Family Cow Raw Milk Statement

Hello Friends, Many of you asked if our “Hallelujah” email two days ago means that we are selling The Family Cow raw milk again.  The answer is: No, we are not selling the raw milk yet.

Technically we could be since QC Laboratories has proven (three times over) that the raw milk is now 100% safe. But, the Department of Health in conjunction with the Department of Ag is requesting that we wait a little longer as they continue their tests and evaluation. We understand their caution and we respect their request by continuing our voluntary halt in raw milk sales.

It is hard to be patient when we know you are all anxious and we know that our milk tests clean, but we are convinced that customer safety always takes top priority over market and customer demand. Thanks for understanding and respecting us in this decision.

100% of our other organic foods are OK to order or purchase here at the farm store. It is only the Raw Cow’s Milk that we are holding back till the state gives their blessing.

The Raw Milk is marked temporarily unavailable on the food list to reflect this. If you have questions about our selling status, just check the list.  We will remove the temporarily unavailable tag as soon as the milk is ready to go.

Another clarification that I wish to make is in regards to the 12 “all clear” pathogen test we got back on Monday. These tests were for all the milk that we had on hand to test. The milk we tested was all bottled in January and went back to mid week of the 16th. All of it was milk with “best by” date codes for the month of February.( All of our bottles have a date on the shoulder that reads “best by” and then a date, like 2/04, 2/07, 2/09 etc. This date is always 14 days after the fill date and is essentially the expiration date).  We were obviously, hugely relieved that these test came back clear. It proved, assuming there was a problem in the past, that there was no longer a problem with our milk.

These official, PA state approved and accepted tests that we had done at QC Laboratories that showed our milk to now be 100% pathogen free, do not completely rule out the possibility that there may have been a problem in the past with our milk, however. It is as I said in an earlier email. “Many of you think an illness is impossible from a dairy as clean, careful, and caring as we are and have told us so. We understand. We would like to think that too.  But the fact remains that we are human and we want to be humble enough to admit that it could have been us…either we personally or an equipment failure.”

And it still remains that way. To date, in spite of some media twist, there has been absolutely no confirmed campylobacter found in any jug of our milk. Maybe there never will be. But then, maybe it doesn’t really make that much of a difference.

Because, In spite of the lack of scientific lab evidence, and regardless of whether the presence or absence of campy is  ever scientifically proven or not, we as a Shank family have discussed it and  decided to accept it as if is proven and take pro-active action accordingly.

We make this decision, not based on the lab test or state investigation but on what you as our customers have told us. We believe you. We value that you have shared your story with us and that we could talk about it together. We still pray for all of you daily.

So we move forward and are making many small, some major but all significant changes to our equipment, facilities, testing and herd care protocols to push the quality and safety of The Family Cow raw milk to even higher levels.

Some have warned us that it is not wise legally to acknowledge that there may have been a pathogen in our milk that made some of you ill. They warn us that it puts us in poor legal standing if we ever need to defend ourselves.

Well, of course we recognize and understand the logic and truth of that statement. But there is an ethical side to the equation which always grounds us and brings us back to our true north. And that is this:  When it comes to your family’s safety, and the relationship we have with you as a customer, it’s not some lawyers expectations that we are trying to live up to… it’s yours.  We have faith that you will appreciate our caution, honesty, transparency and forthrightness.  Maybe it’s not best for business but if it’s best for you… it’s good enough for us.

Love and Prayers, ~ Your farmers, Edwin and Dawn Shank and Family

Important Note For....All Raw Milk Fans in New Jersey! An important hearing of the Raw Milk Legalization Bill for New Jersey is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, February 2nd. Organizers of the Garden State Raw Milk Association have been advised to be prepared to address questions on the recent alleged outbreak of illness from Campylobacter due to raw milk sold from our dairy. Your presence at the hearing to be available to speak on your experience is very important, not only for New Jersey, but for the raw milk movement as much national attention is being focused on this bill. Keep in mind that even if time does not allow you to testify, your presence and indication that you are a raw milk supporter is crucial. Please contact Pam Schoenfeld at 609-439-8237 if you need further information.

Details of time and place: Thursday, February 2, at 2 pm State House Annex, 4th floor, room 12

As legislative schedules can change at the last minute, please confirm the hearing on Thursday before driving to Trenton -- go to www.njleg.state.nj.us, choose Assembly Committees, then Agriculture and Natural Resources, and click View Schedule, then the meeting date.

Thank you again, Pam Pamela Schoenfeld, RD Reinvent your Diet, LLC www.reinventyourdiet.com 355 Madison Avenue Morristown NJ 07960 124 Morris Turnpike, 1A Randolph NJ 07869 609-439-8237 phone 973-531-8008 FAX