Sunday, March 27, 2016

West Virginia Raw Milk Herdshares Class from the WV Raw Milk Group

To Sign up, email:

Saturday, April 30 at 1 PM

Kickadee Hill in Charleston, WV

Charleston, WV (directions will be posted soon)

This extremely informative class will be held on a dairy farm in Charleston owned by Marilyn Grossman of Kickadee Hill Saanens.

This is Raw Milk Handling class for consumers and producers taught for this group by Marilyn Grossman.

Marilyn is uniquely qualified as she ran a fabulous raw milk dairy for many years in PA. She has raised nationally recognized Champion ADGA Saanens for over 3 decades, and no one in the state is more qualified to offer exceptional instruction to make sure you are operating to the best of your ability when you begin a herdshare.

You will also see wonderful animal husbandry in practice and be able to talk to her about chosing solid dairy animals for your share program and how to provide the best care possible to have healthy animals.

Consumers who plan to buy into a herdshare should attend, as well, because you need to know safe handling for real milk and what to look for on the farm you buy into.

An Understanding Herdshares and the law portion will be taught by Lucas Farm's Tinia Creamer. She will discuss any differences you will find when dealing with cows, as Marilyn's expertise is in goat's and raw milk handling. All information will apply across the board, no matter the animal. We will also go over effectively operating or taking part in a herdshare program.

Thank you so much for being willing to offer this, Marilyn Grossman.

This event has no fee, though future classes may have a small fee to cover the instructors' time. Donations are welcome, but not required when you attend, to the host farm: Kickadee Hill.

FACEBOOK event page 

Monday, March 14, 2016

SB387 verses SB30: Why the WV Raw Milk Herdshare Bill is essentially the same as last year

I read today that Gov. Tomlin said he signed SB387, the West Virginia Raw Milk Herdshare bill, this year because this year's bill has "precautions in place to better protect people's health."
The bill is nearly the same as last year, though some wording has moved around. There are slight wording changes, that if you discuss even for a moment, with the sponsors of the House or Senate Herdshare bills, or with an attorney, you will see SB387, thankfully, is not functionally different than last year's bill, SB30.
SB387 has a few changes:
SB30 read: "providing immunity to herd seller; agreeing not to distribute raw milk; prohibiting sale or resale of raw milk;"
SB87 reads: "providing immunity to herd seller for inherent dangers of consuming raw milk; providing no waiver of immunity to herd seller for dangers caused by negligence of herd seller;  prohibiting responsible party from distributing, selling or reselling raw milk received pursuant to shared ownership agreement;"
In actual practice, there is no difference. There is no way to waive responsibility for negligence. While I'd have preferred to not have that language so it couldn't misconstrued, there is no release from negligence no matter how a bill reads. In practice, there is no real change.  It does explain giving out the milk from your share is illegal, but that was illegal anyway, as this code doesn't change that, outside of buying a herdshare, selling or giving out raw milk to the public is still illegal through rule making and has been.
The next real change was:
SB30 read: "The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the contents of the report required pursuant to this subsection and impose an administrative penalty not to exceed $100 for a person who violates the provisions of this section."
SB387 reads: "The Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources, may propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code in compliance with raw milk dairy industry standards."
The DHHR was still excluded from being able to make rules, which was so important and what we fought very hard for through WV Raw Milk Group. Many of our supportive legislators worked hard to secure that, and we pushed hard for that. Even right before the bill when to the House Floor, a delegate tried to get it added.
Just like the DHHR was allowed to consult and suggest what they would like in 2015,they can do so in 2016, but it is just confirmed in language this year as. The fact they are told they can speak with and suggest to the Department of Agriculture, while still not being rule makers, changes nothing and does not allow them to direct the rule making, thankfully.
The  area I feel the 2016 version is superior to the 2015 version is the word "May." This was intentional over last year's wording. Last year, it was "Shall." Given Rule-Making is compromised of the House and Senate bills' sponsors and other supporters, we have an better chance this year of either no additional rules being the current language or only those the committee decides on. . .in that word we have this year: "May."

