If you own cows or spend time on a farm, then I’m sure you’re familiar with the nutritional benefits of raw milk. You might also have questions about raw milk regulation and how to begin providing access to your customers.
Herdshares are one of the ways farmers provide access to raw milk when other options are limited. With a herdshare agreement, consumers pay a farmer a fee for boarding their animal (or share of the animal), caring for the animal, and milking the animal. Then herdshare owners collect the milk from their own animal without any milk sales occurring.
One of the benefits of an FTCLDF membership is help with contractual documents—like herdshare contracts. We can help you with the paperwork, but you may still have several questions about the ins and outs of herdshares.
Sarah is a mother, scientist, and farmer who milks 15 Alpine does for her 60 herdshare members along with a summer chevre CSA. She keeps a waiting list year-round. Additionally the does earn enough to cover all of their expenses and pay her an hourly wage. Sarah applies her skills learned from her PhD and job teaching and researching forensic body fluid and DNA analysis to keeping her milk handling clean. Her customers always rave over the taste and long life of the milk.
See what Sarah has to say about the Herdshare School course:
Herdshare School is an online course, built to guide you through the business and herdsmanship of launching a raw milk herdshare program.
The mission of Herdshare School is to provide you with the tools and knowledge that you need to start a successful and profitable herdshare program, whether you have 2 goats or 80 cows.
The course is 100% online, with six modules covering everything from basic business essentials for herdshare programs; sanitary milk production, cooling, and distribution; and herdshare member and herd management.
There are six modules to the course. Each contains 3-5 screencast PowerPoint lectures from 10-20 minutes long, along with correlating resources and worksheets to help you work through developing your individual program.
The course is self-paced, meaning you can complete the modules on your time, or skip modules if you choose. Plus you will have lifetime access to the information if you need to take a break and come back to the material.
Once you sign up, you can also join the private Herdshare School Facebook group, where you, other students, and I share challenges and solutions and discuss building our raw milk businesses.
The course is broken into six modules and covers:
1. Planning (size, scale, bottles, labels, seasonal or not, etc.)
2. Pricing and marketing shares
3. Business, finance, and contracts
4. Herd management
5. Milk management
6. Customer management and delivery logistics
What’s in each module?
- Recorded video lectures, 3-5, covering each topic for that module in detail
- The slides for each lecture
- Action item worksheets: your homework for each subject in the module
- Detailed procedures or protocols, written or video (i.e., milking, cleaning, sending samples off for testing)
- Example websites, wording, emails, brochures, milk labels, etc.
- Resource links for that module (equipment, supplies, legal and accounting, website development, etc.)
What Students Are saying…
I was so excited to join HSS and learn from Sarah. She covers everything you need to know and walks you through the steps of running a successful herd share program. I looked forward to each new module and still go back to re-watch. She is always available to answer any questions you may have or to help you with your individual situation or to give suggestions. I have had my contract with FTCLDF for several years but was never confident enough to start my program. Thanks to Sarah and HSS, I am finally offering herd shares this year. I would recommend this program to anyone thinking about running a herd share.
-Lori, from Morning Glori Farm
So here’s the deal…
The course is $225, and Sarah is offering FTCLDF readers a special $25 discount! In addition, for each person who signs up for the course, Sarah will donate $50 to FTCLDF!
Enter “FTCLDF” as a coupon during checkout for your $25 discount.
This is a *must attend* if:
- You’re thinking about beginning your own herdshare program, but you’re not sure where to begin.
- You want more mentoring and step-by-step guidance for your herdshare program.
- You’re interested in herdshares and want the opportunity to learn and connect with a fantastic group of farmers!
Click HERE to learn more and sign up for Herdshare School!
YOUR FUND AT WORK
Services provided by FTCLDF go beyond legal representation for members in court cases.
Educational and policy work also provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible. In addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts and social media outreach.