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?
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!
Me: Sarah, married to: J, mommy to: C (8/10) and E (11/12)
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!
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13