Raw Milk Herdshare Farmer and Consumer List

GOAT AND COW                  
MAY offer Shares IN 2016




FARM: ROBERT ADKINS               
CLAY County


DODDRIDGE       County
 COW & GOAT                                 

ROHAN RANCH               
FAYETTE County     
GOAT, COW                                     

Farm: CGT&I CATTLE COMPANY              

Farm: GALFORD FARMS               


FARM: BILL HURD           
 COW & GOAT                                 


 COW, POSSIBLY GOAT                       

MAA MILK FARM            



COW & GOAT                                  




Farm: Patrice Sager
Thorne Bottom LaMancha's
Lost River, WV
Hardy County
Working on doing herdshares this year.

Barb Foster
Fostersfollies Farm
Pleasants County, WV
LaMancha’s goats
fostersfolliesLLC on FB


Just How Economically Important and Controlled is Dairy to and in West Virginia?

Take a moment to read a purposed compact. While the compact never received congressional authority, it tells us a great deal about how important Dairy is to the economy, farmers and the government.


"The purpose of this compact is to recognize the interstate character of the southern dairy industry and the prerogative of the states under the United States Constitution to form an interstate commission for the southern region. The mission of the commission is to take such steps as are necessary to assure the continued viability of dairy farming in the south, and to assure consumers of an adequate, local supply of pure and wholesome milk.
The participating states find and declare that the dairy industry is an essential agricultural activity of the south. Dairy farms, and associated suppliers, marketers, processors and retailers, are an integral component of the region's economy. Their ability to provide a stable, local supply of pure, wholesome milk is a matter of great importance to the health and welfare of the region.
The participating states further find that dairy farms are essential and they are an integral part of the region's rural communities. The farms preserve land for agricultural purposes and
provide needed economic stimuli for rural communities.
By entering into this compact, the participating states affirm that their ability to regulate the price which southern dairy farmers receive for their product is essential to the public interest. Assurance of a fair and equitable price for dairy farmers ensures their ability to provide milk to the market and the vitality of the southern dairy industry, with all the associated benefits.
Recent, dramatic price fluctuations, with a pronounced downward trend, threaten the viability and stability of the southern dairy region. Historically, individual state regulatory action had been an effective emergency remedy available to farmers confronting a distressed market. The federal order system, implemented by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, establishes only minimum prices paid to producers for raw milk, without preempting the power of states to regulate milk prices above the minimum levels so established.
In today's regional dairy marketplace, cooperative, rather than individual state action is needed to more effectively address the market disarray. Under our constitutional system, properly authorized states acting cooperatively may exercise more power to regulate interstate commerce than they may assert individually without such authority. For this reason, the participating states invoke their authority to act in common agreement, with the consent of Congress, under the compact clause of the Constitution.
In establishing their constitutional regulatory authority over the region's fluid milk market by this compact, the participating states declare their purpose that this compact neither displace the
federal order system nor encourage the merging of federal orders. Specific provisions of the compact itself set forth this basic principle.
Designed as a flexible mechanism able to adjust to changes in a regulated marketplace, the compact also contains a contingency provision should the federal order system be discontinued. In that event, the interstate commission is authorized to regulate the marketplace in replacement of the order system. This contingent authority does not anticipate such a change, however, and should not be so construed. It is only provided should developments in the market other than establishment of this compact result in discontinuance of the order system."
Again, this Compact never received authority from Congress since its conception, but regardless, it tells the public a great deal if you take the time to read it.

Rules as they Apply to SB387

Once rule making is official, this page will be updated.
Stay tuned.

