Cow Share Program
In Indiana, the only legal way to obtain fresh raw milk for your family is to own the cow! The Rose Hill herd of dairy cows is jointly owned by over 50 families, but Rose Hill Dairy Service, LLC takes care of them. Cow share owners pay a monthly boarding fee for the milking and other care of their cows, and receive their cows' milk conveniently cooled and bottled. Some families come to the farm in Boonville for their milk each week; some pick it up per month (for cheese-making projects) or every other week at a co-op in Evansville, and others have formed small drive-sharing groups in which they take turns driving the farm in Boonville with others in their area. While most share owners receive milk every week, some prefer once a month, and others like to receive milk every other week.
How to join…
You can become an owner of the Rose Hill Dairy herd by purchasing one or more cow shares and signing our Cow Boarding Agreement. Each cow share can usually be expected to yield a half-gallon per week of milk (but occasionally more or less!). So if you want one gallon per week, buy two shares, two gallons, four shares, and so forth. The purchase price of each herd share is $22, a one-time cost. Every month, including the first, shareholders pay a cow boarding fee, due the 1st of the month. This pays for feeding, milking, and other care of your cow. $16/share/month is the basic rate, with $1/share extra to include delivery to Evansville, and a $1/share discount for families with 6 shares or more. Our Cow Boarding Agreement is a nine-page contract that lists the rights and responsibilities of share owners and our cow boarding service. The Agreement mostly serves as proof (in case of government concerns/harassment) that shareholders are legitimate owners of the herd and that we are not selling milk. Feel free to request a copy of the Agreement by email. Prospective cow share buyers are encouraged to visit the farm and meet the cows, tour the milking barn and taste some milk before joining.
Why Raw Milk?
What's so special about raw milk? You may have noticed that there are conflicting opinions on milk, that some say it is good for you and others say it is bad. The truth is that good milk contains almost everything we need to be healthy, and that different people have different molecular reasons for doing badly with milk. Many of these problems disappear when they try unprocessed whole milk, which naturally contains active enzymes and other co-factors that make the nutrients in milk more available. Even more people can do well with milk that has been cultured into yogurt or kefir.
Does that mean that pasteurizing milk makes nutrients less available? Yes. There are many significant differences between Rose Hill Dairy raw milk and the pasteurized milk from the store shelf, and most of them involve damage done by pasteurization to the molecules that make up the nutrients in milk. Enzymes like lactase, phosphatase, lipase, and so forth are mostly destroyed, leaving your body to manufacture them if it can, and this gets more difficult as we age. The amino acids lysine and tyrosine are damaged in pasteurization, making the whole protein complex less available. And most unfortunately, milk's beautiful assembly of vitamins and minerals (God's gift to mammals!) is rendered ineffective by pasteurization, destroying much of the original Vitamins A, C, D and E and leaving almost no Vitamins B6 or B12. Taking out vitamins, enzymes and other co-factors is like taking out some parts of a car and hoping it will drive properly. The minerals, calcium in particular, need those vitamins, D in particular, to enter your body in a useful way. This is especially important for children and teens, who are building their skeletons and teeth, and cannot build them correctly if the proper building materials are not provided. (That goes for brains too, which require some very special fatty acids to function optimally.) Our ancestors all over the planet once knew what foods were good for raising healthy children and living well in old age. I urge you to take a good long look at www.westonaprice.org for a very different take on what constitutes healthy eating.
But back to milk. If you're buying pasteurized organic milk, you're paying more money than it costs to board a cow at Rose Hill Dairy, but you're not getting the full benefit of the milk that came from those organic cows. Even organic cows may be eating inappropriate (but organic!) feeds like lots of corn silage and soybean meal. Our cows graze on green pasture April through December, eat hay in the winter, and are grain-free (except for trace amounts in some infrequently-fed organic herbal supplements). They are Jersey, Normandy, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss cows, all known for their rich, high protein milk. This is the real thing! High-quality raw milk can be helpful for asthmatics, allergy sufferers, people with arthritis, people with digestive challenges, for autistic kids, the overweight, the underweight/eating disorder sufferers, infertile couples, those with eczema and psoriasis, and that is just what comes immediately to mind. And don't forget your perfect toddler who just can't breastfeed forever! Raw milk is not a magical cure-all, but it is a complex, well-constructed food that works well for many people instead of the junk that is making you sick. Please don't be afraid of the fat: excess carbs, polyunsaturated fats (think doughnuts, margarine and french fries) and addictive additives like aspartame and MSG are what make us fat. By contrast, the healthy fats in grassfed raw milk are loaded with beneficial vitamins and the Omega-3 and CLA fatty acids that fight cancer and heart disease! I do hope you will consider cow sharing as a way to improve your family's diet. Your calls and emails are welcome!
