Bull in the China Shop? Sparks Fly As RAWMI Inserts Itself into Local Legislative Battles Over Raw Milk in WI and MN; Before-and-After at One Market

I can remember when I was a kid, and visiting guests were expected momentarily, my sister and I would be admonished by my parents not to "fight in front of the company."

Raw milk supporters in Wisconsin and Minnesota are on the verge of fighting in front of the company--the company being legislators in their states who are wavering on whether to pass legislation that would ease access to raw milk.

The fighting, which so far is being played out behind the scenes, threatens to move into public view as resentment mounts among local raw milk supporters in Wisconsin and Minnesota over intrusions into the legislative process by the fledgling Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI).  

One of RAWMI's goals, in addition to establishing raw dairy safety standards, has been to push for legislation that will expand access to raw milk.

RAWMI has begun this effort in three states that have experienced intensive regulatory enforcement against producers and consumers--Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. In California, RAWMI has been involved since last summer in helping mediate between goat milk herdshares and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

In Wisconsin, RAWMI has involved itself in helping push forward legislation that would legalize the production and sale of raw milk from Grade A dairies. In Minnesota, RAWMI has been negotiating with legislators about allowing raw milk to be delivered to consumers; now, it's only available to consumers who travel to permitted farms.

So far, RAWMI's approach is of the bull-in-the-china-shop variety-- stirring up lots of controversy...about its own tactics and communication practices in working with established raw milk activists.

The problem first came to my attention about ten days ago, when a couple of raw milk activists in Minnesota complained to me that their group seemed to be shut out of RAWMI's efforts to influence legislators on expanding access to raw milk there. They said they didn't mind RAWMI coming in, but resented being kept in the dark about discussions going on between RAWMI and state legislators.

Then, earlier this week, the head of a local raw milk activist group in Wisconsin voiced similar complaints in an email to other activists.

"Red flags are popping up with RAWMI and now that they are working with DATCP (the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) I have even greater reservations about RAWMI," Andrew Mastrocola of the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association stated in an email. "Now the big money players in raw milk are doing an end around and want to use our inroads to get their overbudensome raw milk legislation on the docket instead of ours. The group in Minnesota that has been working on food freedom issues and health freedom issues and they also already have legal raw milk have been asked to drop their bills and accept RAWMI's in blind faith. That's right they are not being allowed to see what RAWMI is proposing. Rumor is that RAWMI's version of legislation for Minnesota is full of overburdensome safety regulations and destroys the work done for the past 14 years by the group in Minnesota."

The Wisconsin and Minnesota activists are upset not only with RAWMI, but with the Weston A. Price Foundation for its support of RAWMI. In a letter to members recently, Sally Fallon, the head of WAPF, wrote, in part:

"RAWMI is making great strides in the regulatory and law-making communities. For example, Stacy Pearson, RAWMI’s Vice President, has been meeting with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to define a legal herd-share that will be exempt from regulation!

"As a result, she has been asked to work with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture on their raw milk legislation...In Minnesota, legislators are lined up to carry the new RAWMI raw milk access bill and RAWMI is meeting with their activists to coordinate a Raw Milk Day at the Capitol."

All of which prompted Mastrocola of Wisconsin to wonder in his email if WAPF was inadvertently sabotaging long-term local efforts, which had resulted in legislation being passed back in 2009, only to be vetoed by the governor.  "Why are we paying a lobbyist and working so hard if Sally is working behind our backs to get a different type of raw milk legislated in Wisconsin. Something stinks in WAPF land..."

I'm not sure what's going on here, whether it's a clash of communication and lobbying styles or a serious disagreement over substance. Or maybe a combination. The locals in both states are feeling shut out of RAWMI's lobbying campaign. But part of what concerns the locals is that RAWMI appears to be pushing for "safety" rules that the locals consider "burdensome."

Whatever the situation, it seems as if the various parties should be able to work together to iron out their differences and come to a common agenda. It's not as if the food rights movement is so powerful it can afford in-fighting and dilution of effort. In the current crackdown climate, the regulators can be forgiven if they sit back and smile. It's never good form to fight in front of the company.

 
***

The two photos here are the ones Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures sent me to illustrate the pent-up demand for raw milk. There were taken 50 minutes apart, showing how quickly the milk disappeared at Our Little Market in Los Angeles.

The photos illustrate a broader trend, says McAfee: "We boosted our routes by 150% (amount carried on the trucks) and the stores are selling out in 1.5 days (with a week's worth of product delivered) demanding re-deliveries immediately.  We cannot catch up with demand. This is more than pent up demand. This is a new market."

"All of which prompted Mastrocola of Wisconsin to wonder in his email if WAPF was inadvertently sabotaging long-term local efforts..."

YES. I told you this would happen. RAWMI's standards are being written to fit into Codex standards. To have RAWMI standards implemented in all states is one step toward full implementation of Codex, which has provisions for raw milk production.

"Whatever the situation, it seems as if the various parties should be able to work together to iron out their differences and come to a common agenda."

RAWMI is a third-party regulatory body whose corporate headquarters are located out-of-state. They should have NO SAY in local legislative issues, unless specifically asked to act as a consultant to the local farmer/consumer lobbying groups. Several on this blog warned that RAWMI would be meddling in local affairs, and were called nutjobs for stating this. Perhaps we nutjobs were right after all.

David.
Thank you for returning the appearence of objectivity to your blog.
Your last article had me concerned given you are a board member of Rawmi and the take away lesson of its content was not at all what is the reality, just as this article points out.
Transparency must be attained throughout a whole organization and its relaitve partners in order to gain trust and proper status. Proper review takes time, immedicay is the death nail of understanding and faith.
While one can create a buzz about what one wants the populace to know through spin and social media and create the appearance of transparency, if reality is different and basic fundamentals are glossed over or puposely ingored, you have an ideal and purpose built on a shakey foundation and many epople invested in spin and not fundamentals.
This is our current society, our political machine and to the most part how we as consumers have learned to value a product or process. The local food movement is changing that by forging relationships, not numbers who hit your facebook page.
As the occupy movement has shown us, we are looking for a different manner in which to communicate our needs and the truth to be held forward not used in a relative fashion to sell and idea or product.
Spin is spin and is not a good basis for building community.
Hold anything back hard to get for a month and built up demand will occur. Nice opportunity to spin...however give me a three month recording of sales and we shall see the real increase against the moment of return.
Much like proposing State freindly legislation against years of movement forward and dialoge built to regian understanding between two camps who are invested in change.
Spin and uber control can look good in the moment but over time the light of reality will dissolve the interest, and what was removed by that spin takes years to repair.

