they heat the milk.

I hope we never have to buy store bought milk again!
You'll probably enjoy all that milk, it's so much better tasting.
post #23 of 54
Thread Starter 
I think what I am most nervous about is getting sick and my family getting sick. Since I am the one who has done the research so far and am the one really heading this whole thing up for my family, I feel I would be responsible if someone did get sick.

So that is why I am asking all the questions about cleanliness and bacteria and so on.

J.
post #24 of 54
i also want to add that i sell raw milk and i NEVER test my milk. why not? because i have a closed herd, my cows are clean and i dont feed high-concentrate feeds (which give rise to deadly strains of ecoli). my milking procedure is clean. the kind of bacteria you might be worried about does not manifest out of thin air.
post #25 of 54
Thread Starter 

ALso..

What questions would you ask the other farm in question....

I just called her and asked her if she would mind if I sent her a laundry list of quesitons and she said "No problem, absolutely!". So that is the difference. But the drive is really yucky.

Did I miss important questions that should be asked?

J.
post #26 of 54
Did you ask what the animals are fed?
post #27 of 54
Me personally, I would not get into an arrangement with this dairy. Farming is hard, but it's not so hard that you can't take a few minutes to provide a little bit of customer service. You will hopefully be forming a long lasting partnership with this dairy. I'd want to trust that when the changed the share price it was for real reasons and not just to make more money, and I don't really get that vibe from the responses.

As for the questions I would ask:
  1. What are the rules for visits? Are there open hours or do all visits have to be pre-scheduled?
  2. Do you have formal food safety training for employees which includes the signs and symptoms of food borne illnesses? What about for bleeding incidents?
  3. If employees are ill or injured, what precautions are taken when they are working with the milking equipment or the milk?
  4. What is your hold period? (In case an employee comes down with a highly contagious food borne illness, but wasn't showing any symptoms at work.)
  5. If that happens what is your process to ok this milk for release?

BTW 8 ozs is 2 sticks of butter. So I would ask what their price for cream is and make your own.
post #28 of 54
Thread Starter 

Also....

Is $10.00 a lot for a half pound of butter (8 oz.)?

That seems like a fortune?

J.
post #29 of 54
Thread Starter 
Their cream is $12.00 a quart.
post #30 of 54
Thread Starter 
By the way, would it be a concern to anyone that the other farm only tests their milk once a month?
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by festivefeet View Post
Their cream is $12.00 a quart.
1 quart of cream will give you a pound of butter, and like a pintish of buttermilk.
post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 
The other farm is 62.00 a share and that share gets you one gallon a week. It's a one time share fee though. So you would need to double the share fee if you wanted to gallons a week and so on. But you only pay it once. Then there is a fee of 21.50 a month for care of the cows (milk), for one gallon of milk. You double it for 2 gallons and so on...the price per gallon worked out to be about 5.38 a gallon, which is great! She also stated that she would be able to provide cream when it is available.

But again, there is the long drive to get the milk. So we would have to go at least twice a month and freeze the milk.

J.
post #33 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
1 quart of milk will give you a pound of butter, and like a pintish of buttermilk.
I was told that you needed the cream for butter, not milk...is that not correct?

J.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by festivefeet View Post
I was told that you needed the cream for butter, not milk...is that not correct?

J.
oops that was a typo by me
Yes you need cream, whole cream and not half and half, to make butter.
post #35 of 54
A friend at work here mentioned something, in addition to the food safety training we always check the cleaning procedures for the equipment. And what chemicals do they use for the cleaning. And during the visit would you be able to look at the cleaning records.
post #36 of 54
I found interesting reading on herd shares -- what not to do primarily. This dairy is not set up in the recommended fashion, though that would not get the share owner in trouble, just possibly the dairy owner.
post #37 of 54
Honestly, I woudn't buy from ANYONE would be offended by my asking questions. That's just a part of customer service!! YOU are the customer.

However, my farmer too often feels she needs to clarify that farm work is hard work. And I KNOW it is!! I think that they feel naturally defensive, becasue of the nature of their product and it's bad name. (raw milk) My farmer although busy took the time to talk to me personally and through emails and I feel great about her. I wouldn't buy her milk if I didn't.

Regardless, if anyone is put off by a few (or even alot of) questions, then I would be learly of them.
K
post #38 of 54
that's really expensive for butter!! I'd just make your own from the milk and use the leftover skimmed milk to make something else or to bake with or soemthing
post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
that's really expensive for butter!! I'd just make your own from the milk and use the leftover skimmed milk to make something else or to bake with or soemthing
You need cream right.....?

The cream is 12.00 a quart...is that a lot?

Also, does anyone else freeze their raw milk?

J.
post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 

Here are the questions I have for the new dairy....can you think of anymore?

1) Do you have health inspections, if so, by whom and how often? Have you ever had any problems with your inspections?

2) What are your standards with the cleanliness of the farm and where the cows sleep, are milked and where milk is stored? I have read that the most important aspect of a raw milk dairy farm (aside from the feed) is their cleanliness and handling.

3) How often will I be able to get cream for butter (estimated)?

4) When you test your milk, what bacteria do you test for and who tests the milk? Have you ever had any problems with the results?

57) How many cows do you own and how many cow leases (members) do you have?

6) Is there any difference in with the milk after it has been frozen, since I live so far away? Is it possible to only come one to two times a month and freeze what we need?

7) Has your herd been tested for TB and Brucellosis? If so, results?

8) Are the teats of the cows cleaned with an iodine solution before milking? If not, how are they cleaned and prepared for milking?

9) Is the milk kept in chilled stainless steal tanks?

10) What do the cows feed on....mostly grassy pasture without spray and organic hay I assume... How much grain do they get in a day and what type (is it organic)?

11) Are you organic certified? If so, with whom?

12) How many people work on your farm? Are they all family or outside employees as well?

13) Do you enjoy your business?

14) How long have you been in the business?

15) Are you open to visits? What are your hours for visitation?

J.
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