How to Find Your Own Source For Raw Milk

I recently had to find a new source for raw milk after realizing that the cows my milk was from were not grass fed. Yes, I’d been getting my milk at this farm for 2 years and it only just occurred to me this summer that the cows were always in the barn when I came for milk. Even when it wasn’t milking time.
I asked the farmer’s wife when I met her one evening in the barn to confirm my suspicions – “Do our cows ever go out on pasture?”
“No”, she replied in her lilting, Mennonite accent, “It’s just too much work. The only ones on pasture are the mothers who are dried off.”

Now, I buy my milk direct from local farmers for 3 main reasons –

  1. So I can get it raw.
  2. To support local farmers.
  3. So I know what the cows eat.

Now that I knew my milk wasn’t rich in the nutrients from grass fed cows, my milk source had dried up, as it were. It was time to look for a new one. Considering N.Y.S. control issues with letting me choose the type of milk I feel is best for our family, I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for freely advertised in the local paper. I knew I’d have to do some digging.

What’s the best way to find your own source for raw milk? Word of mouth. If you’re looking for your own source for raw milk, here’s my advice…

1. Who do you ask? Start with other people you know who love raw milk. Chance are they’d be delighted to introduce you to their farmer. (That’s how I found my original source) But, if they aren’t able to share a source (perhaps respecting their farmers privacy) then you’ll have to look further.

2. What next? Stop at your local Amish or Mennonite bulk food store or produce stand. Their farm centered lifestyle and community mindset makes them a great place to go for this kind of information. If that doesn’t work, you have the final resort…

3. Head into the country and stop at the first farm you see that has cows in the pasture. Go around milking time (5-7, am or pm) to be sure to catch someone around the barn. Introduce yourself and tell them you love to drink raw milk and support local farmers and are looking for a source for a few gallons a week.
All they can say is “no”, then you hop in the car and drive on. Don’t forget to ask them if they know of someone who would say yes.
I make kefir, butter, and icecream with our raw milk, and have the recipes for those as well as buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt in my book, Real {Fast} Food. We also drink it with nearly every meal. It’s so good for you as long as it’s raw!

Other posts on this topic:
Why we drink raw milk and what we do with 3+ gallons a week
More stuff to do with your raw milk

Do you drink raw milk? I’m interested to know where you get yours and what you do with it?

29 responses to “How to Find Your Own Source For Raw Milk”

  1. Karen Smith Avatar
    Karen Smith

    Looking for GRASS FED Raw Milk and products in or around Mesa, AZ – I don’t know many people who drink raw milk – if people only knew how health it is!!! Can you help me???
    Thanks, Karen

    1. Trina Avatar

      Karen, I wish I had more to offer you. I do know friends from the New Mexico area say you have to drive toward the mountains to get anywhere near farm land where there might be milk. Low temp pasturized, non-homogenized might be the next best thing to look for.

  2. Hanna Avatar
    Hanna

    I’ve never drank raw milk and stories like these http://realrawmilkfacts.com/real-life-stories make me afraid to try it. What do you think?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hanna, If you know your farmer and see that his milking process is sanitary, ecoli threat is greatly reduced. Know your farmer, understand that those kind of stories are put out by people’s whose motivation is fear, and trust that what God created is good. 😉

    2. Erika Netzband Avatar
      Erika Netzband

      My 3 year old had been drinking raw goats milk from a neighbor since she was 2 years old. My daughter also drank raw cows milk when we visited family out of state. When my daughter started preschool at 3 I informed the teacher that I didn’t want my daughter having any of the dairy they served for it was pasteurized and not organic. After she began attending the preschool she started coughing every night and yet strangely it would always disappear every Sunday night. I was suspicious for she was in school Monday thru Friday. I asked her teacher if she was giving her the pasteurized non organic milk and yogurt they had at school and she said yes. As soon as my daughter stopped having this dairy her night cough went away except Thursday nights (Mind you she had been coughing for a month straight before I found out). I found out that Thursday was pizza day so my daughter began having cheese-less pizza and finally there was no more coughing. After sometime went by out of the blue she coughed on a Friday night and I sensed it was similar to her past coughs and not a cold and plus it only lasted one night. The following Monday I asked the teacher if she gave my daughter any dairy, she was quiet for a moment and then said no. A few days later the teacher came and apologized that she had lied and had given my daughter yogurt because she felt she was being left out. That was the last time the teacher did that for she realized I would know!