Tim Wightman

Mark didn't use to be 'snipped' on. But then we started learning about his fraudulent marketing and he started denegrating small dairies in his effort to build RAWMI. He brought it on himself.

There is an ideological disconnect between the regulation loving mark/bill and the small local dairies which build the market. The former can afford the expensive facilities mandated by overburdensome regs. Small farms not looking to get big do not want nor need such regulations and neither can they afford them.

CA style regs will result in CA type markets: a few big dairies supplying all the raw milk.

There was a time when our nation was full of prosperous small family farms safely producing milk from a half dozen or so cows. Unnecssary regulation killed those days, eviserated the dairy industry and emptied the countryside.

RAWMI, local lobbyists, legislators, new laws and regulations. While it is a lovely idea that we can write into law the right to produce, distribute, and consume healthy foods, it seems to me that this is something that does, and should, lie outside of our political legislative system. And I seriously question the ability to take care of this with new laws. You can never make a law that fits all scenarios. So it will always end up being over-burdensome. Law-makers tend to want to put into place more restrictive laws anyway.

And it is a serious question "can't we all get along?" I think many stand for the same basic principles, but want to implement them in different ways. Is it possible to all get on board? Who wants to give up their personal battle to let someone else lead? A difficult thing to suggest. A difficult thing to accept.

I once lobbied Congress with a several of different environmental groups about Great Lakes issues. We met for our briefing and arguments immediately started because everyone came to the table with a different priority. We all hit the hill, armed with our various platforms and failed miserably. One aide that we met with actually laughed because it was so chaotic. When I saw the professional lobbyists strutting through the halls and gaining immediate access to TPTB, I knew we were doomed. Unity is critical. But I feel like "We the People" are so sick and tired of large corporations and organizations supposedly representing us and leaving us in the dust of their and not OUR priorities, that WE are loath to jump on board.

A difficult situation.

Have heard through the grapevine that some CA raw milk activists are VERY unhappy with Stacey of RAWMI actively lobbying the CDFA for regulation of herdshares. Wonder if anyone on here has the inside story?

I think raw milk advocates should separate into two camps that are respectful of each other and who avoid stepping on each others toes.

I have great respect for Mark and the work that hes done in fitting raw milk into the industrial food distribution system. But I want to know that he understands and respects that true shared ownership is an entirely different issue.

Bona-fide herd shares must remain beyond whatever regulatory purview that those who mass-market milk are willing to tolerate. And I hope those who are passionately committed to herd-sharing will let RAWMI go about its business as long as it doesnt try to muscle-out the competition by subjecting herd shares to the same constraints as retail sales.

After all, its the one size fits all approach to regulation that has caused all these problems to begin with. If RAWMI is going after herd-shares, theyre no better than milk marketing boards going after herd-shares.

Surely, theres room in this market for two different models? People who want to get milk from their neighbour arent likely to buy raw milk at the supermarket, and people who only shop in supermarkets arent going to be bothered with meeting a bus in a parking lot to get milk.

Cant we all just get along?

I think Jan has an excellent point. What force there would be in the raw milk movement if two camps organized and then joined forces, each promoting a different model, working together to get a mutual agenda of raw milk availability for those who choose it. Can you imagine the effect of big raw milk dairies lobbying for and stating the benefit and service of the small herd share model, and the smaller farmers stating the understood market demand of distribution of raw milk to the larger grocery store market. And the differing regulatory needs of the two different models (same as large farms have different management styles, so too the differing regulatory needs). It would certainly solve the problem of chaos and in-fighting that does nothing to further the cause.

Is it true? Is is possible? Can we really all get along?

"raw milk activists in Minnesota complained to me that their group seemed to be shut out of RAWMI's efforts to influence legislators on expanding access to raw milk there. "

So much for transparency..

"Why are we paying a lobbyist and working so hard if Sally is working behind our backs to get a different type of raw milk legislated in Wisconsin. Something stinks in WAPF land..."

If it walks like a duck....

"whether it's a clash of communication and lobbying styles or a serious disagreement over substance. Or maybe a combination. "

Appears to be a combination, it has been mentioned numerous times on this blog, the difference of opinions/methods.

"RAWMI's version of legislation for Minnesota is full of overburdensome safety regulations "

One of the links I posted a week or two ago, where Pattie, stated it would cost her over $100000 to do the upgrade crap Ca was saying she should do for her 2 cow cowshare....

"Perhaps we nutjobs were right after all. "

Appears so....

"started learning about his fraudulent marketing and he started denegrating small dairies in his effort to build RAWMI. He brought it on himself. "

Another truth.

"I feel like "We the People" are so sick and tired of large corporations and organizations supposedly representing us and leaving us in the dust of their and not OUR priorities, that WE are loath to jump on board."

Sometimes you have to make a stand and stop being stepped on...

http://civileats.com/2011/12/22/small-dairy-farmers-fear-coming-out-of-the-barn/

"CDFA has acknowledged that current regulations do not cover herdshares and state regulations for commercial dairies were not appropriate for them either. "

https://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/tag/herd-shares/

"as long as it doesnt try to muscle-out the competition by subjecting herd shares to the same constraints as retail sales."

This appears to be what rawmi is doing.
Posters on this blog have said in the past that 2 different models were needed as those who wanted to feed the masses should be under different regulations/laws than a small herd share. At the time, mark demonized those who did not follow his every word and those who wished to remain as they are.

