Organic Consumers Association

VIRGINIA: Save Our Raw Milk Herd Shares!

dairy cows on pastureIn Virginia, raw milk sales are illegal, including sales direct from a farm to consumers.

But Virginians who want raw milk are able to obtain it by purchasing “shares” in a cow that lives on someone’s else’s farm—because it’s still legal to drink raw milk produced by a cow you own.

This “herd share” loophole has worked fine in Virginia. But now it’s under attack.

TAKE ACTION: Save our raw milk herd shares! Stop House Bill 825 and Senate Bill 962, two bills that would kill herd shares by forcing dairy farmers to jump through costly and burdensome hoops. Fill in the form on this page to send a message to your state lawmakers.

What’s a “herd share?” It’s a private contractual agreement where a consumer buys a share of a farmer’s dairy herd. The consumer pays a monthly fee to the farmer to care for their cow, and the farmer delivers the cow’s milk to the consumer.

Who’s against raw milk? The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation, including their organic member companies: Aurora Organic Dairy, DanoneWave/Horizon Organic and Organic Valley.

Big milk processors refuse to pay dairy farmers what it costs them to produce the milk. This has forced most family dairy farmers to quit and sell their small herds to large factory farms. Between 1950 and 2012, the number of dairy farms plummeted from 3.5 million to 58,000. Small-scale dairy farmers continue to be forced out of business even as overall milk production goes up.

This situation could be turned around if farmers could eliminate the middleman and sell raw milk directly to consumers. There is demand for raw milk and consumers are willing to pay for it.

Why drink raw milk?

There is plenty of scientific evidence of the nutritional superiority of raw milk, and its safety, but nothing tells the story of raw milk better than the testimonials of those whose health has improved as a result. (Many of these raw milk success stories involve raw milk kefir, which you can make at home with certified organic kefir grains.) 

In addition to modern testimonials, there are medical books written in the early 1900s with hundreds of case studies: “Milk Diet as a Remedy for Chronic Disease,” by Charles Sanford Porter, M.D. (1916) and “The Miracle of Milk: How to Use the Milk Diet Scientifically at Home,” by Bernarr Macfadden (1923).

Some of the illnesses that raw milk drinkers have experienced relief from include:

•    Lactose Intolerance
•    Crohn’s Disease
•    Asthma
•    Allergies
•    Psoriasis
•    Urinary Tract Infections
•    Acne
•    Migraines
•    Lyme Disease
•    Cancer

Looking for a raw milk dairy farmer in Virginia? Check out this resource.

Meanwhile, let’s keep raw milk available! Save our herd shares!

TAKE ACTION: Stop House Bill 825 and Senate Bill 962!


 

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