A Rumor is Not News; What Happened to Journalism? Raw milk at the West Virginia Capitol

We seem to have turned into a Nation that does not care for the truth. I guess the truth is too boring for the fast paced, exciting lives we want to live (in our heads, mostly) these days. . .
I think I can remember a day where it was different; perhaps, that is simply wishful thinking. I will not report it as fact. I admit I cannot be sure.
As we co-exist these days with folks like Kim Kardshian, It is no wonder what is real is repugnant to society. If we didn't love outlandish, foolish dishonesty, America would not love reality television, which is anything but real. Those folks who star in reality shows would just be more folks in sweat pants at Wal*mart.
The Outrageous is fashionable, and too often, the facts aren't fun or fabulous or horrible enough to keep up with rumors, partial truths or outright lies. This is a world where even keeping a butt, ribs or nose God gave you is considered unacceptable,  so I am not surprised the media caters to what we have become. What choice have we, as a people, provided?
I am just not yet willing to throw in the towel here in West Virginia with seven years of a very honest and worthwhile endeavoring in this issue and accept this mess while "sitting down," though.
We are a Nation that loves a Lie. We are who is at fault with rumors become news. If the rumor didn't concern something we care deeply about, we would not pause to consider how much merit this story had. We might even share it.
We prove in everything we do that we are okay with lies being presented to us as truth. We love this and expect it in everything we read, see, hear and do. We expect our own bodies, lives and children to live up to these fictional expectations. We are works more works fiction than we are of truth.
I cannot be surprised as I watch this (thus far) merit-less tale about milk making folks sick at the capitol be flung across the entire country's media when there has yet to be single shred of evidence presented, where with the current information it was only notable enough to be on the Onion (as a work of satire), when I know this story is exactly what the people in American love to hear. It would not exist otherwise.
And You are responsible. And I am responsible.
A truthful headline like: "Almost everyone at the West Virginia Capitol has norovirus this week," does not read nearly so engaging as, "Legislators who support raw milk drink it and get sick," and so the Media goes with the latter because they know Us better than we like to admit.
A Rumor is News in America. It is news whether it concerns a Presidential candidate, an Alleged Rapist, Farmers or Food. Nothing is off limits.
What happened to Journalism? It became what we demanded.
Sensational Rumors, at this point, have been reported a fact or near fact; That is all.

No Victory is without a hurdle: Raw Milk Did Not Make Anyone Sick at the WV Capitol

Updated 3/7, 3/8 and 3/9/16 (Originally posted 3/7/16)
On Sunday, I received some information that a member of the House brought raw milk to the Floor to offer to those present to drink.
It was said suggested by those who had not been supportive of the Raw Milk Herdshare bill on that date that, when some members of the House of Delegates and staff were sick afterward, the illnesses could have been be due to the raw milk given out they chose to drink.The issue was, from the start, many were sick that had not consumed the raw milk on the day it was brought with the same symptoms at the same time.
 Norovirus has been confirmed to be making the rounds, and it almost certainly to blame. Members of the legislature have confirmed this is common at this time of the year, and that before the milk was brought, folks were already beginning to catch the virus.So why, when a known virus with easy to recognize symptoms and common this time of year is circulating to many at the capitol, blame raw milk?  Because the government has done one thing right: they have accomplished building tremendous fear and hysteria around real food.
All direct and local sources I've spoken to have confirmed this story of raw milk illness to be an unfounded rumor. It is a tale without merit. Further, to date, no medical professional has come forward with evidence to confirm ( this is easy to prove from stool and blood culture/testing) that any illness was connected to food borne illness of any kind, let alone related to contaminated milk. Actually, one delegate's doctor is reported to have confirmed to that legislator that raw milk was not related.Every single person who has been ill has dispelled the rumor. In a world concerned with honesty, not another word would have been said. Yet, Journalists have avoided the truth in order to sensationalize a story that doesn't exist. They have opted to not interview those who have been confirmed ill at the Capitol that not only did not drink milk, were never even around milk. American Journalism at its finest.This attempt to damage farmers and local foods is sickening, but it shows what a warped and disconnected society we have become.Too few reading these media reports are bothering to fact check. We, the people, are as much to blame. We have stopped caring about the truth, friends.
Given the radical opposition from the DHHR, Local Health Departments and FDA toward the Herdshare bill, any person who ever becomes ill and has also drank raw milk in their lifetime will find the milk is blamed unjustly. That is largely at the root of the statistics the CDC collects on raw milk, I suspect, as is.