My perception is that Mark's heart is in the right place, and that even in California, he recognizes that his dairy cannot possibly fill all the growing demand for raw milk. With his family background of activism, and a big personality combined with a tendency to verbally shoot from the hip, it's probably inevitable that he annoys people at the same time that he reaches large numbers. All in all, in terms of his passionate advocacy for raw milk, he's probably done as much as anyone to raise awareness nationwide on the subject.

Of course he's advocating to make his business a success, he'd be a poor businessman if he did not. But I firmly believe that his advocacy really does help other raw milk producers, and that he is not just a grand-standing huckster of Organic Pastures.

That said, where I think he runs into his biggest obstacles is in his heartfelt belief that if he can just sit down across the table with regulators and legislators, he will be able to persuade them with his frank, open, winning ways to his/our beliefs. Incurable optimist that he is, I think he genuinely believes that he can work with regulators to craft guidelines that will be of genuine benefit to small farms and farmers.

Such optimism is rare in this day and age. And given the current circumstances, I'm just not sure that it's warranted. Adages like "Trust in God, but tether your camel" or "Walk softly, but carry a big stick" seem to be called for here, and I don't think that Mark entirely understands that the pressure on legislators and regulators to maintain the status quo may just be quite a bit bigger than even his hearty smile can overturn.

Given the frivolous recall that wiped out nearly half a million dollars for Organic Pastures even in the midst of those friendly talks with CDFA I can only hope that this is a wake-up call for Mark. While there might be a few people in regulator land who are sympathetic to the logic of allowing a flourishing raw milk economy, there seem to be far more who would be only too happy to distract RAWMI with talks that look like they're going somewhere, while sending the storm troops out to bust a farm or ten under existing laws.

I don't know how possible it really is to work within the existing framework, given the fact that as Mark himself has said there is one set of legislation that governs two kinds of farms.

And if it is true that RAWMI is engaging in talks with legislators, separate from local grassroots efforts, that is completely inappropriate. RAWMI should not present itself as the samurai who will swoop in to rescue the peasants, and while I am sure that this is not their aim, they need to be careful to honor those who have paved the way with their efforts. They would be better off by conferring with local farms and buying clubs and herdshares to see what these local people want, and then support them not override them with their new and "better" ideas.

IF this is what is going on, of course everything thus far is hearsay.

I never really understood why we would want to take the legislation (if we must have it) away from individual States and bring it to a National level. When you mess with things like this, the end result is rarely the same as when it first took shape. Sadly, I think that's what is happening here. I have no idea where WAPF is coming from. I'm far more upset about their involvement AT ALL than I am about what ultimately happens with RAWMI, to be honest. When you ask for more regulation, you're gonna get more regulation than you can handle, I think. Time will tell, but it might not have a fairy tale ending. I say leave things in State hands and it's easier to control. You go National and all of a sudden things tend to become convoluted.

http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/12/how-much-of-your-food-labeled-as-organic-is-actually-organic/

I want to be sure that the voice of the small growers and processors get heard at a national level. There are times when a regulatory template that works for a large farmer or processor simply cannot work on a small scale. We need regulations for both. "

This thought process would fit many entities.

Everyone take a deep breath.

Reality is very different than the trumped-up blog rumor. Stacy is not doing 1/4 of what everyone says she us doing. I just got off the phone with an attorney that works with the Minnesota Activist group and none of this outside blather is accurate. The facts are these....Stacy has high level access and no one seems to like that kind of power or priveledge. Stacy is an asset and a tool to be used by all to get more raw milk to people who need it. In each state there is a different set of political realities.

When people talk with one another, the bravery, outrageous rumor, exageration of email and blogging dissapates real quick. Voice to voice communications settle things down in a hurry. We all want the same things. Egos and other things complicate reality very fast.

RAWMI is fully dedicated to supporting the local movements and not allienating any of them. believe me on this.

In CA, RAWMI supports the hands off approach to CDFA management or control of the approximate 500 Cow Shares. No registration and no regulation. Nothing.... Cow Shares are a private arrangement and the government has no place arround them....none.

That does not mean that the cow share operators in CA or any place should not collectively and volentarily regulate themselves. No one wants another Dee Creek or Eco Dairy incident. The FDA is very much alive, deeply active and well in this post Food Safety Modernization Act Era.

Trust me I know. Sorry everyone....reality is not as juicy as the blogs or rumors.

Mark

Gee while everyone was slurpin' heavy on mark these past few days I kept thinking to myself...should I point out that he can't be trusted...and is a liar? Rather than raining on his parade I kept my fingers shut....allowing him his 'victory'. But damn...I hate to say i told you so...but i will anyway. I told you so.

The inconsistencies between marks response, and his PR person in the video of few entries back cannot be overlooked...as his cowardly exit from this blog then...rather than face the obvious criticism and scrutiny. He owes all of us here an answer...yet will continue to try a spin things to his advantage.

The fracturing of the raw milk movement is inevitable now....for as we've seen before...it's either mark's way...or youre just a negative, irrelevant 'sniper'. That the Foundation has joined with him to subvert local movements is saddening...and I appeal to all of you you see the reality for what it is (and not what mark would like you to believe) to call, fax and email the Foundation tomorrow and let them know that if they continue to support his efforts that you will discontinue your membership. There is nothing worse than the rich using the meager resources of the modest in efforts against them. Just as the power of raw milk consumers can be levied against the authorities....can it be levied against those who profess to 'lead' the movement.

mark doesn't represent the best of raw milk...he is the posterboy for the industrialization of raw milk...and if he and the traitors at the foundation are successful, than the brightest future of raw milk will be lost.

David-

This is very disappointing. Your reporting leaves much to be desired. Before you post damaging media about RAWMI, you should at least have the courtesy of contacting us.

To my knowledge, there has not been any cooperation between RAWMI and DATCP thus far, or any RAWMI involvement in the Wisconsin legislative process. It is true that I recently wrote an email to Brian Wickert, the leading activist for the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association, outlaying my analysis of the political situation, and offering RAWMI assistance. Brian has not responded to me, but has apparently forwarded the email, drumming up a bunch of conspiracy theorists and wackos to attack RAWMI.

