About The Herd. I have a small, closed herd of Jersey cows that are primarily-grass fed, pasture-raised, and are with their calves all day long. They graze on pasture in the summer and consume hay in the winter. They are only supplemented with locally-milled grain to ensure balanced nutrition, but grass and forages make up the bulk of their diet. They also have access to minerals and fresh water at all times. Our herd is not certified organic, but I do practice organic principles. A cow when fresh, produces at least ten times more milk than what a baby calf can drink, so I take the extra milk for our herdshare program. At Simply Natural, I wanted to start a herdshare program so people could enjoy delicious, nutrient dense, easy to digest, raw milk in West Virginia.
What is a herdshare, and how is it different from buying milk directly?
Direct sale of raw milk is illegal in the state of West Virginia. Distribution of raw milk off farm in West Virginia is legal only through herdsharing. A herdshare is a purchase of a milk interest in the herd in which one herdshare is one-twenty-fifth (1/25) or four percent (4.00%) of a cow, allowing you to receive raw milk according to your level of milk interest purchase. Your interest extends to milk only and does not extend to offspring, livestock sales, or other profits related to the livestock involved. You may not sell your share to anyone else. If you decide you no longer want your share, you can only sell it back to Simply Natural, for the same value with which you received it. You also may not re-sell milk or distribute it outside your household. Your milk interest purchase is for your personal use only.
Why does milk through a herdshare cost more than milk from the store? You aren’t purchasing milk. You’re purchasing an interest of a cow in the herd, which entitles you to receive a share of the milk. You don’t have to have a farm, raise the cows, mend the fences, buy the feed, or wake up every day and milk the cows. I do all of that for you, enabling you to receive fresh, delicious, nutritious raw milk without all the work. In return, you must participate as a herdshare owner in boarding, which includes housing, feeding, veterinary work, and other necessary care of the herd. Fresh from the farm, raw milk bears no comparison to milk from the store. It is a nutrient-dense natural product packed with probiotics and natural enzymes.
If you have anymore questions, go to our FAQs page HERE.
About The Herdshare Agreement
A herdshare requires a written agreement signed by all parties, which will be filed with the West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture.
1. A buy-in fee. This fee must be paid at the time of initial contract signing, and is refundable at the time that you sell your share back to Simply Natural if you give a 30 day notice of such intent. If you stop your participation without a 30 day notice, this fee will be retained.
2. A monthly boarding fee. This fee is due within the first seven days of each month that you continue to be a herdshare participant. The first payment is due at contract signing. This fee is non-refundable and is your participation in the housing, feeding, veterinary work, and other necessary care of the herd. The amount of the fee varies by your choice, at contract signing, of your level of milk interest.
3. Risk and responsibility. In accordance with West Virginia state law, in order to receive raw milk you must specifically sign an acceptance of your own risk and responsibility in choosing to consume raw milk, providing immunity to Simply Natural for your choices, and your understanding that milk you receive from Simply Natural may not be re-sold or distributed, but is for your personal use only.
4. Buy-back. Your share can only be sold back to Simply Natural. The buy-back amount refunded to you will be the same as your buy-in fee. If you decide to relinquish your share, you must give a 30 day notice to Simply Natural of your intent. If you do not give a 30 day notice, your buy-in fee will be retained. If we decide to call in your share (due to milk availability or other reasons at our discretion), your buy-in fee will be refunded then also.
Raw milk and any raw milk product will come in glass bottles and containers that Simply Natural will provide. Each week you will bring the bottles and/or containers back clean to be sterilized and reused. If a bottle or container gets damaged or broken while in possession of the shareholder a replacement fee of $5 must be made at the next milk pickup date. If bottles or containers are not returned within 14 days, the shareholder will be charged a replacement fee of $5 per milk bottle or container.
Half Share. Buy-in fee $20 (refundable at buy-back) and $15 per month boarding fee (non-refundable). Your half share will entitle you to one half gallon of milk every week.
Full Share. $20 buy-in fee (refundable at buy-back) and $30 per month boarding fee (non-refundable). Your full share will entitle you to one gallon of milk every week.
Value Added Products
Value added products are available with an additional fee.
Milk Pickup. Delivery is not available. Milk must be picked up at a designated area. Pickup times are flexible but must be arranged in advance and by appointment. Milk is a perishable product and will only be distributed fresh. Your monthly boarding fee is the same even if you do not pick up your milk–but, only a limited number of shares will be sold, and pickup is very flexible so there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to get all your milk unless you choose not to. The herdshare contract signer or someone within their household must pick up the milk. You cannot assign someone outside your household to pick up the milk due to West Virginia law regarding distribution of milk outside of herdshare ownership.
Farm Tours. Farm tours are only available for shareholders. If interested, farm tours must be arranged in advance and by appointment.
If interested in a herdshare, contact us at email@example.com to check availability