The Family Cow is Coming Back

by evelynsaenz

Micro-Dairies are providing raw milk to neighbors. Possibly stemming from the locavore movement, the family cow is making a come-back.

Have you ever wanted to milk your own cow? I know that you believe that cows are unreasonable in a city but if you are interested, I know of a company that is now producing equipment for micro-dairies. These are milking machines and holding tanks for one to six cows. This allows you to provide raw milk for just a few families in your immediate vicinity. Here in Vermont it has recently become legal again to sell raw milk provided that it is extremely local. In other words, a consumer needs to know the cow from which the milk she is drinking comes from.

The Family Cow

A Milking Cow
Milking Cow
Milking Cow

The Family Cow

Milking Machines for One to Six Cows

There was a time when nearly every family had their own cow. Each morning and evening a family member would sit down on a three-legged milk stool to milk the cow. Then our lives got busier outside the home, dairies got bigger and people started to buy milk in cartons.

As the world population grows, many people have become concerned with how far their food has to travel before being set on their tables. The locavore movement is helping to bring back the family cow. In conjunction with this development, there has been a movement to allow sales of raw milk. Vermont and several other states have begun to allow people to purchase raw milk for their own, personnel consumption. In Vermont it is now legal to sell that raw milk to your immediate neighbors.

How to Start your Own Micro Dairy

Choosing a Milking Cow

Finding equipment for a Micro Dairy

More and more families are choosing become more self-sufficient. They look for ways to eat locally and for ways to make less impact on our planet. A logical venture thus is to consider owning your own family cow. Steve Judge, one of my neighbors here in Royalton, Vermont has founded a company, Bob White Systems to help make that happen. You might think that a two income family would not have the time to care for their own family cow, but Steve assures me that that is not so. Owning 25 to 100 cows is a full-time job but owning one cow can be quite doable especially with the help of modern micro dairy equipment which Steve sells from his storefront in South Royalton.

With Steve's help you will soon have your own family cow with safe, fresh milk every day.

Steve can tell you how much milk your cow is likely to produce. The amount may surprise you. What could you do with all the left over milk? Of course if you have time you can make it into cheese and butter but you might just want to sell it to your neighbors. Here in Vermont that is once again possible.

Besides the obvious benefit of knowing where your milk comes from, sharing milk with your neighbors has the added benefit of creating a tight knit neighborhood community. As you plan for stabling and pasturing your cow, be sure to talk with your neighbors. They may be delighted to hear that they will soon be able to purchase fresh, healthy, wholesome milk right over the fence. You may even find that some of them are willing to help out when you need to be away.

Fresh unpasturized, unprocessed milk will soon be available right on your own property.

Micro Dairies

Learn more about Micro Dairies

Bob White Systems
Bob-White Systems is committed to making it possible for every small or rural community to enjoy safe, fresh, and delicious milk produced by local, micro dairy farms...

American Micro Dairies
American Micro Dairies are helping micro-dairy farmers create and manage dairy operations that are sustainable, low-impact, and fully-integrated with their communities and natural environments!

Micro Dairy Farms Are Critical To the Survival of Vermont’s Dairy Culture
Vermont Dairy Farms compete with mega dairies by becoming smaller and producing healthier milk for local consumption.

Milking a Cow

How to Milk your Family Cow

Purchasing a Family Cow

Buying a Cow

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Farmer Classified
The place to go to buy a diary cow for your family farm...

Getting Started with a Family Cow

Milking a Family Cow
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Updated: 06/14/2013, evelynsaenz
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Family Cow Comments

Guest on 06/14/2013

Wow! A great idea to own a family cow and produce your own wholesome milk.

MikeRobbers on 06/11/2013

Great article, indeed. It is always interesting to see such great ideas put into action. it is kind of difficult though for those of us who dwell in a city but goat's could be a fine replacement.

xlorah on 03/06/2013

Great article. I just bought a small bottle of raw milk from a neighbor country store last week and the milk tasted so fresh. It reminded me of when I was a kid.

Tiggered on 10/28/2012

If someone near me sold raw milk, I would run to buy it. If I could, I would keep a cow or a goat myself, but I don't think I would buy any equipment other than a bucket for milking one animal.

wrapitup4me on 10/28/2012

I wish I could keep a cow in my yard (or better, as Ragtimelili says, a goat). I would love to have easy access to fresh raw milk.

ohcaroline on 10/27/2012

I'd like to see more of these events taking place. It's disconcerting to not know where some of your food is coming from.

koffeeklatchgals on 10/26/2012

What a great article. It sounds very doable to have a cow. I wish it had been when my girls were growning up.

Ragtimelil on 10/26/2012

Great article. Don't forget the dairy goat especially if a cow provides too much milk. I've had goats for years. Now I would have to have a milking machine with tendonitis in my hands.

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