The Wisconsin Raw Milk Bill was recently killed in committee by the Republican majority in the Senate and Assembly. RAWMI had absolutely nothing to do with this. It was a product of the political influence of the dairy processing industry (follow the $$$$$) combined with the inability of the local activists to constructively address public health concerns.

RAWMI will NOT be involved in any Wisconsin legislative efforts until the other local activists are willing to work with us. We are going to "butt out", plain and simple. They can dig their own grave, as far as I am concerned. Once they are willing to educate themselves and work constructively with RAWMI, then we can hopefully start making progress on legalizing the sale of raw milk to the general public here in AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND. Until that time, I genuinely hope that no one is imprisoned over raw milk, but it seems that is the route things are headed, sadly...

I am a licensed Wisconsin cheese maker. I have the right to purchase raw milk for my own purposes, and to make raw milk cheese aged over 60 days for sale to the general public, provided it is produced in licensed facilities. I don't need the approval of the other activists to move forward with my own business plans.

Next time you write stories like this, please have the courtesy of contacting us first. There is a lot of misinformation here that does not need to be published.

"RAWMI will NOT be involved in any Wisconsin legislative efforts until the other local activists are willing to work with us. We are going to "butt out", plain and simple. They can dig their own grave, as far as I am concerned. Once they are willing to educate themselves and work constructively with RAWMI, then we can hopefully start making progress on legalizing the sale of raw milk to the general public here in AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND."

Well, at least we know where the WI RAWMI viewpoint stands. Way to make friends and encourage the promotion of the RAWMI ideals.

Sometimes it is truly best to keep one's mouth shut, else, one might to get to know the real you. Have to wonder how big the ring is that you want them to kiss? I have served on PAC's and I have been heavily involved in testing and task groups working on standards within the bldg industry..the above tone will do little to advance your cause.

Mark,

Congratulations on successfully navigating the mess created for you by the CA bureaucracy. The system you have created for yourself clearly works well for you.

However, please consider the following:

"If they go to a farm and see some pretty roses planted near the house and a nice barn with a fresh coat of paint, they assume things are being done right," he said. "Most consumers don't have a clue about food-safety practices. We want them to be able to see their farmers from an expert's perspective. They'll be able to see the farmer's score sheet (for cleanliness of the milk) and the farm's food-safety plan. This will give them a high level of confidence about the raw milk they're buying."

Sound familiar? This is a quote from you given to Food Safety News September 28, 2011. This is not blog-rumor. I am simply reflecting back to you your words regarding RAWMI's purpose. Where it falls short of supporting the Raw Milk effort nation wide is that your perspective simultaneously denigrates the intelligence of the consumer and the integrity of the farmer. What if I care more about cultivating a relationship with the farmer than reading a score sheet? What if I care more about the terroir of the milk or the passion the farmer has for his cows than a number? In your world, I would need a degree to understand those numbers, anyway. And that little paper would put more distance between my farmer and me than a drive up to a freshly painted barn with a rose covered patio. In your world, I'd be reading a score card- report instead of seeing my farmer shed tears as he talked about how much he loved his cows.

"Trust me, I know ... Believe me on this."

Bill Anderson,
I did alert Mark McAfee and Stacy Pearson after I was contacted by Minnesota activists, and again after I received the Wisconsin email, and they only offered a bit of commentary that they said was not for quotation. I see where McAfee has now commented in this thread.

Also, I did not receive the Wisconsin email from Brian Wickert; in fact, I had some communication from him since this post went up in which he expressed distress that I published this material. I told him, and I'll say here, that I try to respect the confidentiality of private emails or emails from closed listserves. However, this email appeared to have circulated around among a number of individuals outside the listserve, which led me to understand it was okay to make public.

Even so, I hesitated before publishing this information, for fear of highlighting divisions among activists. I finally decided that, since the debate was clearly intensifying offline, it could be constructive to get it out in the open. It was a judgment call on my part. Your reference to Brian Wickert "drumming up a bunch of conspiracy theorists and wackos to attack RAWMI" is indicative of the sour tone of much of what has been occurring.

Maybe, as McAfee suggests, the various groups here need to have some in-person conference calls and discussions, where the person-to-person conversation has a better chance of being supportive and constructive.

David

"During the Cold War, the CIA secretly funded and controlled scores of US student, labor, religious, political and artistic organizations, according to the book 'The Mighty Wurlitzer' (2008) by Hugh Wilford."

The CIA funding seemingly grassroots organizations continues to this day. We the People are much easier to control if we control ourselves through voluntary regulation.

The intention is full implementation of Codex Alimentarius under a global government. We the People would go berserk if they implemented Codex outright, but if we do it ourselves under the guise of creating more freedom for ourselves, we will do it willingly.

How Controlled Opposition Works, or, the Hegelian Dialectic (also called Problem-Reaction-Solution), made specific to the raw milk issue:

1. Create a market for a product where there was none before. Court people who are unhappy with the industrialized food system, the medical establishment, and government regulatory bodies. Use questionable science if necessary and create a mindset of if its status quo, its bad; if its anti-status quo, its good. Mix several issues to make it difficult to separate fact and fiction and promote all your ideas as the truth. Enter WAPF.

2. When these newly created market pressures face current regulatory realities, a clash will ensue. Set up a legal defense fund to deal with the regulatory and judicial issues created. Ensure that you are the only legal alternative available when clashes ensue. Enter FTCLDF.

3. Sub-par effort in legal cases will cause successive failures in the court system. This will cause outrage, further galvanizing people to "the cause" and ensuring more and more people will join in the fight.

4. Come to the public realization that the only way for your movement to gain legitimacy and to put an end to the persecution is to become your own regulator/bureaucracy. Get people to agree that its best to regulate themselves. Enter RAWMI.

