What’s so special about our raw milk?


  • We operate under a Herd-share Program
    This is our 4th year offering raw milk through our raw milk herd-share program. (A herd-share is the best option for families and the farmers, as it not only helps maintain healthy animals, so they can produce healthy food, but it’s also a way families have access to a more steady supply on a weekly basis. My family commits to our farm families 24/7, 365 days a year, and a mutual commitment from future herd-share members is valuable to keep doing what we do. When we have openings, our herd-share seeks out families who share the same values of commitment.


  • ALL of our sweet gals are A2A2 pure-bred AJCA registered Jerseys (and we’ve got the papers to prove each one). We even know their long lineage and who their great-grandparents where etc..! Several of our ladies’ lineage originated from faraway lands.

  • We operate under a closed herd
    It’s the best biosecurity management for keeping infectious diseases out of our herd. Our cows were purchased and they were all tested for all sorts of diseases and risks. No cattle in, only those born here, and just a cozy friendly healthy herd.

  • Our cows live and love their lives on pasture
     Along with adequate shelter and shade for all sorts of weather.


  • Our momma’s raise their calves to weaning age
    This means, a little less milk for us, but it also means happier and healthier cows, both for the baby calf, and the momma.


  • Healthy cows, mean little to no conventional medicine 
    On the farm we utilize herbal and natural remedies to keep our ladies healthy, and if needed in rare or extreme emergencies, we may have to use conventional medicine or care (while having a withholding period.) So far, we’ve been fortunate to only need to use conventional medicine for one of our cows in the complete 4 years of running the herdshare. All of our cows are seen by the local vet for routine care and tested yearly. They are free of TB, Brucellosis, Johnes, BLV, and BVD.  


  • Lab Tested
    We are diligently implementing safe procedures to ensure the highest quality of our raw milk for our own family & farm families by following Iowa’s law by testing our milk frequently, on a monthly basis to ensure we keep providing safe, healthy, and delicious milk for years to come. 



 What is a Herd-Share?


We do all the hard work – the milking, the grazing, the care, the sanitizing, the testing, the bottling, the managing etc. 

By joining the herd-share you are “buying in” to our micro dairy herd. We do all the above work for a monthly boarding fee per share. It’s really that simple. 

At the beginning of joining, you will pay a purchase fee for your portion of the herd. This will allocate a gallon of raw milk for your family each week.

Start-up costs includes your buy in Herd-Share Program purchase, jar deposits, and first months boarding fee. After that, you will be billed only the monthly boarding fee, due the beginning of each month.

Pick-up at the Farm

You’ll be asked to choose from one of these weekly pick-up options at time of joining. 

TUESDAYS – at Eden Ridge Acres (All year long, minus holidays) 2 pm – 6 pm

FRIDAYS – at Eden Ridge Acres (All year long, minus holidays) 2 pm – 5 pm


Frequent Questions

Please read through all the FAQ’s before emailing or calling. Thank you.

Communication is key. Email is the most efficient way we keep you in the loop!

We will be communicating with you through the email address you signed up with. For emergencies, or quick alerts we may utilize text (this is rare). Farmer Esther will send out occasional emails to our raw milk herd-share holders. By signing up for a herd-share, you are agreeing to check and read those emails to stay in the loop. Sometimes, you won’t find any other information anywhere else, and our emails are crucial to being part of the herd.


Our micro dairy herd consists of 100% pure A2A2 Jerseys. Their milk is unique – in the fact, they are known for their sweet, creamy and smooth tasting milk that is high in both milkfat and butterfat.

What is A2/A2 raw milk? It is a type of milk that contains 100% A2 beta-casein protein. This protein is naturally produced by humans, goats, dogs, sheep, and lions, and it’s what some heritage breeds of cows produced in their milk just a few hundred years ago. However, most modern cows now produce a different type of protein called A1A1 beta-casein, which is relatively new to both the bovine and human digestive tracts. 

Our cows are fed a 100% grass-fed diet, ensuring that their milk contains higher levels of omega 3’s and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than grain-fed cows and is full of bio-available nutrients like Vitamin A, D, K and Calcium. It is also considered safe for people with severe allergies to grains like corn and soy. But always seek your doctors advice first.

Jersey milk, on average, contains 18% more protein, 20% more calcium and 25% more butterfat than average whole milk. They produce a smaller quantity, but an extremely high quality of milk.



