I’ve had some other good questions lately and thought you might want to know too:
1) Is the cream skimmed off the top? No, the milk you get is exactly as the cow made it.
2) If there’s a vet bill, or a cow dies, will I be billed or have to buy a share in the new one? No. That clause is in the contract because you are a shareholder in the herd, and the owner should care for the needs of the animals. However, you are only getting a part of a herd. The dairy farmer we work with has an 80 cow dairy and he works cows in and out all the time. Part of the reason we work with him as opposed to buying more cows for our personal herd is so that in events like that he has enough buffer that you are protected and it isn’t a calamity. Joe and Brenda work hard to prevent vet visits by using good practices, homeopathic remedies, and other natural remedies to keep the cows in top form. In practical terms, you would not even know if a cow got sick and was pulled out of production or was struck by lightning or culled out of the herd. It’s part of what they do.
3) Should our milk be dated for freshness? All of the milk we deliver is from Thursday morning’s milking and is delivered Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. The cows are healthy, the milking process is super clean, and the milk is kept in clean and cool conditions until delivery. We’ve found it’s good for at least a week and a half.
4) How often is the milk tested for bacteria? The milk is tested at least twice a week. Joe and Brenda’s cows (and yours) consistently produce milk in the very clean category. this is indicated, in practical terms, in the sweet, clean taste and long shelf life of the milk.