While it has been disheartening to see many folks willing to jump to assume the milk was the culprit during "stomach flu" season in a crowded place of government business, given the decades of propaganda behind this issue, I can only sigh and think, "Of course."
The Herdshare law does expressly say milk cannot be given out second hand, so it is worth noting, the Herdshare law passing was not involved in the delegate bringing real milk to give out on the House floor. It is not legal in West Virginia for a producer of milk to give it out, sell it or make it available. It is not legal for a Grade A dairy to sell or make raw milk available. It it not directly illegal, from my lay person's understanding of the rules and law for a non-producer to accept the milk, however, and then give the milk out.
Real Milk, like undercooked eggs, raw oysters, sushi, cantaloupe and lettuce, can become contaminated. Any food, cooked or uncooked, can. There is a low level of risk with food in general; the risk in consuming raw milk is actually less than in some other whole, raw foods. Those seeking out herdshares understand this.  It is a personal choice, and many millions of people decide real milk is the right choice for their family, and they use it daily without any concern or issue.
Thankfully, the risk with real milk is minimal, though not non existent, properly handled real foods, including fresh milk, are safe.
Those seeking to damage farmers with this dishonest story do not represent an informed people. Please do not be one of those folks.
Originally posted 3/6/216, updated since that time
Raw Milk Statistic Links
1 / 2 / 3/  4 / 5

Studies, plus Tips on Raw Milk in West Virginia

Additional study links that speak to raw milk benefits

What Does the Passing of The Raw Milk Herdshare Bill mean in West Virginia: SB387

 I will include the bill language after a brief explanation about what all of this means.
The Herdshare Bill that was passed by Governor Tomlin on 3-3-16 does not make sales of Raw Milk Legal.
This law, as of May 2016, will make Sales of Shares of Your Dairy herd, if you are a farmer, legal. It will make buying an interest in a herd of dairy animals legal in West Virginia.
This bill still has to go through rule making with the legislature after session ends to create the final "rules" of how herdshares will operate.
We are fortunate to have many supporters in rule making. Please contact MEMBERS HERE soon to express your desire this law as unregulated as possible in the final language. The chairperson on the Senate and the Delegate in the House are firm supporters of SB387.
The broad terms of the bill are spelled out below, in SB387. Rules cannot contradict this language or add to in. They can only expound on it.
We were able to PREVENT the Health Departments or DHHR from being over rule making or even suggesting rules. Some folks who claimed to support this claimed that wasn't possible. We showed everyone we certainly Could and did. The DHHR is only allowed to suggest to the Department of Agriculture what they would like, which, to be honest, they would have done regardless of the language and means very little, thankfully.
Remember. . .RAW MILK SALES are not legal. Herdshares will be legal and the law of the state as of May.
Please be sure to protect yourself, follow the law and join The Farm to Legal Consumer Defense Fund, as well as researching the ways we have provided and will continue to provide on this blog, to safely run a herdshare.