Numerous scientific studies have shown that raw milk is correlated with a decreased rate of asthma, allergies, eczema, ear infections, fever, and respiratory infections. However, improperly produced raw milk can be detrimental to one’s health. Our farm takes our milking, sanitation, handling & testing of our raw milk very seriously.

Before the milking process begins, hands are cleaned thoroughly. Then using hot soapy water, the udders are given a good clean. Each teat is then dipped in iodine to ensure no bacteria is left. Then each udder is dried with a clean disposable cloth, each teat is then stripped before milking begins.

Each of the cows are milked by machine and all the milk goes directly into a stainless-steel enclosed milk can. Once milking is complete it’s taken directly inside for immediate bottling into sanitized glass jars. The jars of milk receive a “flash chill” to bring the temps to just above freezing (38-40 degrees F).

After milk is flash chilled we do a thorough cleaning of milk cans, the milk machine and its hoses and attachments are sanitized.

We ask that our members bring clean jars for the trade each week. However, each jar and lid receives a deep clean with hot soapy water to ensure every jar going out is clean and up to our cleaning standards. Did you know? It takes approximately 9+ HOURS each week to thoroughly clean all our glass jars? It’s dedication or we’re crazy. You tell me. 🙂



A single share will allot 1 gallon per week.  A half share will allot 1 half gallon.  If you want more than one gallon a week, you must purchase more than one share.  



Boarding fees help maintain the shared herd and is due monthly for each share owned.  These boarding fees go towards the labor costs and any other fees that may incur to maintain a healthy and bountiful herd.  Fees do not change according to missed milk pickups.



All boarding fees are due before the 1st of every month. However, we understand things can change overnight, so for your convenience there is no *long-term commitment, but we do very much appreciate families signing up with a long-term commitment in mind. Committing to our farm families and the herd-share program is probably one of the most time consuming and most expensive efforts on the farm. In order to keep doing what we are doing – we ask for strong commitments in return.  If you are moving, or are unable to keep your share, *a 30-day notice is required in writing (by email) and we request that you maintain your boarding commitments up to that point until the time comes for your scheduled departure. Monthly boarding fees are non-refundable.

Each share is $25 to buy into the Herd-Share program. This is a one-time, refundable fee. There is a $44 monthly boarding fee – With that comes (4-5 gallons a month) Depending on the number of weeks in each month. That is 1 gallon a week per share. Equaling out to $10 a gallon due to some months having more than 4 weeks. 

Each half share is $12.50 to buy into the Herd-Share program. This is a one-time, refundable fee. There is a $22 monthly boarding fee – With that comes (4-5 half gallons a month) Depending on the number of weeks in each month. That is one 1/2 gallon a week per share. Equaling out to $5 a half gallon, due to some months having more than 4 weeks. 


We are unable to issue financial credits for missed pickups, or no shows. Payment is applied the 1st of every month to help pay for the cows to be tended to, milked twice-a-day, as well as monthly testing etc. and that must be done every day, regardless of if you drink the milk or not. If you run into a week you cannot pick up your milk (vacation, unexpected emergencies etc…) it’s highly encouraged you utilize the ‘Blessing Shares’ or line someone else to pick up for you. It’s your choice to give your milk to a family member or close friend (but under the State of Iowa laws, under no conditions can you sell it to someone else.) 


At this time, there is no deliver of our milk, even to the West Des Moines drop location – the milk is never frozen, and the veggie trailer does not cool to proper temps to safely haul gallons and gallons of milk each week. Farm families pick-up right at our conveniently located farm. Many families also share pickups with each other. The farm is conveniently located just 15 minutes south of West Des Moines city limits. 12 minutes south of Norwalk, 15 minutes west of Indianola, and 20-30 minutes to most surrounding Des Moines communities. Milking happens twice a day; 365 days a year, and we ask that each family dedicates to a weekly pickup as we are dedicated to serve you well. Your dedication helps little farms like ours survive for years to come. 


Going out of town? Can’t make it for your pick-up?
You can choose to donate your share portion to the ‘blessing shares’ part of the program, and we will pick the next family down on our herd-share list to bless, compliments of you and your family. This has been a fun and amazing part of our program that families have loved being part of both the givers and the receivers!


The heifer calves are nursed by their own momma’s and are halter trained and eventually become replacement heifers and additional milking cows for our boarding program. The bulls are raised for the purpose of breeding or sometimes our own personal freezer.


