In states where dairy regulations forbid consumers their constitutional right to purchase raw milk in stores or directly from farmers, consumers are entering into share agreements with the farmer.
In a cowshare or herdshare agreement, consumers pay a farmer a fee for boarding their cow, (or share of a cow), caring for the cow and milking the cow. The cowshare owner then obtains (but does not purchase) the milk from his own cow. This arrangement is similar to arrangements of owning a share in a racehorse or a bull.
Some states, such as Wisconsin, actually forbid cowshare agreements (which represents a further abridgement of our constitutional rights.) In these states, consumers and farmers have set up corporations in which consumers hold non-voting shares. This permits the consumer to obtain raw milk and other products from the farm in which he shares ownership (a farmshare). It is more difficult and more expensive to set up a farmshare program than a cow or herdshare program, but this arrangement has the advantage of providing the farmer with more protection.
For information on setting up a cowshare or farmshare agreement, contact the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund at email@example.com . Fund members have access to generic cowshare agreements and legal advice.
Farmers setting up cowshares may also be interested in this freeware application that can help you keep deliveries straight among various groups picking up on different days.