Raw Milk Farmer Success Story Shows There is a Market for $24 Gallons

One Oregon dairy farmer’s raw milk is in such high demand that she is able to sell it for $24 per gallon and has a waiting list of eager customers.

Her success can likely be attributed to her commitment to produce high-quality raw milk and other farm-fresh products (and being within a 30 minute drive of Portland probably doesn’t hurt, either).

On David Gumpert’s blog, The Complete Patient, he writes that “…she is a great illustration of how working diligently and publicly for safe raw milk can be a big business booster. [She] pushed hard to become the first certified dairy member of the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) in 2012, and is also on its board…She is limited in her production by Oregon’s three-cow limit on raw dairies, or she would likely be serving many more than the 100 regular customers she currently has.”

At a time when there are all too many sad stories about small farms being targeted by health officials or put out of business by Big Dairy, this success story is uplifting and inspiring. Read more about what she’s doing to encourage other farmers on The Complete Patient.

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9 thoughts on “Raw Milk Farmer Success Story Shows There is a Market for $24 Gallons

  1. I bought my first gallon for $18 today. I was surprised it cost so much… but I wanted it and bought it. All the negative opinions on charging so much for milk… don’t really mean squat. It’s called supply and demand… if you don’t like it go buy a cow.

  2. After reading some of the other comments, I wanted to leave another short one. There’s a big difference between making a living and being successful in business. If the person’s goal was to gain wealth and live with ease, her prices are probably set well. The easier your life becomes financially, the harder it is for others to live a financially stable life – that’s the truth. I personally believe marketing a health product AS a health product and placing a high price on it has a negative impact on the people seeking health. Selling milk for a high price is different than selling a TV for a high price. Really, if we’re assuming the person is trying to be responsible, she’s guilty of “making health harder.” If we’re looking at it from a business perspective, and assuming people have knowledge of their other options, there’s really nothing wrong with it. As other comments have pointed out, there are sneaky ways for other businesses to get their money, and small-scale farming operations aren’t especially qualified to receive special monetary benefits. It’s all about perspective, I think.

  3. It is very easy to sling poop if you don’t have to clean it up, said a wise farmer. Let’s say a raw dairy sells shares each month for a total of $30,000. Now take half of that away for the feed. That is $15,000 left. Take away $1000 for straw to keep the milk cows clean and dry for bedding and afternoon cud chewing. Now take away $2000 for the electric bill which runs all the equipment before, during and after milking. Now take away $1000 for the cleaning agents to clean, prep and disinfecte the cow and equipment. That leaves $10,000. Now take $3000 away for the property and buildings that are leased to run the business. Subtract $500 for all lab testing to show the herd owners what is and is not in the milk. Now we are at $6,500. The milk needs containers to reach the herd owners priced at $1000. The cooling tank is leased at $500 a month. The vet bills and inoculations are $500. Fuel costs are $1000. We are at $3,500. Healthcare cost for farmers family is $1500. That leaves $2000 for the farmers family each month. Their old truck and car payment and small tractor total $1000. That leaves $1000 for food, personal heating, electric bill, phone, internet, school sports and clothes. Farmers and Ranchers are not rich in money. They are rich in health and family. They do all of this for all of us. They love bringing you raw, healthy food. Raw Dairy Farmers are not subsidized or paid by anyone but the herd share parties. If you research the cost of a raw dairy, if you charge less than $20 for a gallon of milk, you will not make it as a business and the livestock will not live a healthy life. Excuses that a low income family cannot pay $20 a week in milk is spending their money on the wrong things. If my family can make it on $1000 a month, I know it can be done. I hope everyone has a healthy, safe and amazing holidays and can be truly grateful for their family of Farmers and Ranchers. Thank you.

  4. At $24/gallon, hopefully the milk is fresh and very high quality (chemical free, organic, fed entirely natural, etc). It’s understandable for milk prices to double, maybe even triple or quadruple, if it’s raw and manually obtained on a small farm. Raw, clean, fresh milk is great for a person’s health, but economically $24 per gallon is a health trap. There are great methods for increasing your health out there, and some are infinitely more affordable weighing benefit against cost. Hopefully raw milk isn’t legalized only to suffer the same fate as bee pollen, wheat grass, and a hundred other unnecessarily expensive health-boosters.


    • Shame on her! REALLY? You mean shame on her for making a small profit in her effort?
      She is not likely not getting any subsidies like large agribusiness does.
      Do you realize that those subsidies drop the milk prices to the low prices paid at the supermarket?
      Anyone that scorns this woman’s good work should try to make a living farming. That is FARMING (like our grandparents used to do) and try to make a living while treating animals humanely and giving them healthy lives while they are alive which translates to an incredibly healthy product for us to thrive on.

  6. Supply and demand. However, her milk is priced so high that the lower income people could not purchase it. How sad! A lot of them want to be healthy, too. We aren’t low income, but with a family of 7, we could not afford her milk.

    • There is another farmer in the area who charges $11.00 a gallon for perfect raw Jersey milk, and that includes delivery. I think it’s in very poor taste that the above farmer is charging so much for it.

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