I’ve received several questions from a couple of our Facebook community members asking: What is a Herd Share?
Some members though it might pertain to sharing a freezer beef among several people. And others had no idea what heard share meant at all.
I understand the confusion. I didn’t know what a herd share was six months ago. In fact, I’d never heard the term herd share at all until I started looking for raw milk.
What Is A Herd Share?
A herd share is an agreement that provides an opportunity for you to own part of a cow or goat, or part of a herd of cows or goats. As a part owner, you enter into an agreement with a farmer and pay the farmer an agreed upon fee for boarding, feeding and milking the animals.
It’s similar to an arrangement you might enter into if you wanted to own part of a racehorse.
And like owning part of a racehorse, if you participate in a herd share, you will need to sign a contract or two. Generally that means a bill of sale and a boarding agreement. This may vary depending on the farm you are dealing with.
Why Would Someone Want To Own Part of a Herd?
Being a part owner of a cow or goat, or herd of cows or goats, gives you the legal right to a percentage of what the animal or herd of animals produce, meaning their milk.
The Sale of Raw Milk is illegal in the state of Indiana. But herd shares are permitted as they do not fit the definition of a “sale” under the statutory definition of the word.
For more information about Indiana’s laws governing raw milk, click here.
Finding A Herd Share
If you want to drink raw, unadulterated milk but are having a difficult time finding a local farmer offering a herd share program, you’re not alone. I’ve found one local goat herd share program and zero cow herd share programs.
Several people in our Facebook Community are actively seeking cow herd shares right now. Some of us have even discussed taking turns driving to a far away farm to pick up milk. If that interests you, please join our Facebook group.
Are you a local food lover or a proud Hoosier?
If you are, we hope you’ll keep in touch!