We were very nervous starting out drinking raw milk over a year ago. Mainly because of all of the false information out there to scare people away. However, we are so glad we took the plunge now. Our two boys love the milk from Rose Hill Dairy. Our two year old would drink only this raw milk if we would let him. We have to make him eat before he can have his "mulk" as he endearingly calls it. Otherwise he will not eat food. We all love the milk and we have really enjoyed getting to know the Ungar Family. We enjoy our visits to the farm and I have made it a habit to call Gina with all kinds of questions that have to do with anything from Milk, making butter, gardening and all kinds of recipes and health concerns. She is always patient and helpful with all of my questions. The process of getting started buying the cow shares sounded complicated at first but we quickly realized that it was all very simple and we have now increased our shares from four to six because we love the milk so much. As another side note I would also like to say that our family seems to be healthier now that we have been drinking raw milk and eating a more traditional healthy diet. Thank you, Rose Hill Dairy.
-Cara and Brian in Evansville
I began looking into healthier sources of milk when my triplets (now almost three) were old enough to start drinking whole milk. I knew I wanted their milk to be hormone and antibiotic free and from grass-fed cows. But as I began doing more research, I discovered there was so much more to healthy milk. I read everything I could find about raw milk through the Weston Price Foundation and other sources. I was quickly convinced of the health benefits of raw milk from a small local, dairy versus pasteurized milk from a commercial dairy. I was also very interested in all of the anecdotal evidence that it has helped resolve allergies, asthma, and other health issues. One of my sons suffered from asthma and was on a nebuelizer with steroids most of the first winter of his life. After becoming convinced that raw milk was a much healthier option for my family, and might even help my son's asthma, I began looking into local sources and found Rose Hill Dairy. I called Gina (who is great and patiently answered my dozens and dozens of questions) and ultimately went out to meet her and the cows and tour the dairy. We signed our contract to purchase our shares that same day and have been so glad we did.
We LOVE our milk from Rose Hill. It tastes amazing. You know this is real milk when every gallon has 2-3 inches of cream on top. We usually just stir the cream back into the milk for the creamiest, tastiest milk you can imagine. But we also love always having fresh, yummy cream on hand. My husband pours off a bit of the cream for his coffee and I use it to make homemade ice cream or fresh whipped cream to put on berries. (In my own humble opinion, there is no better dessert in the entire world!) We actually purchased additional shares a few months later because my kids love the milk and drink much more of it than the milk we had been buying, and we also started using it to make our own homemade yogurt. My son has not had one single issue with his asthma since we made the switch to raw milk. I can't swear it’s the milk has made the difference, but personally, I am a believer. As an added bonus, I have had a milk allergymy entire life and break out if I have very much dairy. Since switching to raw milk, I drink as much milk and eat as much yogurt, ice cream and cheese as I like and never have an issue.
We love supporting Gina and love having a healthy, local, sustainable source for all of our dairy (except for our cheese and butter, and I could make those too if I was ever ambitious enough!). Every time I hear about another salmonella or e. coli scare I am so happy that I know where my food comes from and am confident that it is the safest and healthiest option possible for my family!
-Kristi in Evansville
We think the raw milk is awesome. Occasionally in the winter months, we run short and have to buy an extra gallon of store-bought (ack!) organic milk. It cannot compare in taste and quality to the Rose Hill Dairy Herd's beautiful milk. We can only tolerate the store-bought with coffee or chocolate milk. We are so spoiled by the cows and love them so much. I have noticed our overall health is better, less severe/shorter duration colds/flu bugs, etc., and we feel better, stronger, and have more energy. Raw milk is so incredibly nutritious! The delivery at the co-op is very convenient and the email invoices are very convenient too. I always look forward to the Moosletters. We love hearing about the new baby calves and especially seeing their pics. The kids would like to come out and visit the farm soon when the weather cools a bit, and when it's convenient. Please keep up the fantastic work and know that you are all so much appreciated.
-Michele in Evansville
My family has been a cow share member with Rose Hill Dairy for over three years. While, at first, the idea of ‘owning’ a part of a cow and consuming raw milk seemed a little adventurous, but after just a few weeks of participating, I realized how fortunate we were to have this opportunity in our area. The milk has been the best we have ever consumed, and picking up our weekly share has become a nice ritual to look forward to. We use the milk not just for drinking but also make yoghurt and, sometimes, cheese.
Gina has set up a billing and delivery system I find very user friendly: We receive a monthly e-bill and then send her a check. Picking up our gallon of milk (equivalent of 2 shares) per week at the River City Food Co-op is very convenient for us, as we do most of our food shopping in that store anyway. – Gina keeps her cow share members routinely informed about her herd and operations. I find reading her Moosletter particularly enjoyable, as we have visited the farm and have met the cows. In short, it is so nice to not only enjoy quality milk but to know that it is locally produced and comes from a trustworthy source!
