Goat Herd Share Information
· What are the benefits to buying a herd share?
Buying a herd share allows you access to raw goat milk. In Tennessee, there are two legal ways to obtain raw milk: by purchasing raw milk for your pets (labeled “not for human consumption”) and by milking the goats you own for personal use. When you own a share or shares in a herd, you technically own part of the goats and are able to legally use the milk from those goats for your personal use.
· How does the program work?
When you purchase your share in our herd, you pay a one-time fee for the price of your share, which is $15 for the first share and $10 for each additional share purchased. You will also be required to purchase from us one ½ gallon glass mason jar and one plastic lid for each share you own. The price for the glass jar and lid set is $5. When you sign up for the program, you will sign a Goat Herd Share Purchase and Sale Agreement and pay your one-time fee(s) for your share buy-in and for your jar/lid set(s). After that, you will pay $5 weekly per share for the care of your portion of the goat herd. One herd share entitles you to one ½ gallon of milk per week. If you own two shares, you are entitled to one gallon of milk per week.
· Is milk available year-round?
Milk is available mid-April to the end of September. We have a small herd and we breed one time a year – in the fall for babies to be born in the spring. We start milking the goats when we start the weaning process and stop milking them during breeding. It is possible to continue milking goats after they are bred, but we want our does to put all of their energy into growing healthy babies. We will notify you two weeks in advance of the end of the milking season.
· So what happens with my share during the off-season?
You own your share until you tell us you don’t want it anymore, or we ask to purchase it back from you. If you decide to continue owning your share, you retain your ownership during the off-season and we will notify you when milk will be available for you to pick up again. You only pay the weekly fee when the goats are producing milk. In the future, we will be offering other items that you can receive a discount on by owning a goat share. Bresse eggs will be available for purchase by the end of the summer and other items are in the works as well. These things will still be available for purchase during the off-season (as available).
· When and where do I pick up my milk?
Each week, you will pick up your milk at Liberty Stone Farm in Lewisburg, Tennessee. When you sign up for a share, we will let you know what days and times are available for you to pick up your milk. We travel to Franklin, Tennessee once or twice a week and may be able to deliver or meet up with you there as well.
· What if I can’t pick up my milk on the designated day/time?
We understand schedules change and life happens. Let us know if you need to change your pickup day and time and we will try to come up with another arrangement. You can have someone pick up your milk for you, just be sure to let us know if someone else will be picking up for you and their name. You are responsible for paying your weekly $5 fee per share for the care of the herd during the milking season whether you pick up your milk or not.
· What if I decide I no longer want my share(s)?
You own your share until you tell us you don’t want it anymore, or we ask to purchase it back from you. If you decide you no longer want your share, you must give us two weeks’ written notice. You will receive $10.00 for your first share, and $5 for each additional share and you agree to give us 30 days to pay you back for your shares. As long as your last jar and lid are in good condition, you have the option to sell them back to us for $5 for the set. Per Tennessee Law, you are not permitted to sell your share to a third party.
· How do I care for the milk after I pick it up?
You must keep your milk chilled – this is critical for optimum flavor and shelf life. After the goats are milked, the milk is immediately placed in a special refrigerator kept at 35°F. Please bring a cooler with ice or ice packs to keep your jar(s) cold for your trip home. Once home, be sure to keep the milk between 35°F and 40°F.
· What should I do with my jar once it is empty?
First, rinse the jar and plastic lid with lukewarm water. Using water that is too hot or too cold can cause milk solids to adhere to the jar’s surface. After rinsing, wash the jar and lid with soap and hot water. Allow to dry completely. The clean jars and lids will be rewashed and sanitized by us before filling with milk. You must return a clean jar and lid every week to receive your share.
· Oops! I broke the jar. Now what?
If you break a jar, you must buy a new jar from us for your share. We’ll assume the lid is still fine and you can buy a replacement jar for $4. If we break a jar, you will not be charged. The cost of a replacement lid is $1.
· How long does raw milk stay good?
If you follow the care instructions listed above, your milk will stay good for at least a week, often longer. If you are getting close to the week mark, keep smelling it to see if it smells fresh.
· What if I purchase one share and decide I want more milk every week than just my ½ gallon?
You can purchase additional shares for a $10 share fee plus $5 for a jar/lid set for that share. You will pay $5/week for the care of the goat herd for that share. So, if you buy one share at $15 and then want another share, your total buy-in for the shares is $25 for the two shares. You then pay $10 per week for the care of your portion of the goat herd and you will pick up two ½ gallon jars (1 total gallon) of milk per week.