      1. Trina Avatar

        That is an amazing story!

  3. Jljcam Avatar
    Jljcam

    I am brand-new to the Mesa area and have been drinking raw milk for several years. I am desperately trying to locate a source for raw milk. Would you share your source with me? I also made Kiefer for the first time in a couple of weeks ago. I’m very interested in learning how to do a lot of things that you already do; would you contact me?

    1. Trina Avatar

      what is the Mesa area? Is it in Alabama? I’m in Alabama. I’m getting my raw milk over the border in Georgia right now.

  4. Gretchen Avatar
    Gretchen

    I also live in Mesa, AZ. Did you find a local farmer willing to sell raw milk, and if so, are you willing to email me their information?

  5. Leonard B. Avatar
    Leonard B.

    I am 56 years young and was born and raised in Phoenix, Az. When I was in my teens and into my late 20’s I was able to purchase raw milk from our local grocery stores and even circle k on occasion. I loved raw milk and drank it on a regular basis with none of the issues the FDA is trying to scare consumers into believing will happen if they do. I mean come on, what form of milk was consumed for many years before the FDA or pasteurization even existed! Just more government intrusion intrusion into our lives trying to control how we live and what we consume!!

  6. Kathy Avatar
    Kathy

    Hi. Thanks for your website. I live in Mesa Az and am wondering if you know of any raw milk resources in my area. Or would you be willing to share your resource?

    Thanks and God bless!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kathy, have you checked rawmilk.com? I’m in Alabama currently and do not have raw milk right now.

  7. åslaug Avatar

    We have (really good) Amish neigbours next door, I jog over with a stroller, some quart jars and dollars, and voila; I have raw milk 😉 jersey.

    1. Trina Avatar
      Trina

      too fun! How lovely to be right next door!

  8. Trina Avatar

    Kristina, we did get milk from a small dairy near Preston, though I doubt they are still in business as they were selling off their herd when we were moving. I'm sure there is a farmer closer to you who would be willing to sell. You'll just have to drive around and ask. 🙂 Or, check out RealMilk.com, as Kateri suggested.

    1. Rachel Avatar
      Rachel

      Hi Trina. I’m lactose intolerant and am stationed in Yuma AZ with the Marine Corps. I’m from VA originally where I had an easy access to raw milk from my brother in-laws family and now I can’t find anything. Do you know of anyone in my area who might have some? I checked out sprouts and they have nothing close to me, mostly in Phoenix, Peoria and Mesa.

      1. Trina Avatar

        Rachel, from the research I’ve done, AZ is a hard place to find raw milk! Sorry I don’t have any leads for you!

  9. Kristina Avatar

    Trina,When you lived down here where did you folks get your milk from? Do you know of anyone around that sells raw milk. The farm near us sells us his milk but a lot of the time it does NOT taste good. We would like to use raw milk instead of buy it from the store!

  10. Trina Avatar

    Samantha, Welcome!
    It's interesting to hear about raw milk in different parts of the country. It does indeed sound as if you have found the best quality milk for the area you live in. What a blessing!

  11. Samantha Avatar

    Hi Trina, First, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I just started reading it about a month ago.

    In regards to the raw milk, I actually just returned home about an hour ago, with my 2 kids, from buying our raw milk. I live in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ and my sister and I take turns driving every 2 weeks to buy raw milk for our families. We drive to a farm about 30 or 35 minutes away. The cows that we get our milk from are not pastured because the farm is still within city limits and we live in a desert 🙂 The farm is looking for land to purchase (most likely further north in the state) so the cows can be pastured. But, in the mean time, they feed their cows an all organic diet (the milk is certified) of alfafa hay and barley. They also, at times, feed the cows kale and other nutritious greens. They have a nutritionist that determines when the cows need dietary changes. The owner is really passionate about raw milk. So, although it's not pastured I think it's the best we can get, especially living in a desert. I know it is easier to get pastured milk if you live much further north in the state.

