Monday, February 15, 2010

Milk Price

I began selling goat's milk back in 1982, in Colorado. It was (and still is) illegal to sell raw milk from the farm in that state. But people come to you and beg and plead and it really helps to pay the feed bills. And I truly believe it is one of the healthiest, best foods on this planet.
At the time, I sold milk for a dollar a quart. An astronomical price - after all milk at the store was $1.25 a gallon, at the time.
I worked with the group in Colorado who got legislation passed to make it legal to offer goat shares in Colorado. You could sell a share of a goat to someone and they got the milk from "their" goat on your farm. It was fun, but our farm was out in the boonies and we had too many people who wanted milk delivery 150 miles away, and the paperwork was a real pain. So, when we were looking to move someplace where water actually fell from the sky, we also wanted some place it was legal to sell goat milk.
Now I sell a little bit of goat milk from my farm in the Arkansas Ozarks. It is legal. And that is a real mind soother. I've been selling it for $1.00 a quart. That's what I've always sold milk for... after all, that's an outrageous $4.00 a gallon.
Last week, a friend who sells quite a bit more milk than I do and makes fantastic cheeses, called to see if he could buy a bit of milk to tide them over until their does freshen. I love my goat milk so much that I try to stagger my breeding so that I always have at least one doe milking. It doesn't always work as I had planned, but this year (knock on wood and cross my fingers) it is working. Right now Yampa and Bea (in the picture) are still milking a bit. So I said sure.  When he came to get his two quarts, he asked how much?
Dollar a quart, I said.
He was adamant that I should not be selling it that cheap. He gets $2.00 a quart and feels that is very reasonable.
So, I checked milk prices at Walmart. I'm sure you know that cow's milk is now $4.29 a gallon, but that shocked the heck out of me!
And the processed, icky tasting goat's milk in the store is $3.49 a quart!
So I spent 3 days stressing about what to do about my milk price. Part of the recent move to Havencroft was so we could sell more of our products from the farm easily.
And then, I went to get fuel for the truck. Now, when I started selling goat's milk, gas had recently spiked to an outrageous $1.25 a gallon. We didn't know how long these ridiculous prices were going to last, after all, we were used to paying 50-75 cents a gallon.
Last night I paid $2.77 a gallon for gas - and it's been right around that same price for many years.

So, I guess Gus is right - my milk price just went up to $2.00 a quart.

1 comment:

j said...

Gus is usually right, a hard as it is for some to admit!