The process of selling raw milk is legal in all 50 states of the United States. The process of making this milk available to the public differs however, and various jurisdictions have dictated the way consumers can get their raw milk fix. From retail sales to farm purchases to cow sharing methods, there are a few ways in which you can scratch that raw milk itch.
States Where Raw Milk is Legal in Retail Outlets
An array of states allows for the unfettered access to raw milk stores in any retail store within the state. The least restrictive of rules to obtain raw milk, you can readily find raw milk in the refrigerators of retail stores in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington.
In addition to the preceding 11 states that have given the nod to retail raw milk sales, two other jurisdictions have weighed in with legal opinions on the legality of selling raw milk. In Utah, state legislators have mandated that the retail outlet selling the raw milk must also be the owner of the farm that produced the milk. Leaders in Oregonm have allowed for the sale of raw sheep and goat milk on retail shelves, but they have drawn the line at the selling of the raw cow milk.
States Where Raw Milk is Legal on Producing Farms
A total of 17 states allows for the sale of raw milk, but their focus is not on the retail level but rather focuses on purchases closer to the source of the milk: farms. Towards that end, the following 10 states have given the nod to on farm sales of raw milk: Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnestoa, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
As such, obtaining your supply of raw milk will require loading up the family in the car and taking a trip to the nearest producing farm. Mitigating this necessity, four other states not only allow on-farm shopping, but also have given the legal nod to the delivery of raw milk directly from the farm producing the milk to the consumer buying the raw milk. These states include: Missouri, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. A further three states; Kentucky, Mississippi, and Rhode Island allow on-farm purchasing of raw goat milk, but not cow milk.
States Where Raw Milk is Legal Through Cow-Sharing Programs
A winning proposition for many raw milk adherents is entering into a cow share, or herd share that offers a chance to gain access to the availability of raw milk in those eight states that offer the option. Under a cow share system, consumers buy a share in the animal’s care, upkeep, and affords the consumer an interest in the cow’s production. The eight states that offer cow share options for obtaining raw milk are as follows: Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.