HERE is the language of SB387

AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-1-7, relating to shared animal ownership agreements to consume raw milk; permitting a responsible party to acquire a percentage ownership interest to consume raw milk; setting forth required provisions for shared animal ownership agreements; requiring responsible party to acquire percentage ownership interest in milk-producing animal; requiring payment for percentage ownership for care and boarding of milk-producing animal; providing for receipt of a share of raw milk pursuant to an agreement; requiring written document acknowledging the inherent dangers of consuming raw milk; providing immunity to herd seller for inherent dangers of consuming raw milk; providing no waiver of immunity to herd seller for dangers caused by negligence of herd seller;  prohibiting responsible party from distributing, selling or reselling raw milk received pursuant to shared ownership agreement; requiring herd seller to file shared animal ownership agreement with Commissioner of Agriculture; requiring certain additional information be provided by herd seller to Commissioner of Agriculture; requiring herd seller meet animal health requirements established by state veterinarian; requiring parties and physicians to report illnesses related to consumption of raw milk; requiring parties to shared animal ownership agreement and physicians to report illnesses directly related to consuming raw milk; requiring Commissioner of Agriculture contact other parties consuming raw milk from same herd seller upon receipt of report of illness; providing administrative penalties; permitting a person against whom a penalty is imposed to administratively contest that penalty; and providing rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-1-7, to read as follows:
§19-1-7.  Shared animal ownership agreement to consume raw milk.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, a responsible party may enter into a written shared animal ownership agreement to consume raw milk in which he or she:
(1) Acquires a percentage ownership interest in a milk-producing animal;
(2) Agrees to pay another for the percentage ownership interest for the care and boarding of the milk-producing animal at the dairy farm;
(3) Is entitled to receive a fair share of the animal’s raw milk production as a condition of the contractual agreement;
(4) Agrees to sign a written document acknowledging the inherent dangers of consuming raw milk that may contain bacteria, such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and E. Coli, that has not been pasteurized to remove bacteria and that is particularly dangerous to children, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity. The responsible party then agrees to release the herd seller of liability for the inherent dangers of consuming raw milk but not for those dangers that are caused by negligent acts or omissions of the herd seller; and
(5) Agrees not to distribute raw milk.  The sale or resale of raw milk obtained from a herd share is strictly prohibited.
(b) The signed and executed shared animal ownership agreement shall be filed by the herd seller with the Commissioner of Agriculture and shall contain the names, addresses and phone numbers of the herd seller and the responsible party so that either party may be contacted in the event of an illness.
(c) The herd seller shall meet the animal health requirements for milk-producing animals established by the state veterinarian in accordance with state and national standards including the following:
(1) Raw milk from milk-producing animals intended for consumption shall be from a herd that tested negative within the previous twelve months for brucellosis, tuberculosis and other diseases as required by the state veterinarian. Additions to the herd shall test negative for the diseases within the previous thirty days before introduction into the herd; and
(2) Milk-producing animals producing bloody, stringy or abnormal milk, but with only slight inflammation of the udder, shall be excluded from the milking herd until reexamination shows that the milk has become normal. Milk-producing animals showing chronic mastitis, whether producing abnormal milk or not, shall be permanently excluded from the milking herd.
(d) Parties to a shared animal ownership agreement and physicians who become aware of an illness directly related to consuming raw milk shall report the illness to the local health department and the Commissioner of Agriculture.  Upon receipt of such a report, the Commissioner of Agriculture or his or her designee shall contact and warn other parties consuming raw milk from the same herd seller.
(e) The Commissioner of Agriculture may impose an administrative penalty not to exceed $100 for a person who violates the provisions of this section.  Any penalty imposed under this subsection may be contested by the person against whom it is imposed pursuant to article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(f) The Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources, may propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code in compliance with raw milk dairy industry standards.

One of Many Lies We've Swallowed in 2016, and it is only March: Raw Milk Made No One Sick at the WV Legislature, but that Has Not Stopped the Media or the Sheeple

