My buddy Chris, over at the 1 acre ohio homestead, wrote the other day that he would like to find a local dairy. So of course, I started thinking that I want Dairy goats, and the wife would some day like to have a dairy cow..... eh, too bad we don't have them now, eh?
But seriously, I like milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt.... pretty much all dairy products. Well, when first moved to Ohio, we found the one supermarket that had non- homogenized milk. It was still pasteurized, but it was not homogenized. Well, of course we had to try it, and you know what? We liked it! Now, part of the reason for picking this brand up was that DivaHick was reading somewhere that lactose intolerant people aren't really intolerant to the lactose itself, but rather what happens to it during the homogenization process. Seemed to work, too. She was able to drink that milk without any discomfort whatsoever. This in turn led me to do some research about Raw Milk. This is milk straight from the farm, no pasteurization, no homogenization, no nuthin.
There is a lot of research out there from naturopathic doctors and personal accounts that drinking Raw Milk increases health and is better for you than the processed, store bought stuff. Most Raw Milk enthusiasts swear that it tastes better too! Unfortunately, here in Ohio, it is illegal to sell Raw Milk. :-( But, in 2007, the Ohio Supreme Court said that herd share programs are legal.
For those who don't know much about herd sharing programs, here's the breakdown as I understand it. The state of Ohio (and others) have made it illegal to SELL the Raw Milk, but the owners of the animal are allowed to drink the Raw Milk themselves. This means that if you own dairy goats or cows, you can drink their milk however you want, but if you were going to sell the milk, it would have to be pasteurized. (Just imagine trying to tell the Amish communities that they had to do this to drink their own animals milk!) So what some enterprising farmers did is the worked up a contract that allows someone to buy in to the farmer's program for a set fee and buy a portion or a "share" of the herd. Some programs require a monthly payment for boarding the animals, but I believe that is up to each individual program. Well, now that you own a share of the herd, you can get Raw Milk from the animals as you are an owner of said animals.
I am including some links for research on your own, and I know there are a lot more out there, this is just a quick google sample. Make up your own mind, but I know I for one will be trying to find a herdshare around my homestead!