-Suzan Ozel, Evansville
Hi. My name is Jennifer Zint. My family and I have been drinking fresh from the farm cow milk from rose Hill Dairy for over 2 years now. We LOVE It!!
Knowing that I can feed my family wholesome raw milk every week has been wonderful for me. No antibiotics, pesticide residue and fresh -straight from the farm -local is the way to go!
Thanks so much!
-Jennifer in Newburgh
“We love the milk from Rose Hill Dairy! Since they were weaned five and two-and-a half years ago, our children have drunk no other milk (and refuse any other milk!). They know it as “milk from real cows” or “milk from Gina’s cows” whom they have met on a number of occasions. I use it regularly to make the best ice cream and it has improved much of our regular cooking from scrambled eggs to home-made macaroni and cheese and more. We really appreciate the pick-up from the River City Food Coop in downtown Evansville which is a few blocks from our house. Billing is a simple email reminder; the check is in the mail. Thanks, Gina. P.s. “real milk” makes the best hot chocolate.”
-Robert & Emma Nicholls, Evansville
I for one truly enjoy the taste of the milk and have come to crave it first thing in the morning with breakfast and a glass right before bedtime. Also have began to add it to my protein shakes, yum !!! As for my family, I recently increased my order to supply my wife and she now enjoys it as well, it took a little bit of time to get her out to the mindset of having to drink only pasteurized milk. Our children are straddling the fence at this time, but I feel they will come around soon. I personally feel better after drinking it. Especially in comparison to me drinking pasteurized, as my stomach would distend out and I would feel very fatigued after drinking it. As for the pickup I find it easy enough at the coop due to the fact that I have begun to shop there as well. If you remember I came out to your place to check things out before I signed up? I was glad to see that the cows looked good and were well taken care of, not to mention the facility you processed the milk through was very clean ! So I would like to say thank you for what you do, to make a positive difference in how we eat in this day and time !
-Robert Lee Grant, Henderson
I've been getting milk from Regina for a few years now. The milk is always delicious and pure. Our family drinks it straight from the fridge (with a little shaking of the bottle-it's not homogenized so the cream settles to the top). If I can get to the milk before the kids get it, I'll make cheese out of it. It's not difficult at all but a a bit time consuming. The cheese is absolutely delicious--I usually stick with plain cheese curds but I've been delving into more complicated types. During the summer, when the cows get the fresh pasture, the milk is a lovely shade of buttery yellow and the taste is exquisite. Winter milk is a bit more pale, but still is wonderful in taste and silkiness (yes, the milk seems "silky" to me--very velvety--you can't get this quality in store bought milk.) Regina also raises and butchers her own meat including veal and lamb and the quality of these products is beyond compare. You simply can't by the kind of quality Regina is marketing here. I love the thought of getting wholesome, unadulterated, non-hormoned, humanely treated milk and meat products. I'm just waiting for eggs and pigs?!
-Therese Meisling, Newburgh
We have been in the cow share program I think for over a year now and absolutely love it! I was concerned at first that my kids would notice a taste difference and not like the milk however, the opposite was true. Now if we run out of milk and I have to go to the store to buy milk, they say “this milk tastes funny – I don’t like it”. And I feel the same way. There is a comfort in knowing where our milk comes from and that it is produced in a conscientious, healthful and caring way. Some think I’m crazy for driving thirty minutes one way to pick up the milk every week, but I think it is worth every minute. I greatly appreciate your willingness to operate this business because it is such a benefit to me and my family.”
-Lisa Friedman-Warren, Newburgh
P.S. I forgot to mention – I love the Moosletter! Makes me feel really connected to the farm and milk!
I grew up on fresh milk from our own cows and was so happy when Gina started Rose Hill Dairy. Besides the taste, I was amazed to find how long the milk stays fresh in the refrigerator! Don, who is the big milk drinker, loves it as do our grandchildren when they come to visit.
-Pat King, Tennyson
I am very happy with all my dealings with rose hill dairy.
Gina is very knowledgeable and conscientious about all parts of her operation and product.
Being able to pick it up at a local store is very convenient. She goes out of her way to deliver this healthy product to the public.
I did not have any health crisis when I started drinking the milk, so I have not had any significant or at least immediately noticeable improvements in my health, but. Based on my research I feel very good about adding it to my diet and the effect it will have on my long term health and vitality.
Don't listen to others' poorly researched opinions about raw milk including some doctors and nutritionists. Get to the facts and ignore those who know little about it. My experience is that many have an opinion about raw milk. Few actually know about it. Gina herself is very knowledgeable. You can also find much valuable information on the web. Dr. Mercola suggests raw milk as one of the super foods.
I have personally spoken with others who shared with me very noticeable health improvements with their family drinking Gina's milk. I tend to believe they were quite forthright in their experiences.
-David Gonnerman, Evansville