5. Ensure RAWMI standards are written to fit into Codex Alimentarius. Launder this information through a third party intermediary, if necessary, e.g. the National Standards for Raw Milk Production written by Tim Wightman. As people adopt the voluntary standards they will be adopting Codex. The precedent is set.

6. Lastly, usurp local authority by lobbying in the individual states, making sure that state legislation follows RAWMI, thus Codex, standards.

Now youve got the People following Codex and the People did it to themselves, voluntarily. At this time, you can reveal the full agenda and your part in it, but by this time, its too late for the People to do anything about it. Controlled Opposition 101.

To all,

Since everything has come out in the open now . . . I really hate to say this . . . But I think I have been right about Mark and RAWMI . . . .So now, I really need to look after my mental well being and overall general health . . (I have been sick with a bad cold over the last few days) and I have decided to take a break from these issues for a while . . . not only with raw milk but also with local food rights . . . . which are under attack everywhere . . . David . . . I e-mailed you a few days ago about a recent setback in Maine . . I have been so upset over the past days regarding this . . .which is probably why I got so sick:)

Anyway . . . I have decided to take a break for a while from the Local Food Rights Fight and I am going to enjoy my Holiday Season with my DH, kids and friends. . . . and hope you all do the same . . .Peace and love to you all . . .

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Lola-

The phenomenon you are describing is called the "Sandbox syndrome." See this short video from Stuart B. Hill, a radical environmental activist and professor of social ecology.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzt8ymehIIo

Radical left-wing activists have been aware of this problem for many, many years. You are not telling me anything I didn't already know. "Hegelian dialectics" has nothing to do with it. The strategy is called "divide and conquer", and conquerers are the corporate capitalist banking class.

David-

I continue to be saddened at the way this movement is being divided against itself. IMO, this is a direct result of the ideology of "rugged individualism" which has been rammed down our throats since the era of Joseph McCarthy, by Hollywood and other forms of mass media.

Green is the new Red.

Green is the new Red.

Bill... Davids blog isn't what is causing the movement to be divided against itself.

This attitude is:
"I don't need the approval of the other activists to move forward with my own business plans."

You and mark have done more to divide this movement in the last 6 months than any federal state or local agency ever could.....by YOUR 'individualism'. Someone needs to cut you both down to size.

My ears always perk up when I hear somebody say..."trust me"...because any individual whose actions and words are truly worthy of trust never ever has to utter those words.

My guess is that we will not hear from mark regarding the 'inconsistencies" of his and his PR person remarks. This blog is too valuable to him...hence his quick return from his 'run away rather than face the music" exodus from this forum.... He'll be back and try to ignore the indiscrepancy...and act like nothing was wrong. I encourage everyone to go back and see the video again...listen to what the opdc employee says and compare it to marks response. Something doesn't add up....someone is not being truthful.

Bill
You tell your king that William Wallace will not be ruled!

Dont regulate raw milk: "This idea that the [FDA] is going to take care of us they end up interfering with choices," Paul said in Iowa, adding, "So my ideal, as a symbol of moving in a different direction, I would like to restore your RIGHT to drink raw milk any time you want to drink it."

RON PAUL 2012
RESTORE AMERICA NOW

When about 500 voters packed into a New Hampshire town hall last week to hear Ron Paul speak, they saved their biggest applause for something no other Republican presidential candidate is talking about.

I would like to restore your RIGHT to drink raw milk anytime you like! Paul said to loud and sustained cheers in the historic Peterborough Town House.

Have fun with the Ron Paul campaign.

I was a Howard Dean supporter in 2003. I got over that one really fast. Politicians are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Ron Paul is a racist reactionary KKK/neo-Nazi-type... I will never support him.

I am working for the legalization of raw milk. IF you'd like to join please see the following website:

http://rawmilkinstitute.net/

To all the new readers:

We've been discussing this same issue for over a year. Please refer back to an article David wrote on December 22 of last year, in particular the comments section, when a lot of information regarding Codex, S510, and the National Standards came out. Denial and damage control was in high gear there, too.

http://www.thecompletepatient.com/journal/2010/12/22/key-lesson-in-judges-ruling-against-michael-hartmann-dont-go.html#comments

I think it would be good to forward Bill's comments, regarding the WI farmers(see below) to the rest of RAWMI's board of directors. I would like to know if this is the prevailing attitude of the board towards other groups that are working for legal raw milk sales.

I have already let my farmer know that I would prefer him to stay away from RAWMI as I do not trust them. A lot of that distrust is earned by comments on this website.

RAWMI will NOT be involved in any Wisconsin legislative efforts until the other local activists are willing to work with us. We are going to "butt out", plain and simple. They can dig their own grave, as far as I am concerned. Once they are willing to educate themselves and work constructively with RAWMI, then we can hopefully start making progress on legalizing the sale of raw milk to the general public here in AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND. Until that time,

What hypocrisy, Bill, to talk about spreading evil rumors based on emails and blogs: "Ron Paul is a racist reactionary KKK/neo-Nazi-type... I will never support him."

From NPR this morning... or isn't that liberal enough for you (speaking as a rather die-hard Democrat myself, who has become disappointed in Obama):

Another issue that has garnered Paul negative attention this past week is the resurfacing of a series of newsletters that bore Paul's name in the '80s and '90s that were riddled with racist remarks. Paul has been dismissive of questions about the newsletters, including in his interview on CNN with Gloria Borger.

"I didn't write them. I didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them," he said. "That is the answer."

Borger then pushed further and called the newsletters "pretty incendiary."

"Because of people like you," Paul said.

At that point, Paul took off his microphone and walked out of the interview.

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/23/144163800/ron-paul-has-support-in-iowa-but-old-issues-linger

Good for Ron Paul, not allowing the media to browbeat him for the sake of a TV show. At least he never tied his dog to the roof of a car on a trip to Canada, or converted to Catholicsm after two, or is it three, divorces from ill wives so he could marry his current mistress.