Our raw milk is A2A2 registered (we’ve got the papers to prove it) from our sweet per-bred Jersey gals who are pasture-raised. The cows graze on fresh grass under a rotational grazing program during the spring, summer and fall along with free-choice hay. In the winter months our sweet ladies munch on gmo-free sprouted grains for a “fresh” treat in the cold months. (winter-only), and premium quality hay from a reputable local farmer we trust.  During the morning and evening milkings the gals get special treats of organic gmo-free oats, and molasses, and minerals to give them extra vitamins, protein and probiotics. No corn, no soy, no antibiotics, no hormones – simply no junk.)


Milk is bottled in half-gallon reusable glass jars and BPA food safe plastic lids. There is an initial jar deposit fee of $12 per jar. Jars are washed and sanitized prior to being refilled.


The herd-share contract is to protect you as the consumer as well as your farmers – samples are not included in the state of Iowa protection policy, therefore we cannot offer samples before a purchase. Just like most things in the consumer world, you can’t go to the store to “taste” your food before you buy (unless you’re at the big box stores like Sam’s Club or Costco, ha!) We want our customers to be 100% satisfied with their purchase while being 100% protected. So, when you initially sign up and possibly find out you are not completely satisfied after your first “taste”, we are more than happy to give you a 100% refund by request. However, we will ask you’re reasoning so we can better our services. 


 Our farm tests for coliform, cell, e. coili, and aerobic plate count on a monthly basis. 

We also test milk frequently for Somatic Cell Count, as well, which can help us determine if a cow’s immune system is “on alert,” potentially fighting an infection. Generally treatment would begin at the sub-clinical level with injections of high doses of vitamins, like B-12 etc…

We desire our farm families to find tableside confidence in our farm goods and products. Yet, we all understand that no food is 100% safe, however we believe using strict guidelines to mitigate as much risk as possible is very important in helping families decide on the foods they choose to consume. We value high standards and integrity in everything we do on our farm in our everyday lives.


It is not. However, growth hormones or prophylactic antibiotics in our animals are not used and, although our land is not USDA certified organic, the only thing that ever touches our pastures is manure. No pesticides, herbicides, or sprays are used on our land, so the animals are grazing on clean pastures and hay.


First and foremost the mission is to keep the cows healthy and happy, because in doing so, they produce amazing healthy milk.  In the event there is a sickness or injury in the herd, our go to is to treat the cows with natural, homeopathic or herbal remedies. All sickness within the herd would be treated as a high priority and any sign of infection will result in a cow to be quarantined and pulled from production until the situation is remedied.

Under certain situations, we may need to use antibiotics if necessary. If we ever have to treat an animal with antibiotics, which suggests there is a situation that calls for it, and we are unable to naturally treat it, we will dispose of the milk for the duration of the entire sickness and withdrawal period of the said antibiotic.


Always keep your milk chilled. Even if you have a short distance to drive. 
It can’t be stressed enough! It’s imperative that you keep your milk in a cooler with ice or proper ice packs until you return home. Take care that it’s not left out for long at meal-times. Our family never leaves our milk out on the table or counter. We pour our milk, and it goes directly back in the fridge. No exceptions. 

If at any time your milk becomes unpleasant to drink due to leaving it out or of its age, simply discard the product.  If you do not feel comfortable drinking aged milk, or aging it into other products like cheese, just stick with the fresh milk you get every week. That will keep your supply fresh, and you won’t have to worry about how old your milk is getting.

There are however many things you can do with aging milk. Sour cream, yogurt, cheese, the list is endless. There are a lot of recipes you can find online that will show you what to do with your aging milk. As time goes on, we hope to become one of those online sources of information like that so keep an eye out as we grow and develop our site and herd.


Every single jar of milk bottled will have a date that represents the day the milk was collected.  The milk is guaranteed to be fresh for the following 12 days with little exception, so long as the milk is handled properly in your care. Our family prefers drinking our milk within the 5-7 day mark. The more the milk sits, the creamier and thicker the milk gets. 


Back in the day when everyone had a family milk cow that grazed on grass, no one worried about bad milk. When milking made its big move to commercial dairies, the diet of the cow switched from mostly grass to mostly grain. With this change in diet and the crowded commercial dairy conditions, suddenly raw milk became a health hazard. To preserve the large commercial dairies, the solution was to pasteurize the milk. Pasteurized milk of course destroys all the bacteria (the good and the bad) in milk. The result was that the milk that was produced under these new conditions could now be consumed with minimal risk at the subtle expense of flavor, nutrition, good enzymes and bacteria and a product that doesn’t age on the shelf anymore, but now rots and goes rancid.

