From the Middle East, a Rallying Cry for Raw Milk and Food Rights Activists

From his supporters, a visual image of Vernon Hershberger's struggle, as he moves through the legal system.Barack Obama gave a remarkable speech in Israel last week. Remarkable not just because he challenged Israeli young people to push for peace with the Palestinians, but because he was cheered by the young Israelis in the audience. 


One of his statements especially resonated at home, possibly in a way he didn’t intend: “Let me say this as a politician -- I can promise you this, political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks.  You must create the change that you want to see. Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.”


Around the U.S., ordinary people are pushing their state and local politicians to take risks over the issue of raw milk and food rights. Nearly everywhere you look, it seems, there is a skirmish over raw milk and food rights. In some cases, the politicians are responding positively, and in other places they are responding negatively. But the efforts on behalf of food rights seem more widespread this year than ever before. And I’ll bet they’ll be even more widespread the year after that.

I have selected a few examples of developments affecting legislative and other initiatives on behalf of raw milk. For a more complete listing of initiatives that have been under way, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund monitors the legislative proposals.


*In Texas, hearings are being held to change the state’s law to allow raw dairies to sell at farmers markets and to deliver to customers’ homes, reports Judith McGeary, of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.


*In Nevada, an assembly committee heard testimony on behalf of a proposal that would officially legalize the sale of raw milk, heard testimony from Mark McAfee, owner of the country’s largest raw milk dairy in neighboring California. 


*In Maine, a ninth town, Brooksville, has passed a Food Sovereignty ordinance, allowing for private sale of raw milk and other farm products directly from town farmers to consumers. 


*In Arkansas, a House committee defeated a bill that would allowed raw milk sales from farms, by a nine-to-eight vote. 


*In Montana, a House committee has approved legislation that would allow raw milk sales direct from the farm. Interestingly, the bill’s supporters felt compelled to remove a provision mandating testing because state agriculture officials were objecting that testing is too costly. So to avoid this opposition, the legislators approved a labeling provision. When the bill comes up for a vote, the opponents will no doubt criticize the absence of required testing...damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 


*In Wisconsin, the state’s governor, Scott Walker, has indicated he would sign legislation that made raw milk available directly from dairy farms. This is a reversal from 2010, when the state’s then-governor, Jim Doyle, vetoed legislation allowing sales from the farm. Legislation is due to be introduced within the next few weeks. 


*In Iowa, a bill that would have allowed sales from the farm failed to make it out of committee to the full House. 


*There is an effort in North Dakota to reverse the state’s existing laws, which allow the sale of raw milk from farms. 


*The National Farmers Union, a 110-year-old representative of small family farms, approved at its national convention a resolution in favor of raw milk, “as it provides a viable market niche for dairies.” It recommended “that raw milk be bottled as the product of a single source...” And it said there should be “equal access to raw milk (and or raw dairy products) for human consumption for all consumers that choose to consume raw milk.” 



Joseph Heckman of Rutgers University in New Jersey sent me a headline from a newspaper in 1980, about an Iowa farmer being jailed for refusing orders to discontinue sale of raw milk. His point was that this battle has been going on for many years, and seems nearly endless. 


But as the forces for food freedom grow and expand, one thing is clear: there are more proponents than opponents. The problem is that the opponents often have more money, to influence key legislators. The proponents need to keep pushing and organizing and backing politicians who understand that food choice is important to the vast majority of people. There will inevitably be defeats along the way. For better or worse, maintaining access to wholesome foods is as much a political process as it is a farming process. 

Sylvia Gibson's picture

" political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks. You must create the change that you want to see."

This is so very true.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

As a poster stated, We are owned and operated by big business... Sometimes it is difficult to wrap my mind around the stupidity of others. It's not just a fight for healthy milk. They will continue until we have no say in anything.

Ken Conrad's picture

Yes indeed majority rules and it could very well be a good thing , however what happens to a minority group such as the raw milk movement who refuses to be manipulated by a system that fails to have or refuses to abide by a constitution that acknowledges minority rights?


Sylvia Gibson's picture

I have no problem with those who wish to feed themselves or their children toxic fast foods, it is their choice. I don't understand why both don't co-exist. I guess technically they are co-existing now, I guess I can't fathom why anyone wants to push their beliefs on me or others. Before you know it, they will be dictating what we eat, drink, how we live, what we do for a job, etc.

deborah evans's picture

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gayle.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Damn, need that "like" button.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

And to add to your list above, David, this just in from National Farmers Union:
Another example of how "the forces for food freedom grow and expand". It's little steps like this that will ultimately change the course. Just like we were saying some time back, it will be the little steps that really make the difference as opposed to orchestrating a national step.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Deborah, that is positive news.