One of Many Lies We've Swallowed in 2016, and it is only March: Raw Milk Made No One Sick at the WV Legislature, but that Has Not Stopped the Media or the Sheeple
The Governor of West Virginia signed the 2016 Raw Milk Herdshare bill into law in March. This is a bill he vetoed in 2015.
This legislation reverses an older law that prohibited West Virginia residents from co-owning dairy livestock for the purpose of being able to use their animals’ milk without pasteurization.
Right now, a rumor that has been proven in many ways to be without merit has circulated nationwide that raw milk served to a few people at the capitol made them sick. This is not true. Many people at the capitol had norovirus and/or other viral illnesses during the week the milk was brought. A few who drank the milk caught the virus around the same time, but as you would imagine, a lot of people were sick that did not even see the milk brought, at the same time with the same symptoms.
We live in a society that does not care about the truth and is happy to perpetuate a lie at every single turn. Our media is dishonest about small and large matters. It is no surprise then that the puppets pretending to be Journalist have made fun of our state for this unfounded rumor for over a week now.
But the truth is we have a right to be proud that we have made progress for farmers and freedom with this legislation. This law matters a great deal, actually.
I cannot help but feel sorry for the citizens who are so poorly educated they do not understand better and have made no effort to learn the truth.
Let us face a stark fact: America is systemically being disenfranchised at every turn. We, as a whole people, have sat by; we allowed this to happen with almost no fight.
The opposition to this bill and the very fact we had to seek this legislation at all proves this out.
While almost every single state in the Nation, like Oregon and California and Pennsylvania, allow sales of raw milk, West Virginia has lagged behind. We are not doing something innovative with herdshare legalization. We are coming at the tail end, a decade or many, late. As usual.
The so called “Food Freedom Fight,” a movement spearheaded by small farmers nationwide, is one of many movements birthed because of too many years of silence by too many Americans.
While we slept, we lost liberty after liberty with almost no protest.
We backslid. Some are so deep in the kool-aide even now, the populace sees no important to "Food Freedom."
Unless you were already familiar with the Food Freedom movement, how many of you would have believed that any state in the nation would be so bold as to create a law that says an American citizen could not enter into a private contract to co-own and co-use livestock to gain a traditional food?
Would have believed that an entire government system was actually so broken and oppression-minded, they feel they MUST protect the people from “the people” by dictating where your food can originate and how you MUST cook it, as well?
Maybe if they dictated what flavors your soda came in, maybe then you'd be upset? Maybe when they decide how much sugar you can put in your tea? Maybe when the FDA decides to pre-cook your steaks, chicken and seafood to ultra well done before allowing you to buy it?
I must have misread our Founding Fathers . . . I could have sworn it was. . . “By the people” & “For the people.” Someone is confused here. Someone. . .but it is not I.
Here is a fact: Farm to consumer sales of all types are wrapped up in economics. This is a corporate oligopoly (a few entities dominating an industry) the American government is protecting; this revolves around the 80 plus billion dollar a year dairy industry that buys milk from dairy farmers for $1.00 a gallon. It isn't about keeping you SAFE.
Keep in mind, many large commercial dairy farms run at such a loss, they operate on tax payer funded welfare known as “Agriculture subsidies." These dairy farmers cannot make a living that is decent at that price, but they have no option for their milk sales outside of selling to these few companies, conglomerates like Kraft. So they continue to sell at poverty prices. The massive buyers of most all of the milk produced across the nation work hard to keep this multi billion dollar industry unable to operate without them.
Money is poured into lobbying against small farmers and consumers at every single turn.
This funding assured the FDA and CDC and state Health Department propagate Real milk (raw) as dangerous to the public; they tout it as a volatile product that must be heavily regulated. Of course they do, this works in their interest. Remember, this effort is about 80 plus BILLION dollars a year. People believe the propaganda, as people as usually want to do.
Here we are.
What happens if raw milk sales suddenly becomes legal across the county, both intra and interstate sales? Not mass illness because we can see from current numbers from the CDC and FDA. What happens is the market controlled by Mass Corporations see some of their dairy farmers skipping the middle man and selling direct. You would not see farms operating at a loss giving away milk for $1 per gallon to big corporate buyers. That is a fact.
The actions by the government in American on our food system are not some type of unimportant joke a fringe group has taken up. Hardly.
Last time I checked, small farmers built this nation and feed this nation.
Fringe group? Hardly.
They matter. They matter to your health, your economics and your freedom
American farmers have been Terrorized for a decade across this county by the FDA and state law enforcement for simply selling real milk to informed Americans who desire to use it. There are no shortage of stories, though they fail to make the headlines in this biased Media environment.
The steps that have been taken systematically over decades concerning where our food comes from is one of an American Government siding with huge industry over the citizen.
Our wildly out of control government is demanding our food go through a middle man in order to assure mass profit to huge corporations. To ensure control is out of our hands.
Please realize this is about controlling that most important aspect of day to day life: Sustenance. Control Food = Control Everything.
Our most basic freedoms are eroded more and more each day. We sit back and talk and grumble. Some find themselves too disillusioned to even care anymore. But when consuming a traditional food becomes a hot bed for Civil Disobedience, We have to realize this Nation is in danger of heading down the wrong path, it is already half way to hell.
When one says American Farmers’ Survival does not matter, Americans’ choice concerning what they eat is trivial, one needs to also accept that it will hardly be long before the same tyranny which robbed that Farmer of his survival is going to be knocking at your door.

