Herd Share Program

Fresh Raw Jersey Cow’s Milk is available at our dairy farm in Leoma, Tennessee, located in Southern Lawrence County. We feed our pampered dairy cows non-GMO grain and organic pasture grass. No added ingredients, no hormones, no antibiotics, no pasteurization or homogenization. Just good old-fashioned raw milk, straight from our cows. Our fresh raw Jersey milk is healthy, full of cream, and deee-licious!  Do you want to make your own Butter? Buttermilk? Cheese? Ice cream?  Give our milk a try!  Come and taste it first if you are not convinced!

Tennessee law prohibits us from selling milk, but by joining our Herd Share Program, we can legally give you milk in exchange for payment toward boarding and labor costs. And, if you join our Herd Share Program,  we can also legally make dairy products for you, such as butter and cheese, with your share of milk!

We have a 30-day trial period in case you’re on the fence.  But we think that with one taste – you’ll be hooked. If you change your mind within the first 30 days of joining our Herd  Share Program, we’ll refund your share price. You can drop out of our Herd Share Program easily and at any time after that by just discontinuing the weekly boarding/labor fee.  Call us for more info or to set up a time to come out to the farm and taste the milk:    931-852-4007 (farm)    or     text 321-514-4153

How to Get Fresh Milk – Join the Herd Share Program!

What is a Herd Share?

In Tennessee, it is currently not legal to sell raw milk or dairy products made from raw milk. But it is legal to consume raw milk and obtain raw milk products from milk that comes from cows that you have ownership in. Our farm sells shares of a dairy herd to people who want raw milk. We do all the work every day, and you pickup your share of the milk each week. This is called a herd share. It is a fraction of ownership in a herd of dairy cows.

What is a Herd Share Program?

Herd share owners sign an agreement to pay a portion of the boarding and milking costs of a group of dairy cows at our farm, in exchange for their share of fresh milk obtained from those cows combined.  You are not paying for milk! Instead, you are paying towards a share of the cost of labor and management of the herd, and we give you a share of the milk obtained from that herd. This practice is referred to as a Herd Share Program. Owners own can end their ownership by discontinuing boarding fee payments.

What does it cost?

The cost to purchase a half-share (2.5%) in our dairy herd is $25. A whole share (5%) is $50.  You pay this fee only once, think of it as a membership fee. You have up to 30 days to get this amount refunded if you change your mind. Then, you only pay a percentage of weekly boarding costs. The boarding fee rate is either $6/week for each half share owned, or $12/week per full share owned.

For example, if you purchase a half-share in the herd, you would pay $49 to get milk for the first month. This covers the one-time fee of $25 plus boarding for the first four weeks. And then after the first month, you’d only pay $6 per week for about 1 gallon per week.
Cost to join with a half-share =         $25 + $24 (4 weeks  x  $6) = $49

If you’d like to start with a full herd share, you would pay $98 to get milk for the first month. This covers the one-time fee of $50 plus boarding for the first four weeks. After the first month, you’d only pay $12 per week for about 2 gallons per week.
Cost to join with a full-share =         $50 + $48 (4 weeks x $12) = $98

How much milk will I get?

That depends on the amount of milk the entire herd is producing. Typically, a 1/2 share will receive around a gallon of milk each week, while a full share will receive twice that amount.

What if I only want cheese?

If you want to try our artisan cheese, you have to first join our Herd Share Program. Then, you would pay our boarding fees and labor cost to make cheese for you with your share of milk. We recommend to people interested in cheese only (not liquid milk), to purchase a half-share of a cow in our herd for the one-time fee of $25, and pay the weekly boarding cost of $4. For an additional labor cost of $4 per gallon, you would, on the average, receive .5-1 pound of cheese. That works out to somewhere between 2-4 pounds of cheese per month for a total boarding and labor cost of $32. This amount varies based on how much milk the herd is producing. A dairy cow is generally milked for 10 consecutive months, and then allowed two months to rest before having another calf and freshening her milk. As an example, someone pays the upfront one-time cost of $25 for a 2.5% share in the herd, pays $16 for 4 weeks of boarding costs and $16 for additional labor, and then receives 2-4 pounds of cheese.

How to join the Herd Share Program

You can call us at 931-852-4007 (or text 321-514-4153) to arrange to stop by our farm, and we will let you sample milk and help you with the needed paperwork.

Raw Milk Products

We can also process your milk into butter, buttermilk, yogurt, cheeses, and a variety of other dairy products, for additional labor cost to you. The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund defends the right of herd share owners to legally purchase raw dairy products processed from raw milk. The boarding agreement under which we milk cows and distribute milk to the shareholders is essentially a labor or services contract. An agreement with our farm to process herd share owners milk share into other raw dairy products for a fee is an additional labor contract. There is no prohibition in the law of any state where herd shares are legal against entering into this type of arrangement; this contract can be written or verbal. There is no sale of product because legal title to the milk belongs to the shareholder; it is not the farmer’s to sell.

Risk of Ownership in a Share of a Herd

As a herd share owner, the agreement you sign states that you understand that the amount of milk you receive is variable, based on the herd’s milk production.  Normally, cows produce milk for 10 months of each year. The cow’s lactation cycle begins at calving and ends when she is preparing to calve again. For two months, she rests; share owners do not receive milk during this time yet they continue to pay a reduced weekly boarding cost to cover reduced expenses. But, by carefully managing our herd’s feed intake and milk production, overlapping lactation cycles and dry off periods, Valle di Latte works very hard to accomodate herd share Owners so that they hardly notice two seasonal changes in their milk supply:

  • Freshening Period – This period occurs soon after the cow has calved. A cow produces her greatest quantities of milk at the beginning of her lactation cycle. Herd share owners could possibly receive more milk during this increased production period, however, keep in mind that there is now a new calf that also needs a share of this milk.
  • Dry Period – This is the time when the cow is “dried off” – not being milked as she needs energy and nutrients for the growing calf inside of her. This is usually two months in duration. Herd share owners will continue to receive milk from the herd during a cow’s dry period because there will be other cows earlier in their lactation cycle that are still milking.

The other risk of herd share ownership is that if a cow gets mastitis or any other condition that interrupts milk distribution, the amount of milk available to owners is reduced; milking resumes normally as soon as the cow is declared healthy again. We practice strict sanitation habits to prevent infection or the spreading of mastitis, but there is still a risk that this could happen.  If a cow dies suddenly, available milk would also be reduced, however, careful herd management includes raising replacement cows to take the place of older cows that are retired while they still have many years of health left in them.
The Valle di Latte (Valley of Milk) Farm Dairy Herd

Valle di Latte Farm owns a small herd of Jersey cows.  While Jerseys produce less milk than, say, Holsteins, they have the highest butterfat content of all dairy cows. This is ideal for cheesemaking! Jersey milk produces a GREAT curd.

We do not inject our cows with antibiotics or hormones or anything else that could pass through their milk and make it unsafe to drink. They graze on pesticide-free and fertilizer-free pastures, and are fed NON-GMO grain during milking. We handle our cows in a friendly, low-stress environment to promote longer happier lives and healthier milk. We use a 10-year cow lifespan for milk-cycle planning purposes, but cows can live to be 20+!

We proudly support the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund