Considering A Herd Share Program? What Family Cow Owners Must Know To Protect Themselves From Loss & Liability

Insurance Blog

Few debates have raged for so long or become so heated as those that center on whether or not raw milk is safe for human consumption. On one side of the debate are raw milk advocates who believe that the pasteurization process destroys vital nutrients in the milk and robs it of its nutritional benefits. On the other side are those who oppose drinking raw milk because they believe it must be pasteurized in order to kill any harmful pathogens that may have contaminated the milk and ensure that it is safe for consumption by the public.

Since many states continue to outlaw the sale of raw milk, families who choose to include it in their diet are often compelled to obtain and milk their own dairy cow or cows in order to have a source of raw milk. If the cow produces more than they can consume, some of these families begin a herd share program as a legal way to distribute the excess milk in states where direct sales to the consumer are not legal. If you are a raw milk advocate with a family cow who is planning to start a herd share program, the following information will help you protect your farm from potential loss and liability.

Make sure your herd share program is a formal agreement

Basically defined as an agreement where multiple people purchase shares in a cow or a herd of cows and share in the cost of caring for them in return for a share of the milk or other products produced, a herd share should always be a formal agreement. Since you are not actually selling the milk, the agreement should be carefully structured to reflect what the share buyer is getting for their monetary interest in a single cow or a herd of cows and how the cow or cows will be managed.

Protecting your farm against potential loss and liability

Since one of the benefits of a herd share program is that it gives the share owner an opportunity to view the farm where the cow or cows are kept, see how the cows are managed and how the milk  is produced and bottled, farm owners should always be prepared for these visits. However, having people visit the farm who are not familiar with livestock and farming equipment can create liability issues for the farmer. Before finalizing any herd share agreement farmers should first discuss their plans with their insurance agent. In most cases, you will want to protect your cow or cows with livestock insurance based on their value and expected production, as well as making sure that your farm has adequate liability insurance to protect you from liability claims, should someone become injured on your property or claim illness from drinking the milk produced there.

For more information, talk to a professional like Inspro Insurance.


9 September 2016