Fall Creek Farms
Herd Share Program
Information and Boarding Agreement
Thanks to the efforts of many people like you, Tennesseans can now legally obtain real milk, fresh from a local farm! Here at Fall Creek Farms™, our goal is to provide wholesome and healing foods for our family and yours. Through our Herd Share Program, you too can enjoy the benefits of drinking delicious milk that is both good and good for you.
- How does a herd share program work and what does it cost?
When you join the Fall Creek Farms Goat Share Program, you purchase a share in our herd of Alpine Dairy Goats or Jersey cows for a one time fee of $50.00. At that time, you will also sign a Herd Boarding Agreement, and receive a Bill of Sale. Thereafter, you will pay a weekly boarding fee of $8.00 for the feeding, milking and care of your portion of the herd. One herd share entitles you to one gallon of milk a week.
- How do I pay my boarding fees?
For everyone’s convenience, weekly boarding fees are due at the first pick-up date of each month, payable in full, one month in advance. We cannot deliver milk unless your boarding fees are up to date. Cash is the preferred method of payment, although we do accept checks and money orders.
- Where do I pick up my milk?
We deliver milk from Cookeville to Chattanooga and all in between. See our delivery schedule for details!
- What if I am unable to pick up my milk?
You are responsible for getting your milk from the pre-arranged site; however, if you are unable to come for any reason, you may designate someone else to pick up your milk for you. However, if you fail to pick up your milk, we are unable to save your milk for the following week, nor can the boarding fees be altered. Whenever possible, we ask you to e-mail us if you will be unable to pick up your milk and we will try to make arrangements.
- What if I no longer want my herd share?
The ownership of a herd share is good until you no longer want to own it. Then you can sell it back to Fall Creek Farms for the price of $5.00. You may not sell it to a third party (as per Tenn. Law) however, if you know of someone else who is interested in a goat share program, please share this information with them and ask them to get in contact with us.
- How do I care for my milk after I pick it up?
It is critical that your milk stay chilled once you pick it up. Many customers routinely bring a small cooler (with ice) for this purpose.
- What about jars?
We use uniform, conveniently-sized jars that you purchase from us at our cost. Each share includes the purchase of a case of bottles. Each week, you will receive milk in 4 jars AND return 4 jars for the next week’s delivery. It is CRITICAL that your jars be scrupulously cleaned and dried. When cleaning milk containers, begin by rinsing with lukewarm water (too hot or too cold can cause milk solids to adhere to the jar’s surface). Next, wash thoroughly with soap and hot water, rinse well, and allow to dry completely. If rinsed well before being loaded, dishwashers are fine for cleaning milk jars. Please sniff your cleansed jars before coming for milk pick up – they should smell clean.
- How long does raw milk keep?
If handled as above, your milk will easily keep a week with no change in quality.
- What should I do if the milk smells bad after only a few days?
DISCARD IT! Let us know right away, and we will investigate and replace it. If no one else had a problem – or if you discover only one of your jars was bad – there was likely a problem with the sanitation of that particular jar.
- What should I do with milk that is more than 1 week old?
As long as it still smells and tastes sweet to you, it is fine to use. However, during the milking season, you will be getting milk each week. Therefore, if you find you are consistently having extra milk, experiment with making fun milk products like pudding, yogurt, cheese or soap. Many pets enjoy and can benefit from the leftover milk.
- Why does a layer of cream form on top of the milk?
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning the fat is suspended in the milk. However, our milk is high in butterfat and some of this cream will rise to the top of the milk. You can skim this off if you want to use the cream. DO NOT SHAKE GOAT’S MILK!
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, will have a distinct cream line. For drinking or cooking with the whole milk, you can gently shake the container before pouring to disperse the cream into the milk again.
- What can you tell me about the goats?
Well now, that is one of our favorite subjects! Our herd began in the 1990’s with two bred does who were being retired from a dairy farm. Our herd has grown substantially since then, yet we prefer to keep our herd relatively small so we can provide lots of attention.
