Understanding Dairy Shares

It is illegal to obtain raw milk in North Carolina for human consumption if you do not own the cow the milk comes from.

Read that again:


It doesn’t matter whether the milk is sold to you or given to you at no cost.  It is illegal for a farmer to distribute raw milk in the state of North Carolina to anyone who is not a cow owner.

You can find farmers that will allow you to buy raw milk, but you will be getting milk from a farmer whom you know is willing to break the law and be dishonest.  That’s not smart.

If you want raw milk to use for human consumption, you must own the cow that milk comes from.  Fortunately, North Carolina does not require you to own an entire cow, but allows cow ownership to be shared among a number of owners.

This is what a “dairy share” is.

Paying Your Share

A quality dairy cow costs between $1,000-$1,500.  An average cow produces 20 gallons of milk per week.  So, if we allow 1 gallon per share owner, we can divide ownership of one cow among 20 share holders.  The cost of purchasing one share would be anywhere from $50 to $75.  Buying a cow share allows you to obtain raw milk for you own consumption legally.

Once you become a share owner, you are now partly responsible for the expense of the care of the cow and the milk.  You will not be providing this care yourself, so you must pay for it to be done by the farm.  At Michael Family Farm, the charge for this care is $24 per month per share.  The average cost of 1 gallon of raw milk for a dairy share owner is $6.00, which is a great price.

As a share owner, paying your monthly service fee, all you need to do to obtain your milk is visit the farm once per week and collect your gallon of raw milk.

Getting Your Milk

Pickup is very simple.  Contact us at 980-425-4053 and arrange a pick-up day and time.  We will make sure that your milk is available when you arrive.  At 2105 Mt. Pleasant Church Rd., Monroe, NC, you will see signs at the driveway where you will go for pickup.  You are free to enter the door of the house there and take your milk from the refrigerator.   There may or may not be someone there to meet you.

You will need to bring a cooler big enough to hold two half-gallon glass jars and keep your milk cold until you can put it in the refrigerator at home.  If you allow the milk to warm while travelling, it may sour.

Each week, when you pick up your milk, you must return your glass jars–washed and clean.  If you do not return your jars, you may not take any more milk.  If you are found to be taking milk without returning jars, your dairy share will be cancelled.

Once this routine is worked out the first few times, milk pickup will be very simple.  There will also be fresh meat or eggs available, which can be added to your regular order or purchased when you visit.  Simply contact us and let us know what you’d like.

If you have any questions, please contact us any time.

God bless,

Bill & Dania Michael
Michael Family Farm
Call/Text: (980) 425-4053






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