Working Herd Share Agreement...

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by ellie, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. ellie

    ellie New Member

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    being used by Mary's raw goat dairy in So CA, she has her legal document on line for all to see http://www.marysrawgoatsmilk.com/ Just thought it was interesting all the caveats...
     

  2. ellie

    ellie New Member

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  3. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    FTCDF is a great organization. Has anyone taken their cow/goat share seminar? I found it very helpful, even though I don't do herd shares (yet).

    Thanks, Ellie.
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Has their contracts ever been tested by litigation in your state?
     
  5. jdranch

    jdranch New Member

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    Vickie- do you know if they have been tested by litigation here (Texas)?

    Cindy- where did you find info on the seminar?

    Billie- I love your site!
     
  6. linuxboy

    linuxboy New Member

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    The core issue with herd share/cow share/goat share ingredients is that depending on how they are worded, they are often seen by authorities as poorly disguised attempts by people to avoid registration as a grade A facility. Here in WA, for example, there was a cow share that Dee Creek ran that was the test case for making herd shares illegal (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5608a3.htm). The WSDA saw the share agreements for what they were, as they were written. They were attempts to skirt the law. Our WA law permits private ownership and consumption of raw milk. But herd shares are typically not the same in kind as private ownership. Even in this latest FTCLDF iterations of the contracts, the language does not provide for bona fide ownership, but seems to be some combination of historical agistment and modern legal positions. For example, there are no contractual provisions for disposition, orderly sale, exclusive use, etc. Undivided interest means more in property law than only an interest in milk. Why doesn't the contract spell out the rest of possessory rights to enumerate their specifics? It's details like this that make share contracts challenging and can weaken the raw milk position.

    Here's what bona fide property ownership entails under common law:
    - Right to control and use as one pleases, and to control others to use or not use
    - Right to benefit from any part of the property
    - Transfer/sale/bequeath/collateralize rights

    In the usual contracts, all of these rights are not present, nor is the property well described. They are not present for the underlying owner, and in many cases they are not even present for the paper representing the underlying property (eg. no free transference of share)

    In an agistment agreement, the contract would need to specify all of those rights to the owner, and specify duties expected of the agistor, for it to imitate bona fide ownership. This is not done in most herd share agreements. And in some cases, there is active ignoring of this fact, and in some states, there is statutory permission. And in some states, like WA, there is case law to back up that herd shares (ie. incorporating one or more animals and selling limited shares or undivided interests in them for the purpose of milk) are not legal.

    All I'm trying to say is be careful. Laws vary among all of the states. I read the FTCLDF contracts, and although they do provide protection for the farmer, it could turn out like it did here in WA. Or it could be allowed. In most states, shares are a gray area. Not much case law, like Vicki said.
     
  7. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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  8. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    Thanks, Jennifer!

    Herd shares are legal in TN.
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    They are of course illegal in Texas. The thing in Texas is it's not enforceable. If you sell milk from your property, nothing will ever be done to you. It's when you sell it off your property, sell it to coops who disperse it, sell it to coops who resale it. But pretending the customers own shares of my goats...reread what PAV said. There are few to no people who sell on their farm illegal getting any grief period, it is always those who push the law or take on health department laws, not just USDA. And, when making cheese, which is controlled rot, you do need to be inspected to sell to the public.
     
  10. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    No, we don't sell cheese. I give recipes and tell people where to order cultures if they want.

    Because one goat does not equal one share, the owner in this case can not have the right to sell say, 1/4 of a goat. In my Bill of Sale contract, there is a price (not free) and the property is well described--well, provisions for it to be better described if they had ear tags. I should just change it to tattoos... In my Agistment Agreement contract, the rights and duties of both owner and agister are spelled out. Both of these contracts were drawn up by FTCLDF specifically for me, my situation, my farm, my state.

    It has already gone before TN legislature and herd shares are not just flying under the radar here, but really are legal. TN DoA has been known to check up on people's paperwork, though, and I suspect my first share sold (it was *really* odd, and the folks never came back) may have been TNDoA checking me out.

    What I have to be careful of, however, is folks from KY wanting to buy from me. It is not legal there, and I am very close to the state line.
     
  11. billinohio

    billinohio New Member

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    There was a herd-share case that was upheld in court here in Ohio. The contracts were drawn up by an attorney here in Ohio, specifically for Ohio. It is very detailed about the types of decisions that are to be made by the farmer.......including the sale and acqisition of animals....amongst a list of other things.

    A group of raw milk (cow) producers had joined together to hire the attorney, etc.

    The Ohio Dept. of Ag had tried to shut down the herd-share (all in the spirit of "government of the people, by the people, and for the people".....NOT!!!!).

    Bill.......sick and tired of bureaucrats that think that the constitution does not apply to them!!!!!......and that a US citizen should not have the right to choose for themselves what food they can eat!!!!
     
  12. natty threads

    natty threads New Member

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    Thank-you.

    I was concerned about this.