The Family Cow

The ins and outs of caring for your milk cow & calf;

housing, feeding, livestock health, plus hand milking tips!


When:  Sunday, July 16th, from 10 am - 3:30 pm (BYO Lunch)

Where: Earthwise Farm and Forest, located in Bethel, VT 

Cost:  $70 per person, $130 for two people (includes handout & other resources)

Interested in having a milk cow to feed your family and friends & wondering how to get started?

Interested in managing your land and livestock organically or ecologically?

Curious about the current VT regulations for selling raw milk? 

This class will cover the ins and outs of owning a family cow - from health & nutrition, to breeding, milking (hand milking or machine), setting up a  rotational grazing system, calf care, udder health, milk quality, raw milk sales, organic certification, and more. Class participants will have an opportunity for some hands-on learning, and will receive a handout, catalogs, and product samples from companies providing services in the area of livestock health and nutrition.

Join us and learn some important points for your new adventure. 


Items to cover during the workshop include:

  • Nutrition: what should you be feeding your cow? How do you know how much she needs to eat each day? What about supplements?
  • Health: what are some important points in keeping your cow(s) and calf (calves) healthy year 'round?
  • Hand Milking and the Bucket Milker: We will cover important points to be aware of when milking a cow by hand or using mechanized equipment, and will demonstrate how to hand milk.
  • Milk Safety, Milk Quality & Testing Your Milk: 
  • Developing a Grazing System for your animals: Lisa McCrory of Earthwise Farm & Forest will show participants the rotational grazing system and cover some important points in maintaining productive pasture and a quality feed ration for your grazing livestock. (to learn about this topic in depth, please join us for our Grazing Class)
  • Milking Processing: What additional equipment do you need to process/filter and chill your milk for sale and/or personal consumption?
  • Breeds and Breeding: What are your options for milk cow breeds? How are you going to breed your cow (natural or artificial insemination)?
  • Marketing your Milk: what do your need to do to qualify for Tier 1 or Tier 2 raw milk sales in Vermont? Earthwise Farm & Forest is a Tier 1 milk producer. We will show you how it is done on our farm and explain the rules & regulations.

Thank you to our product donors and our sponsors:


To register for this class, contact Lisa McCrory at or call: 802-234-5524. Mail your registration fee (Check made out to Lisa McCrory) to: Earthwise Farm and Forest, Family Cow Workshop, 341 Macintosh Hill Rd, Randolph, VT 05060.

About the Instructor:

Lisa McCrory is a Grazing and Whole Farm Planning consultant and owns and operates Earthwise Farm & Forest with her husband, Carl Russell, in Bethel, VT. Their farm is draft-animal powered & certified organic, incorporating biodynamic and ecological practices & principles, and producing and marketing grass fed milk (tier 1 raw dairy farm), pastured poultry (eggs, meat birds, heritage turkeys), pastured pigs, beef, forest products, and an acre of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Lisa has training in Holistic Management (c) and offers day long workshops on Holistic Planned Grazing. She speaks at conferences on topics that include: grazing basics, multi-species grazing, advanced grazing:calculating dry matter needs for the calendar year, and a Cheese, Butter & Yogurt making class. You can learn more about Lisa by going here:


  • I appreciated your openness to questions, the organization in material you were to cover and your nature and presence with the animals. Also, your willingness to receive questions and offer guidance via email or phone after the workshop.  
  • I thought the workshop took a comprehensive view of the basics. I left feeling I had a solid foundation of learning the basics and that I could continue my learning with the resources recommended. 
  • Dear Lisa, How incredible the workshop was for me, I have shifted from dreading milking my cow and being filled with concerns about whether my ignorance is ruining the healthy cow I bought this spring, to feeling a sense of confidence about what I am doing and how I am handling each milking.  All the little details of the workshop from you explaining your milking routine to the homeopathic remedies and pasture management are significantly empowering my management now that I am at home.