Hear, hear! Thank-you for stating so clearly to Bill what I have been thinking.

why we do what we do

In order to head off trouble from the ‘pain bodies’ of those styling demselves, “health authorities”, I always make sure to tell inquirers : “raw milk does not cure cancer”. What usually kills people manifesting cancer, is cachexia … their bodies cannot metabolize any nutrition. So it’s especially haertening to see the post, below, on Charlotte’s website, today
This past week as I was preparing to bring our new gal, Madeleine, in the barn for milking my phone rang. I usually have a rule - no cell phones in the barn - (the cows feel the distraction of phones during milking) but my intuition guided me otherwise.

A nice gentleman spoke up that he is a tax accountant for one of our Champoeg Creamery milk customers. He continued to say his wife, Karen, is recovering from cancer and most recently, chemotherapy. She'd been on a feeding tube for 6 months and it had just been removed. His client (CC milk customers) knew he was struggling to find nourishment for his wife of 25 years who now weighed less than 100 pounds. They gifted him a jar of raw milk from their weekly visit to the farm.

This man was calling because he had finally found a real food source that his wife could tolerate, would help her heal, and that he could use to keep her alive. His request to me was to be placed on our wait list which he'd heard was anywhere from 6 months - 2 years for a gallon or so of this "white gold" per week. How could anyone be so heartless and seemingly void of compassion to place him on that wait list?! This adoring man is hoping to buy time with the love of his life and is asking to be in line to wait for the product that could grant that wish for them.

This job I do is so little about milking cows, on the contrary, it's about a force even greater than physical life. We here on our little farm hold human lives in our hands everyday when we make sure our milk is safe and pathogen-free. This milk is hand carried from our farm to nourish families, children, pregnant moms, adopted infants, both healthy and immune compromised people. People. Loved Ones. Mommies and Daddies. Babies. Those facing long, vibrant lives. Those at the end of this journey and preparing for the next.

We keep this in mind when we struggle to pay the feed bill or wonder, "Why do I get up at 5AM to milk cows in the dark twice a day, year after year?" or faced with yet another spendy mechanical breakdown in the barn. The energy that arises within to face this incredible calling and is fueled by the very food we produce, is from another realm, invisible to our eyes; felt within, where we all meet and are on a level playing field - - characterized by our individual human souls.

Until we arrive there, however, safe raw milk is easy to produce if you follow the proper strict safety protocols, but that's hard to find. Raw milk is controversial. It can give life and it can take life away. It is essential that you only drink raw milk from a farm that can show you their milk is safe. If this information is not available, do not drink the milk. You have to use your gut to decide, as well as have the proper knowledge and test documentation to back up your decision.

Virgil and Karen stopped in for their first gallon of milk and left armed with kefir cultures to make it even more vibrant and powerful. Virgil hung on every word I said, eager to find a way to nourish his wife. I did not ask for this responsibility, yet I cannot step away from it. When I began my farming endeavor I just wanted to provide milk for my family and a few others. I am no longer providing just milk; we here on our farm are yet another conduit for life giving nourishment to flow from our farm to those who need it most.

I am reminded again that no matter what job we think defines us - "farmer" or "lawyer" or "CPA" or "teacher" - we are so much more than that. We have the opportunity to touch others daily with our work, our humanity, our story. Our gift of compassion.

David Gumpert's picture

Very eloquent from Charlotte. Thanks for sharing it. 

Thank you for putting together this list of legislative initiatives, David. It's really heartening to see so many!

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Came across an interesting item the other day...Organic Valley has a product called Grassmilk, non-homogenized milk. Here is their website promoting this product:
I do have to wonder about their advertising about this product due to previous problems associated with this company, plus previous questions/issues about their products, but if it is everything that they say about this product, it goes to show the importance of a grass-fed diets for dairy cows. Another concern about this product is the fact that the milk comes from different farms rather than from one source. So how is a person to trust this product. Here is another example of how people need to research what really is being done to obtain a product such as this.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

A red flag to me, is coming from different farms. Mixing up products opens up the potential for contamination. I would be courious as to; what types of grass they are eating, etc? For some reason I have no faith nor trust in any of the big corporations.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Yeah, Sylvia, that was the 'red' flag for me, too. Supposedly, this 'Grassmilk' product comes from dairy farms in Humbolt County, Calif, how does one truly know that that is so. Their website clearly states that they have many Coop dairy farms all over in many states, so how is it documented which supply of milk came from which dairy?! I wish I could remember a website that I came across last year that posted pictures of some of Organic Valley's Coop dairy farms in other states showing deplorable conditions of the farms and the cows. I do remember that it took a lot of effort to make Organic Valley to do something about the situation and to remedy them, but again, how does one truly know?! The funny part about this 'Grassmilk' is the way they emphasize that it is un-homogenized, yet they conveniently don't show that it is ultra-pasteurized and it is an expensive product!! It all boils down to the fact that this product is just the same as the other commercialized milk that costs so much less. So again, another example of 'hooking in' the unsuspecting/uninformed consumer.