Our son Ben and his wife JoAnna recently bought several Jersey cows, and have joined us in our efforts to bring raw milk to middle Tennessee. See our Jersey cow herd share page for details.
- What is your approach to herd health?
We take a preventive approach to our herd’s health, and thus, we rarely encounter health concerns. We administer routine vaccinations annually – like those that protect our herd against overeating disease, tetanus, and staph mastitis. We use a wonderful herbal worming product that has been proven to be more effective than those undesirable chemical wormers. Because of the health and vigor of our herd we have rarely had to use antibiotics; although we would not withhold such treatment if we deemed it necessary for the long-term benefit of any of our animals. If any goat or cow were to need antibiotics, she would be removed from the milking pool for the appropriate withdrawal period.
- How is the milking done?
We milk twice daily, following a strict regimen for hygiene. This involves plenty of hand washing, sanitizing, and proper udder care. Only stainless steel containers are used for milking and processing your milk. Our recently-remodeled milking room is where much of our work is done. After the milk is collected, it is immediately strained into your jars. The jars are immediately immersed in an ice bath for rapid cooling. Once chilled, the milk is stored in a refrigerator until delivery. Finally, all the milking equipment is cleaned with a dairy detergent and sanitizer.
- What do the goats eat?
While on the milking stanchions, the goats and cows receive some grain, although high quality forage (like alfalfa) is their mainstay. The grain we use has no corn or soy and no GMO’s.
Normally, our girls spend their day outside in our pastures and woodlots (they do not like rainy weather, and trot back to their barn as soon as the rain starts). As you may know, goats are primarily browsers (like deer) not grazers, so we maintain our pastures as a mix of grasses and high-protein browse.
Bill of Sale and Herd Boarding Agreement
This agreement between Fall Creek Farms (seller) and ___________________________ (buyer) is entered into on _________________________.
The buyer purchases ______ share(s) in our herd at Fall Creek Farms™ at $50 per share (which includes purchase of a case of bottles) giving buyer limited interest, shared with others of co-ownership in the herd. The buyer understands that the seller retains a majority interest in the shares of this herd. The buyer does not obtain any interest or rights to the kids that are birthed in this herd. Furthermore, the buyer understands that he/she has no rights concerning the day to day operations involving the herd, or any decisions made by the seller regarding its maintenance, housing, pasturing, or health care. The seller retains the right to make all such decisions, as well as decisions deemed necessary regarding the purchasing or disposing of any animals in the herd.
The buyer agrees to pay a weekly fee of $8.00 for the care and boarding of the herd. Buyer is entitled to receive a proportional share of the milk produced by the herd as long as their fee is paid. The buyer has discussed and agreed to the delivery option with the seller.
The buyer may visit the herd as arranged with the seller. Seller will offer reasonable educational opportunities for the buyer to understand and appreciate the herd and dairy farming.
Buyer’s assumption of Risks and Waiver of Claims: Buyer understands and acknowledges that there may be risks of harm encountered in consuming raw milk; in visiting and/or interacting with the Herd and/or animals that may be found in the vicinity, in visiting or entering upon the type of premises where the Herd is found; and in being on the same premises as the types of equipment, tools, etc. that are likely to be found upon the type of premises where the Herd is found. By signing this agreement, the Buyer hereby knowingly and voluntarily assumes the risk of any and all such harm and also waives any and all right to make, file, or pursue any claim, demand, suit, action, cause of action, damages, etc. against Seller or any of Seller’s agent, employees, lessors, lessees, vendors etc. that arises out of or relates to any harm encountered or caused, in whole or in part, by, consuming raw milk; visiting and/or interacting with the Herd and/or other animals that may be found in the vicinity of the Herd; visiting or entering upon the premises where the Herd is found, or encountering equipment, tools, etc. that are found upon the premises where the Herd is found.
Please be assured your information is confidential and will not be shared with anyone without express written consent.
Dated: _______________ Buyer (sign)__________________________________
Seller: _________________________ Buyer: (print)