Another article for Bill, on Ron Paul from the NY Times, another hotbed of extreme conservatism and nation-building:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/soldiers-choice

Some snippets from the above:

Representative Ron Paul, the congressman who favors the most minimalist American combat role of any major presidential candidate...has more financial support from active duty members of the service than any other politician.
...
Yet, these soldiers, sailors, air men and women, and assorted boots on the ground know the cost in trauma, in lives ruined, in friends lost, in good intentions gone bad of going to war far more than the 99 percent not currently serving. Where they put their money in a campaign, paltry though it may be in comparison to the corporate lords who control a majority of our politicians, says a great deal.
....
Its not a good sign when the people doing the fighting are saying, Why are we here? said Glen Massie, a Marine Corps veteran who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and is supporting Paul for president. They realize theyre being utilized for other purposes nation building and being worlds policeman and its not what they signed up for.

Folks may be interested in the BBC documentary "The Century of Self". It's 3 hours long and available on youtube. The institution of individualism to control the masses.

Also interesting, my husband picked up the glossy magazine Adbusters. Suposedly anti-establishment. When paging through it, out fell a subscription card for The Ecomonist (which has controlling members from the Rothschild banking family)...who's controlling the movement?

Interesting stuff.

Lola and Everyone

Just so the record is clear about any "National Standards" talked about a year ago and supposedly originating from the FTCLDF...that is not the case.
It was proposed by me to the FTCLDF but dropped as a project. Only 2 people saw them in very early draft form other than the FTCLDF board and that is where it sits, on my shelf unfinished and un-supported for reasons I cannot devulge as a FTCLDF board member at that time.
Yes I looked at Codex to see what our european brethern have on the books about raw milk and raw milk products.
Yes I was impressed given it is comprehensivness and addresses all aspects of raw milk safety all they way down to herd health, and regular oversite from qualitfied veterinarians to give it a fresh perspective on a regular basis.
I did not read all of it, no one ever has. no one ever could, it would take a whole professional career to do so, but the part I read for raw milk production and safety aspects were very impressive, and may I add covers everyone on this blogs views about raw milk and raw milk products production.
The standards of raw milk anmd raw milk products production can be scaled to size appropriate to the individual farm and for the most part is result orientated not process orientated.

So let it be known there is no national standards or any like document in circulation, nor any plans by me to continue to work on any.
I will say the raw milk production handbook is up for review and a second edition is being planned. It is a suggested educational guide, feel free to use it in the barn or parlor or use it to start your fire next winter.

So, sorry to burst your bubble about Codex being the next phase in government directed self control about what we eat.
I am sensitive to that issue and never want to be a pawn or partake in pushing others to be one.
We do have a moral responsibility as citizens to understand where our rights end, and how it infringes on another.
I have a right to swing my arm, but my right ends at the begining of your nose.....

Tim Wightman

Because RAMP is a production program, i.e. focused on just one side of the healthy food issuethe supply side, if you willit creates over-expectation. Making broad guarantees about optimizing health without considering the consumer side is folly. It just doesnt square up with reality. Dont get me wrong Cleanliness, and reacting appropriately to soil conditions, feed and forage availability and quality, animal disease and so on are necessary and good. But production standards are only part of the story.

This is why: We are not designed to live in isolation from our food sources. (The reasons are many and deep, and have been discussed here and elsewhere at length.) We will not optimize our health, especially in regard to infectious disease, until we recognize and adapt to that fact. An integrated residential and agricultural landscapelocal farms and local market-gardensis the true optimization.

Personally Mark, I believe you when you say you do not want to interfere with small-scale, local farming. I think, however, that you will do it, inadvertently. You will push the idea of supply-side control, or government will adopt your version of it, and when it fails in its ostensible goal, the product will take the blame, and the little guys (in my opinion the best of our agriculture constructs with their (necessary and good) diversity and regional adaptations) will be diminished. Worse, the process will have facilitated the continued illusion that distancing oneself from ones primary food sources is an acceptable long-term health strategy.

Now, does everybody agree with me? Nope. And thats fine. Its also reason enough to allow everybody their own path.

Which leads us to the infighting

Is it any surprise that some individuals, families, small groups, and local affiliations wonder how on earth another big forcethe latest of a zillion iterationscan possibly be helpful to them, especially one birthed from a chummy partnership between business and government?

Notably, human-scale trade and business relationships have existed and continue to exist healthfully all over the place, babysitters to farmers, without an ounce of help from big-brother officials. Such human-scale businesses have probably never been more endangered, but they remain, by definition, society's connective tissue. They give us strength, endurance, innovation, efficiency, and fail-safe protection from systemic collapse (by spreading, shortening, and diversifying supply chains). Of course small-scale enterprises have little voice when it comes to the machinery of corporate-government commerce. And really, they dont care, since the little guys want only to be left alonea concept completely lost on many government officials. (Unfortunately for the little guys it is their very desire to be separatetheir independence of mind and actionthat makes them targets for the big guys, who see them as un-managed profit potential and unpredictable wild-cards in the tense war between freedom and control.)

Mastrocola properly notes that he and others have been working on food freedom issues and health freedom issues rather than mechanisms to grease the wheels of corporate food commerce. He apparently understands that rules and regulations written from a central-system mindset not only do not fit the little guy, but by their very existence are chilling to human-scale enterprisesintrusive, expensive, freedom-stealing, homogenizing.

Still, theres hope, for with our global and national macroeconomic growth sputtering, and energy costs threatening massive increases, a new respect for local enterprise may be dawning, especially for those clever locals that have figured out how to feed themselves without a series of long-distance, energy-hungry, corporate supply lines. Are 6, 8, 10, or even 15 dollar per gallon gas prices unthinkable? Who knows... perhaps if the worst happens we might even fix those too-high-for-farming land prices David mentioned.

Goatmaid-

I sometimes listen to NPR, but I do not trust it. Kimberly Clark is one of the sponsors of NPR, and they are Koch subsidiary. My news radio program of choice is Amy Goodman's Democracy Now.

There is plenty of evidence of Ron Paul's history of pandering to racism. He's a politician, so of course he is going to deny it.

