• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 22s

Harvesting Alaska: Herd-shares help people get their goat milk

By Lauren Maxwell 2:04 PM September 26, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend drinking raw milk, nor does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But others say raw milk has health benefits that pasteurized milk doesn’t have — and it’s popularity seems to be growing.

In Alaska, it’s illegal to sell raw milk, but there is a legal way that people who crave it can get it. It’s called a herd-share.

Herd-shares are a way for people to invest in the herd and become a part-owners. A monthly fee pays for the upkeep of the animals, but it also entitles “owners” to a share of the raw milk.

Suzy Crosby and her husband Mike Pendergrast own Cottonwood Creek Farm in Wasilla, where they run a herd-share program with their Alpine dairy goats. The couple got their first goat more than a decade ago and quickly realized they had more milk than they could handle.

“We had a goat and we had too much milk,” said Crosby. “We had a friend that called and said, ‘I hear you have a goat and we are looking for raw milk. How can I get raw milk from you?’ So we started researching how herd-share works.”

Crosby says most of her customers pay $40 for a half gallon of goat’s milk every week.

Because raw milk can carry germs that can make people sick, Crosby goes to great lengths to make sure the milk is handled properly and — in her view — safe to drink. Her goats are raised by hand, their health is checked often and their surroundings are kept clean, including the milking parlor in the basement of the couple’s home.

Most importantly, the milk is properly chilled for many hours to make sure bacteria doesn’t grow, she said.

People who are lactose intolerant and have difficulty with cow’s milk can usually tolerate goat’s milk, which adds to a list of health benefits, Crosby says. Raw goat’s milk, she said, is even better because it still contains the nutrients the heat of pasteurization destroys.

“When you look at your gallon of milk in the store it will say vitamin A and D fortified,” said Crosby. “That’s because they’ve killed off all the vitamin A and D that’s present in the milk naturally. Then they add it back synthetically. Why would you not want the real thing?”

Crosby said she has a couple dozen customers who want “the real thing,” and, occasionally, a waiting list.

KTVA′s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.


Harvesting Alaska is a featured series exploring all the ways Alaskans live off the land — from growing and foraging to fishing and crafting.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary cat mayor, dies

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 22:25

    Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary cat mayor beloved by Alaskans and tourists alike, has died at the age of 20 according to the animal’s owners. Stubbs’ death was announced late Saturday in a statement from the Spone family, which purchased Nagley’s General Store and the West Rib Pub and Grill in 2015. Part of the contract, the […]

  • New White House communications director deletes old tweets contradicting Trump

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 19:55

    A day after accepting a top White House job, President Trump’s new communications director announced Saturday that he’s deleting old tweets that were critical of his new boss, saying his own views have evolved and that what he said in the past shouldn’t be a distraction. Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolved […]

  • News

    Car-motorcycle crash hurts 2, closes Old Seward Highway south of Dowling Road

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 19:05

    The Old Seward Highway was closed Saturday night south of Dowling Road in both directions by a car-motorcycle collision that injured two people. Alaska road-conditions website 511.alaska.gov first mentioned the wreck at Old Seward near 69th Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. Anchorage police Sgt. Dawn Neer, at the scene, said a motorcycle had been headed […]

  • News

    Efforts continue to save Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theatre

    by Dave Leval on Jul 22, 17:38

    There’s no denying Sandy Harper loves the 4th Avenue Theatre. “The theater has been here longer than I have,” said Harper, who has called Anchorage home for 30 years. The building has been part of the downtown Anchorage skyline for more than twice that, a span of 70 years. “I don’t think there’s anything like […]

  • Dozens hospitalized for excessive drinking at Chance The Rapper concert

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 17:28

    HARTFORD, Conn. — More than 90 people were hospitalized Friday during a concert featuring Chance the Rapper in Connecticut, officials said. A large number of people hospitalized were underage attendees experiencing “severe intoxication,” Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said Saturday. Foley said officers made 50 underage drinking referrals Friday at Hot 93.7′s Hot Jam concert at Xfinity Theatre. […]

  • News

    Coast Guard: Kodiak missile test could occur as early as next week

    by Associated Press on Jul 22, 14:15

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard says a launch from the Kodiak Island rocket launch complex in Alaska will occur as soon as next week. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports a U.S. Coast Guard notice released Wednesday states the launch is scheduled to occur at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska between 7 p.m. on […]

  • Son charged in death of father whose body was left on couch for weeks

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 14:12

    FRACKVILLE, Pa. — A man has been charged with killing his father, who authorities say was shot to death and his body then left on a couch in his home for weeks. Tyler Swantek, 24, faces charges in Schuylkill County including criminal homicide, first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse in the […]

  • News

    Search suspended for man overboard from skiff in Prince William Sound

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 13:21

    The U.S. Coast Guard spent much of Friday looking for a man who fell overboard from a skiff on the west side of Prince William Sound, but was unable to locate any sign of him. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that the man went overboard at about 2 a.m. Friday from a commercial […]