@ Deborah: Horizon dairy was in some trouble a while back too, and it's difficult to find the real, true story about that now, too. A clue? Horizon is owned (or was) by Dean phake phoods. There's your sign.

@ Deborah: I saw this product the other day at our local food co-op:

It was $8.65 for an 8 oz pkg. Yipes. And you hafta wonder about the source of their cream to make this butter (although the ad says it's made from milk). I can't even imagine trying to make butter out of milk unless MAYBE it was milk from Jerseys or Devons, with a very high cream/fat ratio.

I try to avoid organic, packaged milks.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

D. - I saw that product as well & yes, I agree with you...a very questionable product. I get my butter from Organic Pastures, as well as, a local source, plus when I have the time, I will make my own which tastes so much more decadent & luscious!!

@ Deborah: I don't have access to OP products where I live, so I buy Amish butter from the people who also sell raw milk. I can also access it from a couple of other sources, but they are a long distance away, so the only time we buy it is if my DH is traveling to see his Dad in the same area, and then he brings back a cooler full. Most of the butter is about $10-$12 for a one pound package, so we buy in bulk and freeze it. But it doesn't stay around long.

It is illegal in SD to buy raw cream. Can you imagine the insanity?? We fought this like crazy but to no avail. Egregious legislation. So now I rarely make my own butter because our local producer has holsteins and there is little fat involved. I prefer Jersey milk but can no longer find it around here. Everyone who "sells" it is staying well under the radar and their customers don't talk to anyone about their purchases.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Oh my gosh, D. that is horrible, why would they make it illegal to buy raw cream, that is just crazy. Boy, I truly am blessed being in California and having access to the items that I do. Makes me really appreciate the hard work that Organic Pastures and Claravale does. Their success will hopefully entice others to get into the raw milk production and supply by following the steps that OP and Claravale have done. Yum yum yum, there is nothing more delish & decadent than melted raw cream butter on top of fresh, hot popcorn!! Of course, not to mention fresh raw cream butter spread on a slice of my great-great grandmother's War Bread just fresh out of the oven!! Lol!

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Mark can't legally mail raw butter out of state...Boo Only his cheese and beef. Bastards.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

I know, Sylvia, it is a real bummer. Hopefully, Mark will be able to get this changed in the near future. By the way, have you tried his cheese? Absolutely delicious! It sells out fast at the two stores I buy it from, have to make sure you get there when the delivery arrives! Also, are you not in California right now?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

No I haven't tried his cheese. I am in Virginia Beach right now and the only way to get raw dairy is to belong to a cow share. I won't be here much longer and I will visit my son in Arkansas where raw cows milk is a dirty word.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

I bet you'll be glad to get back here then, lol. I get very frustrated when I get to a state & can't get any raw milk to consume while I am there. Luckily, for the past 5 weeks all of my site visits have been to California hospitals so I haven't been deprived of my raw milk & other goodies. If I go for a lengthy time without being able to consume raw milk, I begin to have some health issues resurface, not fun. Safe travels to you & hope you get back to California real soon.

I'm beginning to wonder how much longer we'll have access to anything considered real food. Scope this:

Even when you think those gomers on the hill might be on your side, they aren't. Imagine them selling out for money - even if no one reporting the news can put their finger on it (as the article states) you KNOW it's crossing palms all the time.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

geesh, just like giving immunity (pun intended) to vaccine makers.

Yeah, another train wreck we aren't going to be able to stop with votes or telephone calls or letters or anything else. :sigh:

Ken Conrad's picture

“The playing field between farmer rights and the bio-tech companies rights has been tilted towards the companies with this decision....” Percy Schmeiser

In her ruling denying Louise Schmeiser cleanup costs for a large infestation of Monsanto’s RR canola growing in the farm's shelterbelt and in her organic garden, Judge D. Ebert at Humboldt Provincial Court on March 21,2005 stated,

“Monsanto has a license from the Federal government to allow for the unconfined release, or "pollution" of RR canola into the environment”.


Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Oh my gosh, Ken, this is terrible. I hope that Louise will take this further and continue to fight this. How in the heck did Monsanto get that so called license Federal Government, perhaps she should sue the Federal Government for allowing that, sue them for gross negligence. And how can the public get the Federal Government to rescind such a ridiculous, negligent license? Obviously, Monsanto paid off the government to get this!!

Ken Conrad's picture

Here are a couple of articles on the Schmeisers that I think you will find very interesting, and an inspiration to all of us (farmers and consumers) who are struggling against corporate and government oppression.


Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Thanks for the links, Ken, I am familiar with the first link as that was the one I was following some time back. It is amazing that they were able to fight against Monsanto where previously other farmers were not able to. But, it shows how Monsanto has gotten away with what they have at the expense & detriment of others.

rawmilkmike's picture

But Dave, is there any way that maintaining access to wholesome foods could be more of a legal process then a political process?

Gayle Loiselle's picture

Good question Mike. Unfortunately, our legal and political systems are terribly intertwined. We have to work within our communities, like folks are doing in Maine, to create local food rules, or ordinances. You can start by contacting your town, city, county boards and ask if they have any food ordinances. If not, go to work. Another thing you can do is support to the best of your ability the farmers being prosecuted. Buy their foods when possible, show up to their hearings and trials, write letters to local newspapers, volunteer to work with that farmers support team, and if the farmer doesn't have one...start one! Talk to the farmers at farmers markets... they're next on the real food endangered species list. Some say peaceful noncompliance in mass is the answer, personally I like that one. But I'm not a farmer and so wouldn't be assuming the risk. My risk is not taking any action and losing access to real food. So for now I do everything I can to support farmers on trial, not just my farmer. We all have skills and there are many many skills needed to win this war, figure out what you can do...AND DO IT (not just you Mike...I mean everyone). And if you honestly can't find a way to help, donate money to the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund, they provid legal representation for farmers all over the country free of charge...they are one of the major heros in this fight:) Keeping FTCLDF well funded is one of the best ways to fight on the legal side.

Ora Moose's picture

RMMike: What Gayle said. Since politicians make laws, its hard to separate the two.

My suggestion, in addition to what Gayle said would be to make it a point to speak out and remind your local politicians that if they do not observe the will of the people, sooner rather than later they are toast and will be voted out. Also, I think a large part of the problem is in the executive branch more so than the legislative. Selective enforcement if you will, although we never do know just who steers that process behind the scenes, but you can bet more often than not money is involved as opposed to public safety as the key decision making criteria.

Gayle Loiselle's picture

Exactly Ora. Such as the President appointing both the head of FDA and federal judges. Then we have the Monsantos of the world who pay dearly to presidential campaigns and in turn we see ex monsanto executives in high level FDA positions. Talk about intertwined... But your right, we can vote, and we can make our wishes known. Did you know that it only takes about 20 hand written letters on a topic to convince a state legislator to take action? Thats not that many...start writing folks!

rawmilkmike's picture

Is it possible that we may need a Johnnie Cochran or maybe a civil rights attorney?

rawmilkmike's picture

This is why I think raw milk is a legal issue and not a political one:
Why I Support Raw Milk By: Senator Glenn Grothman May 20, 2010; In the final few weeks of this Legislative Session, over 100 bills landed on the Governor’s desk. The one that generated the most intense feeling(Only for fresh milk drinkers. Others saw it as some stupid political agenda.) is the bill that would have legalized the sale of raw milk(The bill wouldn't have legalized fresh milk. It would have still been illegal in stores. It's all ready legal to sell on the farm. It's the harassment we need stopped.) if you had a Grade A license(Which you would lose if the dairy processor stopped buying your milk.). Raw milk has been illegal to sell in the State of Wisconsin for the last 30 years, except for incidental sales. Nevertheless, DATCP, bowing to commonsense, largely did not enforce the law until 2009(Are you sure? I didn't see any raw milk at pick n save.). For a short period in the 1990s, I’m told, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture encouraged the sale of raw milk as a new niche market. They encouraged farmers to sell “cow shares” in which consumers would buy part of a cow so that the customer would only be getting his milk from a cow he owned to get around the prohibition(What prohibition? These are still incidental sales. The prohibition is only a rule that DATCP could change at any time). In the late 1990s, DATCP determined cow shares were illegal but continued to not enforce the ban(Are you saying that advertising was allowed, or only that incidental sales were allowed?). In some form or other, raw milk is sold in over half the states(Only eleven states are as restrictive as Wisconsin and according to the CDC's foodnet survey there's just as much raw milk sold here as in California where raw milk is sold in heath-food stores.). America should be a free country and your average person should be free to experience the benefits of raw milk just as farmers already do(The only way for that to happen would be to repeal the 1957 anti raw milk law.). By forcing these sales underground, DATCP may wind up creating a health hazard(What health hazard? Didn't you go to the public hearing?). DATCP ought to go back to the “turn a blind eye policy”(You mean allowing incidental sales.) that existed before 2009.