As for Obama, I never expected him to be anything other than what he is. He is bought and paid for by Wall Street. I voted for Cynthia McKinney (of the Green Party) in the 2008 election cycle, and I will be supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party this election cycle. (She is in favor of raw milk legalization -- I asked her when she was in Madison last weekend)

However, we must learn that elections are not the driving impetus for social change. Grassroots movements are what drives social and political change.

There's a simple solution to the RAWMI problem. If you don't like us, then don't support us or join us.

We represent our members and their interests. So if you want to influence RAWMI's direction, then you need to join us.

RAWMI is here to serve those working for social and political change. If the grassroots activists do not want us involved in their state, then that is their choice and we will stay out of it. I do not think their efforts will be successful, though, without RAWMI's expertise. The forces we are working against as raw milk activists are very powerful, and I don't think many here appreciate the full power of corporate capitalism to oppress us.

Bill Anderson: The king desires peace.

William Wallace: Longshanks desires peace?

Bill Anderson: He declares it to me, I swear it. He proposes that you withdraw your attack. In return he grants you title, estates, and this chest of gold which I am to pay to you personally.

William Wallace: A lordship and titles. Gold. That I should become Judas?

Bill Anderson: Peace is made in such ways.

William Wallace: Slaves are made in such ways. The last time Longshanks spoke of peace I was a boy. And many Scottish nobles, who would not be slaves, were lured by him under a flag of truce to a barn, where he had them hanged. I was very young, but I remember Longshanks' notion of peace.

When I am not milking in the wintertime, I generally look for a small dairy that produces a non-homogenized HTST pasteurized milk (aka creamline). I do this because raw milk is not legal in my state so the raw dairy farms are too far away for regular visitation. I also know that the homogenization of cow's milk is far worse than the pasteurization (except UHT) if one considers the cardiovascular implications.

David,

Considering that you are a RAWMI board member, I very much admire your revealing the controversy among RAWMI, WAPF, and long-time proponents of natural, un-fussed-with raw milk. This contrasts starkly with your fellow RAWMI board member Bill Anderson's representation of RAWMI with his comments, which are increasingly polarizing.

Violet,

Get better soon and enjoy your Holiday!

Dave M.

Always the voice of reason!

Best wishes in the new year to all!

Never let your dislike of someone get in the way of the facts,

The NAACP President Didn't Get the 'Ron Paul Is a Racist' Memo Either
Posted by David Kramer on December 23, 2011 12:54 PM

NAACP President Nelson Linder on Alex Jones's show:

"Knowing Ron Paul's intent, I think he is trying to improve this country but I think also, when you talk about the Constitution and you constantly criticize the federal government versus state I think a lot of folks are going to misconstrue that....so I think it's very easy for folks who want to to take his position out of context and that's what I'm hearing...I've read Ron Paul's whole philosophy, I also understand what he's saying from a political standpoint and why people are attacking him...If you scare the folks that have the money, they're going to attack you and they're going to take it out of context...What he's saying is really really threatening the powers that be and that's what they fear..."

FULL DISCLOSURE: "Nelson Linder contacted our office and wanted prisonplanet.com to stress the fact that he made his comments as a private citizen, not as president of the Austin NAACP. He said the libertarian platform deserves the same scrutiny as the Democratic and Republican parties receive in this nation. He went on to say that some on the web have construed that he is endorsing Ron Paul. And that is not the case. Mr. Linder went on to say that the interview was designed to discuss local issues concerning civil rights and civil liberties and his knowledge of the Libertarian party and Ron Paul."

And here as well,

http://www.calwatchdog.com/2011/12/22/l-a-times-calumniates-ron-paul/

http://takimag.com/article/why_the_beltway_libertarians_are_trying_to_smear_ron_paul/

And the signature on the newsletters doesn't match any known done by Paul,
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/272102/20111223/ron-paul-newsletter-ad-really-sign-matter.htm

Of course, we can keep electing the same ole no real difference at the end of the day folks of the two major parties, and have a whole nation like what is happening in CA,

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/286354/vandalized-valley-victor-davis-hanson?pg=1

RP is the only truly non-racist candidate - he foreign policy, where he wants to stop us from bombing people in dozens of other countries of different nationalities than us, something Obama and Bush both had/have/continue to have no trouble doing or any remorse over nor do almost any other people in either party of more war, more government, more debt, more destruction...

That is truly racist actions, like what happened to this poor little girl,

http://reason.com/blog/2011/12/22/little-girl-mutilated-by-obamas-drone-wa
Interesting that CNN made the video "disappear" last I checked...

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/12/20/we-shall-overcome/

Not to distract y'all from the manufactured controversy du jour ("if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers"), but it really is true: To some people, there is no reductio too absurd:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/blame-the-untreated-flour-in-cookie-dough-for-making-you-sick/250185/

Apparently everything else was ruled out, raw flour found guilty, and the sentence of pasteurization pronounced. Of course the peddlers of conventional wisdom could never admit that the grain itself is bad for you, even in a non-GMO, low-gluten heritage strain. But that familiar old combination of sadness and amusement is the only reaction I can feel to the insanity of those who would try to sterilize the world in a futile attempt to create Utopia. They remind me of Howard Hughes -- or for you younger folks, Invader Zim with his spray can of disinfectant, screaming and gibbering nonsense as he frantically empties it in all directions about him. These people see everything through the germ-coloured glasses they refuse to discard, all the while convinced they are the only ones who have taken the red pill of rationality and reality.

Honesty and accuracy. Accuracy and honesty.

http://news.msu.edu/media/documents/2010/08/a8099abf-c5dd-439f-95d5-64178e629848.pdf

http://fightthesmears.com/behind_the_smears.html

There are numerous web sites that counter/contribute to all the smears. Look to how they voted and what was actually said, not hearsay.

