I would love to taste the milk. How can I do that?
We would be happy to deliver a sample for you to any of our delivery locations throughout Northern Virginia. A $4.00 handling fee applies. Please send us an email to let us know that you would like a sample!
What do you feed your cows?
Our pastures have been planted with several different grasses to grow at different times of the year to ensure consistent forage. High quality forages produce the very best milk. We have a 24 hour rotation – which means that the cows are rotated to new paddocks every 24 hours. The paddocks are then allowed to “rest” for a period of 26-30 days before the cows have access to that grass again.
We do feed a small grain supplement that is custom formulated and consists of organic or naturally raised whole grains.
Can we get milk year round? I have heard cows dry up – what does that mean?
In the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy, the cow instinctively prepares for her new calf and gives herself a “rest” from lactation. The cows have calves at different times of the year so that we have sufficient milk for our sharemembers.
Is it legal to purchase raw milk in Virginia?
In Virginia, it is illegal to sell raw milk. But it is not illegal to drink fresh milk from the cow that you own! It is as simple as purchasing/owning your own cow or a partial ownership of a cow or a partial ownership in a herd of cows and boarding the cow or cows at a local farm. The farmer (or Agister) performs a service for you by feeding, caring for, and milking your cow or cows. This is arrangement is called cow boarding; the legal term for it is an Agistment Agreement.
So, are cow shares legal in Virginia?
Yes, they are. It is illegal in this state to sell raw (unpasteurized) milk to the public. As we work through legal means to legalize what many consider a right in a free market, you may legally consume milk produced from cows in which you have an ownership interest. In other words, when you own a share in our herd, you may legally use the milk from your share in any way you see fit. The milk supplied to you will be raw–that is, it is not heat-treated or pasteurized. It will be chilled and bottled – that is all the processing it receives. Shareholders are responsible for the monthly boarding fee, even if you go on vacation or travel for business.
How do you milk the cows?
Milking at Golden Valley Farm is completed twice daily, 12 hours apart with a stainless steel pipeline system. The milk is deposited into a stainless steel bulk tank and cooled to 35 degrees within 15 minutes. A mechanized chart keeps track of the milk temperature at all times as is required by commercial standards. All equipment is thoroughly sanitized prior to milking and cleaned after each milking to ensure proper sanitation. Our milking equipment is flushed and cleaned with commercial solutions to maintain the highest standard of raw milk for our shareholders and our own family.