100% grass-fed raw milk
High-quality, clean & delicious 100% grass-fed raw milk from our herd of 12 cows is our main focus here at the Family Cow. The rich & nutrient-dense milk our cows produce is wholly different from the milk many (including us, before we became farmers!) are accustomed to buying in the store. It is a completely unadulterated product, straight from the cow- none of the natural flavors, minerals or nutrients are removed. The cows do all the work to make this remarkable product of bovine artistry - all we do is quickly cool down the milk to a safe temperature and get it out to you.
We believe in producing healthy, delicious food for people in the most responsible way possible, and for us grazing dairy cows and distributing raw milk to our local community is our best answer to that belief. Becoming a shareholder with the Family Cow enables us to farm in a way that respects our animals, our landscape and our community (which happens to be the way we love to farm the most!), so thanks to all of you for that!
We milk our cows just once a day in the morning around 7am. During the grazing season (May-November) they are rotated to fresh pasture twice (sometimes 3 times) a day. During the winter months, our cows consume hay from our farm or nearby farms, and are kept clean and comfortable in their winter quarters. We do everything we can to make sure our cows are healthy & happy-- healthy cows make healthy milk! We also practice stress-free animal handling and management (both in the parlor and the field) to ensure our ladies don't have any reason to be upset.
Our milking system is focused on cleanliness & attention to detail, and quality of the final product. After milking each cow we take that cow's milk directly to our refrigerated bulk tank where it is promptly cooled to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. We then decant the milk into 1/2 gallon glass containers for your consumption.
safety & regulations
Despite all its benefits, raw milk, if not treated with care, has the potential to harbor pathogens that could make you sick.
Family Cow Farmstand is proud to have been Vermont's first certified raw milk dairy and have been selling raw milk since 2008. We are inspected by the Department of Agriculture and adhere to all safety and handling protocols set by the state of Vermont. Our milking system is designed around rigorous cleanliness and the ability to cool the milk down to a safe temperature as quickly as possible. In addition, our milk is tested twice monthly by an FDA accredited lab for:
Bacteria Count: measures numbers of viable bacteria cells per milliliter of milk. It is an indication of contamination during milking and processing. The bacteria counted are not necessarily an indication of pathogens, which cause disease. In Vermont the limit for the sale of raw milk is 15,000 cfu/ml; The Family Cow's average is <250 cfu/ml (which is the lower measurement threshold for our lab).
Coliform: is a measure of the cleanliness of the milking and bottling processes. In Vermont the limit for the sale of raw milk is 10cfu/ml; The Family Cow's is consistently 0.
Somatic Cell Count (SCC): is an indicator of the quality of milk. The number of somatic cells increases in response to pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of mastitis. The SCC is quantified as cells per ml.
In Vermont the limit for the sale of raw milk is 225,000/ml; The Family Cow's average count is <100,000/ml (<100,000 is the lower threshold measurement for our lab).
There are many digital & print resources, epidemiological studies and anectdotal reports about both the beneifts and potential dangers of raw milk. The CDC and the FDA advise against drinking raw milk. The Weston A Price Foundation offers some of the many benefits. As farmers who have been drinking raw milk for years and who understand the risks and how to prevent them, we feel confident that we are delivering you a safe product.
We encourage you to do your own research on the benefits and risks of drinking raw milk. If you ever have questions about our milking process or raw milk safety, please feel free to contact us or stop by the farm.
We are Aubrey Schatz and Scott Hoffman. We love farming more than pretty much everything else and can't see ourselves doing anything else. We have a passion for the work, the animals, the grass, the soil, the surrounding agroecosystem and for delivering a quality, consistent product to our customers. We look forward to meeting you!