March 25, 2013. Montana House backs raw milk bill. Associated Press.
“The House is backing a measure that would allow small-scale dairy farmers to sell their unpasteurized milk directly to consumers.
House Bill 574 would allow farmers with as many as 15 lactating cows, 30 lactating sheep or 30 lactating goats to obtain permits exempting them from certain regulation.
The measure strikes language that would give the Department of Livestock the capability to regulate raw milk. The bill says consumers would be responsible in cases of illness resulting from consumption.
Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Champ Edmunds, of Missoula, says the popular measure has gained wide-spread support throughout the state with as many as 60 people testifying in support in committee.
He presented the measure Monday amid sounds of cowbells and laughter.
It passed its initial vote in the House 98-2.”
March 20, 2013. National Farmers Union Endorses Raw Milk. Kimberly Hartke, Weston A. Price Foundation.
“The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) announces that the National Farmers Union (NFU) has adopted new pro-raw milk policies at its 111th annual convention, held on March 2nd-5th, in Springfield Massachusetts. The conference theme, Making Waves in Agriculture, reflected the new, progressive stance on raw milk.
The new policies were proposed by Mark McAfee, founder and CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy in California, on behalf of the delegates from California, and supported by delegates from Pennsylvania and the Northeastern states. Conference participants called for access to raw milk for all citizens and responsible production standards for raw milk producers. The new policies stipulate single source production for raw milk to assure that consumers know the source of the raw milk they purchase.
In contrast, the American Farm Bureau, has opposed numerous state level efforts to improve consumer access to farm fresh, unprocessed milk. However, there is evidence the AFB position may soon change. During the past two years, the California Farm Bureau actively participated in a working group on small herd micro dairies, where they took a neutral position.
“Raw milk consumption is growing at a rate of 25 percent per year,” said McAfee, “while conventional milk sales are falling relentlessly. Farmers want to meet the consumer demand and the new NFU policy will help them achieve the right to sell raw milk directly to consumers.” McAfee’s Organic Pastures Dairy is the largest producer of raw milk in the U.S.A.
McAfee was chosen by the California Dairy Campaign (CDC) as a delegate to the NFU conference. The falling profitability of conventional dairies is a chief concern of the 200 dairyman who are members of the CDC.
The NFU delegates also urged an end to the ban on the interstate distribution of raw milk. The Campaign for Real Milk, a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), works for wider consumer access to raw milk because of its nutritional and therapeutic advantages. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which promotes farm direct sales, also seeks to overturn the interstate transportation ban.
During their deliberations, convention delegates heard the science regarding unprocessed (raw) milk, university studies, consumer reports and testimonials; they discussed the success of the emerging raw milk market and the health benefits of unprocessed dairy products. Delegates from across the US voted on these policies, giving the green light for raw milk to take a place at the national table of farmer policies. See the entire 2013 NFU policy guide:
Established in 1902, the NFU is the one of the oldest national farmer organizations and employs a team of state and national lobbyists to encourage pro-farm legislation and policy.”