Being a Good “Share” Member means. . .

Being a Good "Share" Member means Courtesy.
A lot of the mistakes share members make are never intended to be mistakes at all.
I have spent years talking to those who have operated Herd Share programs outside of West Virginia, trying to learn what makes not only a good herdshares program, but what type of buyer do you want to target in your sales of the shares.
One thing to remember, even at what breaks down to $6 to $10 per gallon milk through the share program the farm may make back, there is no way Farmers really profit when the time they spend is factored in. Farmers love what they do, they see no way around a life without growing, producing and working with livestock or with the land. But we should not take advantage.
Frequent Complaints from Farmers, sometimes leading to the farmer deciding offering shares isn't something he/she can even offer, sadly:
Share buyers who come to pick up their share but linger, making much-needed work impossible to finish 
We ALL love to talk about farming, goats, cows and homesteading, but when you come to pick up a share, remember how many others have to do the same. Imagine if they all stood around and talked to the farmer every single time for even 15 minutes? How would that farmer, who is already stretched thin with farm, family and often off the farm work, ever get anything done?
Think of this pick up as you would a typical shopping trip, you stop in to pick up and pay for your share in a very timely manner.
Share Buyers who are never on time or drop in at unscheduled times without notice
Remember that you are arriving at someone's home for a business transaction. You need to try to arrive at your scheduled pick up time. This is the farmer's home. They have other appointments, and so if you miss your scheduled time, do not unfairly expect to be able to arrive late or another day to pick up. We all know things come up, and so make sure that, as a general rule, you are on time for your scheduled pick up, so that when true instances arise making a pick up impossible, the farmer knows this is an exception, not a rule.
Share Buyers who bring visitors to your farm, arrive and wander around when you aren't home or allow their children or friends with children to come along and give themselves farm tours even when the farmer is home
I think this is a hard one for most people. Kids, family and friends enjoy livestock. They enjoy seeing the farming process, but as farmers, this is something that we can rarely accommodate. We have already went over the time constraints, but beyond that, this is a huge bio-security issue and liability issue. Few farmers are going to be carrying the correct coverage to allow these types of visits, and when livestock is around, especially large male breeding animals that many curious children do not realize are dangerous, this is honestly too much to expect of a farmer to offer. When you pick your herd share farm, you should expect to be allowed, as an adult, to see the animals, the areas they are kept and the milking process, but this should not entail family, friends or children running at large. It should also not be expected upon each visit, and while if asked whether you can bring friends, other children or family to visit the farmer's ground, few farmers actually say, "No," do keep in mind, it is the number one complaint I hear from former or current share farmers. It has made a few I have spoken to stop offering them.
Share members who do not pick up their share, but then expect to pick up double the next week or later in the week
Remember, this is a contract where you co-own a small percentage of the herd in question. Your share of the milk produced comes on a certain day of the week. If you fail to pick that share up, it was still produced. Should you decide to not pick the milk up, the farmer has still gone through the process to produce the milk, spent the time and you truly should expect to still cover your share, whether you pick it up or not, as that was your share of milk for that week, regardless. Raw Milk has a shorter keep time than pasteurized. Goat's milk tends to keep 5-7 days. Cows milk 7-10 days. If you are typically on time, farmers will allow you to reschedule, but you need to be aware you want to pick up the freshest milk possible in order to be sure you have a reasonable keep time. It would be a liability to the farmer to give you the share of milk from your day if you have wait more than a couple of days, and normally, storage runs out quick on a dairy farm. Do not expect milk to be held past you pick up date without arrangements made ahead of time. Further, when you do not pick your share up on time but decide 5 days later, you would like to have the milk, that may be a day others are due to pick up their milk, come on time and have the first option.
Share Members expect the farmers to give the milk away, relay financial hard times or other stories to make the farmer feel guilty for selling the shares at typical price
This is really not a nice way to treat the small farmer. No small farmer is making much profit. Most have to work full time jobs off the farm to support their families. Herd Shares are a way to allow a farmer to operate less in the red, more in the black, but this is certainly no get rich quick scheme. Milk costs about $3 to produce without factoring in time, medical treatment when needed, fence, land taxes, building materials, milking equipment and so forth. It takes about 1 hour a day to milk one cow, clean up and strain the milk, at minimum. Please understand that if a farmer asks $6 a share for that milk, which returns one gallon of milk to a herd member, he is hardly making anything, as is. A quality product is worth a reasonable price. If a farmer is open to bartering for items or services he or she needs, that is one thing. But please never guilt a farmer into taking less when he cannot really afford to do so.
Share members who have not done their research
All foods carry risk. ALL. Raw milk has benefits. It has risks. They are certainly not anything similar to the propaganda pushed by Big AG or the Government, but there is some degree of risk. Educate yourself. Understand that this is a personal choice for your family, and go into the herdshare program with this in mind. Also, your handling after you pick the milk up is PART of the safety process. You can mishandle the milk in the same way you can mishandle the storage of raw meats, etc.

