Years ago we wanted access to fresh unpasteurized milk, and as it is against the law for “raw” milk to be sold in Virginia, we bought a share in a herd of dairy cows! The trouble was that our milk share that we picked up each week was not enough, and so we took the plunge and became cow keepers around 2008.
When you buy a cow from an ad in the newspaper you really don’t know what you are getting. It is a bit like buying a used car.
In January 2012 we were blessed with a beautiful calf from our old cow Belle. Coco was the first heifer to be born on our farm, after having a few bull calves. She is a purebred Jersey, all grown up now. We have a special relationship with her, and what is really important is that we know how old she is and that she has had good nutrition since birth.
In our rural county, many people over 60 yrs old, and a few who are younger, tell me how they grew up with a family cow, or went up the road to get milk from their grandparents or the local dairy farm.
We cannot sell the milk, as it is against the law in Virginia, but I am happy to say that our representative Del. Matt Fariss, in the Virginia General Assembly House of Delegates, co sponsored a bill in 2016 that would have allowed sales of raw milk from up to 3 cows, which was how it used to be till around 60 years ago. The bill failed due to massive opposition from the Virginia Farm Bureau, VDACS, Virginia Dairymens Association, VDH and others.