    I'm so thankful the Lord provided us with this resource and the funds to purchase it. I'm glad you found a farm you're happy with.

    1. Laura Avatar
      Laura

      Hi Samantha,

      I live in the West Valley. Where in AZ are you getting your milk from?

      Laura

    2. Stacy Avatar
      Stacy

      I am new to the Phoenix area and recently heard of the benefits of raw milk. I would love to try it but don’t know where to find it in the Valley. Where would you suggest I look to find a place selling it? Do any stores sell it?

      1. Trina Avatar

        Stacy, I’m unaware of what the regulations are in Arizona–I recommend checking out the RealMilk.com website. They should be able to direct you.

  12. Trina Avatar

    Tammy, I'm so sorry your milk source has dried up! 🙁

    Jessica, I want to make butter, too! But I get holstien milk and the fat content is not really worth it. I'm praying for a Jersey milk source. 🙂

    Kateri, thanks for sharing the raw milk website!!! I meant to do that but forgot. 🙂

    For those concerned about drinking milk during pregnancy, this article may set your fears to rest – Check out this quote,

    “Both raw and pasteurized milk harbor bacteria but the bacteria in raw milk is the healthy bacteria of lactic-acid fermentation while the bacteria in pasteurized milk is the bacteria of spoilage. And the overall bacteria count of milk produced under clean conditions is much lower than that of pasteurized milk. Both raw and pasteurized milk contain E. coli, normally a benign microorganism. The most likely source of the new strains of virulent E. coli is genetically engineered soy, fed to cows in large commercial dairies. If there is any type of milk likely to harbor these virulent breeds, it is commercial pasteurized milk.”

    The whole article is very informative and can be found here –
    http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/raw-milk-safe-for-babies

    And yes, I drink raw milk when pregnant. It's an excellent source of calcium and protein and good fats. I eat a lot of raw milk ice-cream when pregnant – another delightful way to get in my daily dose of dairy goodness. Oh, and lactating mothers should drink/eat a lot of good dairy, too!

  13. smoore2213 Avatar

    My best friend grew up on a large, family owned dairy farm and they always drank raw milk, however they had way too many cows to be able to grass feed. Since I was lactose intolerant as a child and lactose intolerant people can drink raw milk, my mom asked if we could buy some, but the laws prohibit selling it. They weren't very interested in giving it away either so we never drank any. I don't know ANY dairy farmers anymore and I think it is a dying breed…we are able to buy grass fed beef but that's all. I'm amazed that you've been able to find some!

    One question, do you still drink it while pregnant? I'm all for raw milk, but I would not drink it pregnant due to the risk of listeria.

  14. Kateri Avatar

    I'm not doing dairy right now due to allergies and my husband doesn't drink enough milk to make buying raw milk worth while. When ever I read about raw milk and buying it directly from a farmer it gets me wanting to make cheese again, though. Maybe some day I will have my own goat herd and make goat cheese.

  15. Kateri Avatar

    If you have a CSA in your area that is a legal way to get raw milk. My brother in law gets six gallons a week from his CSA.

    This web site has a listing of legal places in each state where you can buy raw milk if you are lucky enough to live near one of them. http://www.realmilk.com/where2.html

  16. Jessica Avatar

    We get it from farmers that are friends of our neighbors (and my parents used to go to their church). Makes me want to ask whether it's grass fed cows or not.

    Matt and Avelyn love it, but being pregnant, I haven't had any (although I'm sure it would be fine).

    We keep meaning to let one 1/2 gallon settle and make some butter, but we drink it too fast 🙂

  17. Tammy Avatar

    Right now we're without raw milk. Each farm we've gotten it from has sold their cows 🙁 My husband is working on getting it again for us. The farm just up the road from us refused to sell to us, I was so bummed as it was close and organic. Praying we'll find a source soon.

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