Investing in a Milking Machine

Average investment for the items below would be about $2,000
Your GO TO Sources online for Dairy Equipment
Affordable Milkers (rebuilt and very good prices)
For those looking to Machine Milk:
There are several styles of machines / attachments to look into.
If you have goats and cows, you can use the same lines and machine, but you will need a cow claw and a goat claw. You can also get the machines up to milk more than a single animal at once, if you chose. I do not recommend this until you are smoothly used to milking one animal with the machine.
I found the machine takes time to get used to. Unless you have more than 4 goats in milk or a high production cow, it also takes more, not less, time, as cleaning and handling the equipment has to be considered.
These machines hold value and with some replacing of inflations and hoses, can be made like new if  you want to buy them online through ebay or craiglist, too.
You will need to experiment to determine  the setting you will use on your cow or goat with your vacuum pump, whatever is comfortable for the animal - it is important to use the right setting, and it is different between goats and cows, as well.
1. The Milking Machine: The bucket, the hoses, the vacuum, the claw
3. A strainer and filters. Large if milking the cows, like found here. Smaller is milking goats,like found here.
4. Cleaning supplies for the machine set up. You can piece this together or purchase a kit like is found on this link or here.
5. A nice milking stanchion, especially for goats. Wood is cheaper and is easy to build at home, but metal is more sanitary and will last longer. Check ebay for low prices for shipped metal stands! A head stand or entire stanchion can be built for cattle, and there are various options for this. Keep in mind easy and ability to clean.
6. Storage containers, like 1/2 gallon glass mason jars.
7. Misc iteams: Strip cups, teat dip container, teat dip mixture, udder clothes and wash, CMT test (for cows)