The Family Cow

Farm/Brand HeadquartersChambersburg, PA
ProductsFluid milk, raw milk, A2 milk
Market AreaPA, web sales
Total Score1595

They say: ““The Family Cow is a certified organic, grass based, PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) permitted, raw milk dairy. The farm is situated on 122 acres of certified organic pastures. The farm’s 75 Jersey milk cows are rotationally grazed 8 months out of the year. An additional 300 acres of organic land is farmed to assure an abundance or high quality organic stored grasses to grass-feed the cows during the winter. The dairy is owned and operated by Edwin and Dawn Shank and their 6 children and has been continuously owned and farmed by the family for 5 generations and close to 100 years.

The Family Cow is dedicated to extremely safe raw milk. A web-based monitoring system, ProAct, is used to assure that all critical points of the food safety RAMP are under control. The Family Cow may be the only raw milk dairy in the USA with this level of control to monitor, record and alert for food safety issues.The Shank family also pioneers with an on-farm raw milk laboratory. The laboratory gives The Family Cow the unique ability to establish a test-and-hold protocol for every single lot of raw milk. This assures that each bottling of The Family Cow raw milk falls within the coliform and APC standards for low risk foods as defined by USA food safety experts.”

In early 2018 the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) announced that the The Family Cow was a 2018 recipient of their PASAbilities Award that honors businesses and individuals making meaningful contributions to sustainable agriculture in the state and beyond. The awards was presented at PASA’s 27th Annual Farming for the Future Conference, held in State College, PA on February 7 through 10.

This brand’s products can be found at farm stores and drop-off sites throughout Pennsylvania (check the listed website for details on how to obtain their products).

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1595
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated—Beyond Organic
Ownership structure100Family business
Milk Supply100Single farm DBA Shankstead EcoFarm
Organic Production100Brand only markets certified organic raw milk
Disclosure of Information for Verification100Full disclosure
Organic Certification85Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO)
Other Labels/Standards0Milk is labeled 100% RAW and officially RAW tested, inspected and permitted by the PA Department of Agriculture (non-scoring)
Grass-fed90100% grassfed without certification
Soy Free Ration?Yes (also does not feed corn)
Pasture100Superb pasture compliance
Times Milked90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Cull/death Rate80Moderate cull/death rate
Replacements100Closed herd
Calves75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Antibiotic Use100No antibiotics
Hormone Usage100No hormones used
Farm Support100Single farm
Procurement of Ingredients100No outside ingredients used
Extra Credit175OSP submitted, very transparent. With respect to the concern of fraudulent grain imports, this dairy is 100% grass fed and produces all of their own feed on-farm.