Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wild Roots Goat Share Program

So here is how our Wild Roots Farm Goat Share Program is going to work, or so I think. As it is illegal to sell milk in the state of Alaska, but it is legal to drink milk from your own dairy animals, we are going to sell shares in our goat herd. Goat shares do not extend beyond milk, so fresh cheese and other dairy products are not allowed. Furthermore, it is illegal to transport raw milk off the farm, unless it is denatured or labeled for animal consumption only - or being transported to an owner or co-owner of the animal. We are starting out small and simple. This program is not our "make it rich scheme" or even a successful business plan, nor is it designed to pay for all of our goat herd expenses, (although that is a longer term goal and would be swell), but rather compensate for a significant amount of their feed bill and expenses. I'm planning a future goat feed cost post that will break down how much it costs to raise a goat up here, which should make the following prices seem reasonable, if they don't already.

  1. $75 buys you a share in our herd.  All $75 is refundable if you would like to sell back your share to us at anytime.
  2. Ten dollars a week pays for the care, board, milking, and milk processing of your share of a goat and finally a portion of the product: one gallon of fresh milk per week during milk flow months The weekly charge is due at the beginning of each month, before the first milk pick up.
  3. This year we expect the milking season to begin in June and end around December, 7 months of milk. Once we get going we may be able to continue a little later than December. Next spring our goal is to be able to supply shareholders with milk by mid April. The length of the season depends on several factors, some of which are not always in our control, how much milk the goats give, how soon or late we sell kids, when we breed in the fall etc.
  4. There is an annual $50 fee to be paid at the beginning of each season with the exception of the first year. This goes towards the feed and care of your co-owned goat when it is not lactating.
  5. Inital start up charges including first month of ownership/milk delivery: $75 buy in, $40 monthly (roughly) $115.
  6. At this time Sunshine Health Food Store is going to let us use their building as a drop off/ pick up place. They are not selling the milk for us. They are not handling paper work, money or doing anything other than providing a handy location and refrigerator. We will deliver milk to their in store refrigerator. Shareholders stop in and pick their milk up and drop off their clean jars from the previous week. 
  7. There will be a sheet with shareholders names on it. Shareholders will check that they picked up their milk and check that they dropped off their jars. When jars are broken shareholders can replace them or we can add a jar charge to the following month.
  8. At this time I am planning on dropping off milk on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The shareholders are responsible for picking up their milk on the designated day. Any milk leftover at the end of the day will be donated to the store employees. So if you can't make it to pick up your milk, find someone who will, or email me in advance.
  9. Shareholders may not sell your full share to someone yourself. We will have a waiting list of potential shareholders in line to buy available shares.
  10. At this time we are not going to deal with half shares for those who only want a half a gallon of milk per week. I would suggest finding someone who would like to share your share with you.
  11. We currently have ten goat shares available, apart from our family and farm helpers with goat shares. I expect to have more shares available as the summer progresses and we wean and sell goat kids. I am starting out small because we like to have a plethora of milk around here for drinking, cheese-making and hopefully this year cream separating and butter making.
  12. I am going to accept shareholders on a first come basis. Those of you who have already emailed me are at the top of the list. The next step is sending me a check for the buy-in. In return I will send out a contract along with our milking procedures, policies and raw milk safety precautions etc. Or,
  13.  I am thinking that we will have an open house prior to or at the start of the share program. I would like everyone who is interested to see our goats, our milking area, milk procedures and so on. This would be a great time to sign contracts and go over raw milk safety guidelines and any other questions shareholders may have.
If you are interested in our goat share program you can email me at
Please send me an email before mailing a check, just in case we've filled the available shares.
Please send checks to, and make payable to: Emily Stahl,  PO BOX 80662, Fairbanks AK, 99708

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