What David wrote exactly mirrors what has happened in California.
RAWMI got involved and has consistently pushed for government/regulator-friendly "solutions".
RAWMI recommended that cow shares propose that they be REQUIRED TO REGISTER with the State, and that they be REQUIRED TO JOIN RAWMI.
When Mark wrote, above:
"RAWMI is fully dedicated to supporting the local movements
and not allienating any of them. believe me on this.
In CA, RAWMI supports the hands off approach to CDFA
management or control of the approximate 500 Cow Shares.
No registration and no regulation. Nothing....
Cow Shares are a private arrangement and the government
has no place arround them....none."

This is a *new* position for RAWMI, first announced yesterday.

Our experience in California, up to now, has been the opposite - small cow share agisters have been experiencing RAWMI as a force dedicated to our Registration, which we see as leading to our Regulation and Control. (I could list many ways in which RAWMI has done that.)

So this new "CDFA hands off cow shares" policy is just that - a newly stated policy, which is diametrically opposite RAWMI's previously demonstrated policy.

I'm pleased to hear of the new policy, but will watch carefully to see if this declaration signals a real change at RAWMI, or just a new P.R. stance to quiet the cow shares while RAWMI continues its "high level access" legislative lobbying efforts.

"I could list many ways in which RAWMI has done that."

Farmer John,

Could you please tell us more about your experiences with RAWMI? I think it's important to get this all out in the open.

Thanks,
B.G.

On the California herd share issue, the committee that has been established that includes government reps and Mark/RAWMI does not include any herd share members last I heard. They have been invited, but none have joined. Farmer John can confirm, but I believe they have been offered to join under aliases but have not.

Merry Christmas every one,

As a point of clarification here is some information:

There are several herd share operations represented on the state of CA small herd working group. I can name at least five that I will not name. They have attended since the first meeting.

OPDC has completely reviewed it's labels and it's website. We have instructed our web master to make edits across our site. The changes will reflect a more clear description of our pasturing practices. We do agree that the language on our labels tended to infer 100% pasture fed. We agree this is not accurate.

We now state that we are: 100% organic, family owned, pasture grazed and sustainable. This is accurate. We also describe the organic ration that is fed to our cows in addition to 100% access to green pastures all day long.

This statement is more clear than the old one that said: 100% organic, pasture fed,family owned and sustainable.

We really try to be transparent and honest. Being called a liar is a bit over the top.

It would be nice if we could make blog comments that would be more similar to how we would all speak to each other as civil human beings in a face to face conversation.

Mark,

Does Bill Anderson's comments regarding the situation in WI and the WI farmers accurately reflect the RAWMI board view?

Barney - Documenting our experiences with RAWMI will take more than just a post - I'm thinking a website would be a better vehicle for that. So I'll begin putting one together...

Amanda - In Caliifornia, the CDFA "Stakeholder Working Group" allows cow shares, but refuses anonymity to farmers - they are all required to pass through security checkpoints, showing ID and submitting to searches. So most farmers fear appearing there.

The farmers who've been willing to appear are those that were already on the CDFA's radar, having been served with "Cease and Desist" orders or otherwise notified of official scrutiny, so they are under considerable pressure to "work out a deal".

Mark - I'm delighted to hear that your are reviewing Organic Pasture's labels to more accurately reflect your actual farming practices.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/24/arkansas-among-states-weighing-cigarette-label-sui/#comments

"FDA has said that the public interest in conveying the dangers of smoking outweighs the companies' free speech rights."

Wow, the fda sure thinks they rule above and beyond our Constitution.....

If the public doesn't know the hazards of smoking by now, they never will. Those ads about your brain on drugs and the fried egg didn't curb the use of illegal drugs, the only time I have ever seen anyone read the "caution" on a pack of cigs was when kids were laughing at it.

A model where 2 dairies follow the CA Code of Regulations, but those who can't meet the requirements call themselves herdshares and ask for exempion from any regulation. Sounds like a stretch (even for Santa).

MW

MW

Why don't you elaborate on what you mean?

Does california define a cow share? A cow share is a private agreement between the farmer and the owner of the cow. The state doesn't have a say in the agreement.

Sylvia,

They are doing business. This isn't about bartering some milk with your neighbor in exchange for pay off on a used ATV. These herdshares want to make a profit on their land and animals. More power to them, but in the context of selling food, they need to respect regulations - it's not the end of the world if you care about health and safety. Geez, any other businessman/woman from sausage to baby cribs would have to.

MW

MW

Your response doesn't make sense. If the farmer wants to make a profit on their land and animals, then they would care for the health of the animals and safety.

You ignore the fact that the farmer doesn't own the cow in a cow share, the farmer is only caring for and milking the animal, Same as boarding a horse. And yes, at times a mare needs to be milked for various reasons.

you sound like Mark, stating the small farmer doesn't care about health and safety. Such governmental BS. Just think, IF the govt CARED about health and safety, our food and environment would not be in the condition it is today.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/23/antibiotic-resistance-fda-livestock-animal-feed_n_1167851.html?ref=food&ir=Food

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday its withdrawal of a decades-old proposal to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed, a move experts say could have dire implications for public health."

"The FDA now says that it will move forward with voluntary guidance first issued in 2010, which offers suggestions to industry rather than imposing a ban. "

I'd be laughing if it weren't so pathetic......

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm

On the general issue of how liberty and quality food are intimately related:

If we go the rout of certifying our raw milk, we could easily get milk that is not pasteurized and so 'raw' but produced in the came kinds of CAFO conditions and is dead with respect to the other benefits we have come to expect from raw milk as we know it today. It would be deeply ironic to see WAPF supporting that kind of raw milk! How many of you think that an Organic food label has the same value today that it did in the early 80's?

Improved access to all of the kinds of healthful, quality food we know to be the best for us will not be served by appointing yet annother expert to regulate or certify our food. It will be best served by being allowed as consumers to make choices ourselves. That requires that our providers not be regulated out of existance on trumped up charges. As we have all seen, even Mr. McAfee has not been immune to trumped up charges by regulators from the state of California. Creating a special regulatory category or certification for raw milk production will not change that.

OH, where are my manners?

Please see this instead, friends....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Vfp48laS8&feature=related

Sylvia,

I sound like Mark :) He claims no pathoges ever isolated on his farm. That is false.

MW