Obviously the dairy industry had to do a big sell to the consumer to get them to accept this different product, thus the marketing that many of us were raised under to believe that only pasteurized milk is the truly safe option to drink. In fact, a few backyard cows fed primarily grass & hay and milked in a clean facility produces fresh milk that is perfectly safe to drink unpasteurized.

If you search the web for “raw milk” you will find many discussions on the topic of consuming fresh unprocessed milk. We refer to information found on Raw Milk Facts and Real Milk. Much of the other information on fresh milk, in our opinion, comes from misunderstandings, perversions of truths, and political pressures from the commercial dairy industry to keep a competing product out of the market and protect their market share. It is advised to do your own due diligence and form your own opinions on the matter. There is much conflicting information out there and everyone is trying to sell you their angle on the subject.

Overall choosing to drink fresh unprocessed milk is no light matter. The truth is that any milk, pasteurized or unpasteurized, that is contaminated with deadly pathogens can be very dangerous if not fatal to consume. To make this choice demands a lot of responsibility on the part of the consumer to do diligent research on the matter and most importantly know the conditions the cows you wish to consume milk from are raised in as well as the farmers who care for them. The same risk applies when buying pasteurized milk from the grocery stores, with the exception you can’t just meet the producers of that milk when you buy it, so you have to weigh your options and always make informed decisions.

At Eden Ridge we believe in food freedom, and families should be able to choose what they consume and don’t. 


A1/A1, A1/A2, and A2/A2 milk all contain the same lactose. All raw milk may be tolerated by those with lactose intolerance, since the naturally occurring bacteria can jumpstart your body into producing lactase.

A casein allergy or intolerance is when a body has an immune response to the proteins in the milk. In some cases, the allergy or intolerance is specifically to the A1 beta-casein protein. If this is the case, then A2/A2 milk may solve the problem. Many of our members do come to us for fresh, whole, unprocessed milk because of its digestibility and for many personal health reasons.

A 2007 U of M and Weston A. Price survey actually found that around 89% of lactose intolerance actually goes away when they switch to raw milk.

There is an enzyme called lactase in raw milk that is killed during the pasteurization process, so your body is just left with lactose, which is particularly difficult for many peoples’ guts to digest alone. In unprocessed milk, both lactose and lactase are present, aiding your body in the digestive process. A small minority of people still have problems with raw cow’s milk, and that usually stems from a casein sensitivity or allergy (casein is another protein in milk like lactose)

Either way, unprocessed milk is a whole living food that is designed to be consumed by a newborn calf with a weak immune system and a nominal intestinal track. What that means for us is that all the nutrients in unprocessed milk are completely bio-available and in the most easily digestible form possible. The more we process milk through pasteurization, homogenization and added food dyes, the more problems we encounter in our body’s ability to process the milk.


Unfortunately, no one can make health claims, but we can share with you what we are hearing from many of our farm families who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk, and who are delighted to discover they no longer have trouble digesting Eden Ridge A2A2 grass-fed raw milk thanks to its probiotic nature. There are a couple families who have a family member who are lactose intolerant that drink our raw milk.  Other people find that the heavy lactobacillus content in raw milk (similar to what you find in commercial yogurt or cultured buttermilk) helps keep their digestive system running smoothly. Many simply prefer the fuller taste of raw milk. Overall, majority of those who enjoy fresh raw milk do it simply to return to a more natural unprocessed diet as was intended by our Maker.


“Bad weather” is defined as severe thunderstorm, hail, tornado warnings, lightening, blizzards or any weather not advised for travel – anything that prevents you or us from safely standing outside. If this type of weather occurs, Esther will contact you via email or text with alternate details. 


If Eden Ridge Acres LLC is unable to carry out its obligations due to a Force Majeure
We will do our best to send out a written notice to customers in such an event, and the obligations shall be suspended to the extent necessary by such event.
The term Force Majeure shall include, without limitations, acts of God, medical personal emergency, plague, epidemic, pandemic, outbreaks of infectious disease or any other public health crisis, including quarantine or other restrictions, fire, explosion, vandalism, storm or other similar occurrence, orders or acts of military or civil authority, or by national emergencies, insurrections, riots, or wars, or strikes, lockouts, or supplier failures. Eden Ridge Acres LLC agrees to do what they can to accommodate the needs of the
customers as best as they can if able. 


Please make sure you’ve read ALL the FAQ’s before emailing: hello AT edenridgeacres.com. Thank you, for helping us be more efficient.

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