Gayle Loiselle's picture

Oh the tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! Thats it...DATCP suffers from fairy tale deficiency...among other things.
The more people who do this research and expose the truth the more energy we have working for a positive path forward. You go Mike!!

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I am a human visitor!

Sales in soy must be declining...

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

I'm a human!

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Oh that was really weird...most of my post is missing!! Anyways, was at Mother's Market in Orange this evening & say the 'Grassmilk' that I was talking about earlier, what was interesting was that there were two containers side-by-side both titled 'Grassmilk', but one was marked as '100% Grass-fed' while the other was marked just 'Grass-fed'. They were in different colored containers. Still keeps me wondering what is truly the story here with this product.

Oh yeah, so now it appears that we have to use CAPTCHA each time we post to prove that we are a human visitor & not a Spammer, thanks Spammers!!!

David Gumpert's picture

Yeah, sorry about the CAPTCHA. The spammers making life tedious. 

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Yeah, David, saw that really long, wacky one earlier today. Where do they all come from?! Jeesh, they are big pains. Too bad there isn't a way that sends a message right back to them and disable their PCs!!

mark mcafee's picture

It appears that the sky has started to fall on the FDA...finally.
Anyone see the "Escape Fire" medical journalism documentary on CNN last week? Talk about tearing a new ass in the FDA and big pharma as well as the deadly outcomes from chronic medical disease treatment by western doctors. It was an indictment. Praises still go out to docs for trauma, but for the autoimmune, diabetis, obese and the rest of the chronic illnesses it was a capital "F-" for failing grade.

The great quote was... "doctors do not want you to die.... they do not want you to get well...they just want you to keep coming back!!!"

The entire lie was exposed. See the trailer. It was amazing with this back drop and the quote from Natural doctor Andrew Weil....saying, health is a result of eating whole and unprocessed foods and personal lifstyle!!!

This is the evolving American culture that we all find ourselves in....things are changing. OPDC sales set new records every week. This is a critically important time to get it right with raw milk!!

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I saw part of that Mark. It's a great start, wish it was on regular TV so that everyone could see it. It shows just how pathetic our health care system is.

It is amazing how uninformed people are about their health which leads to their lack of knowledge of nutrition and healthy foods. If you google "healthy recipes" You get the popular web sites and they all have tons of recipes that most encourage the use of processed chemically induced phoods. Because these web sites say it is "healthy" people believe it. For example; how healthy is processed broth, with added chemicals? Dad uses canola oil to kill ants.... it's in a lot of processed phoods. Most cotton is gmo, so that means cotton seed oil is gmo, same with corn,beets and sugar,, The list is long.

It's all about money and power

This is truly a co-mingling of BigPhRma, BigPHood, BigMedical Industry, the DOD, the DOJ, and the fools on the Hill. I truly don't see any way we're going to stop them. I'm not trying to be the proverbial gray cloud, but you must admit - there's a lot of money and power in just those things I've named - and that's not all of them by far. It's much more about power than it is about money (I mean, really, they already HAVE the money), because that's what it's evolved into now. A society of elites who think they know what's best for the planet and the people on it. If we don't want to do what they think we should do, they'll FORCE us to do it.

I agree with everyone who said that trauma care is definitely a necessity - that's a given. If we're in an accident we need care from someone else when we can't give to ourselves, right? So I'm not down on all modern medicine entirely. It's just so totally overused or misused today. The Sinsurance companies are huge (again, our fault) and they are giving the directions for "health" "care", but they believe in a pill for every ill rather than prevention of disease and illness - because of their bigPhRma ties. And there's no care involved whatsoever.

There is one doctor who has been trying to get the word out about how we can (medically) take care of ourselves with basic stuff. Dr. Mark Sircus who wrote Natural Allopathic Medicine. His latest article is here: It's all about natural emergency and intensive care medicines. Stuff ER's use all the time and yet scoff at the natural practitioners for recommending.

Just telling people to eat healthy and do a bunch of mostly unnecessary exercises isn't going to cut it for much longer. I can think of almost nowhere in the usa where there is a better chance of getting sick than in doctor's waiting rooms, hospitals and gyms/workout places/spas.

Now with the new monsanto bill being shoved through congress with pretty much only Senator Tester to try to stop it, we're in even bigger trouble. They won't stop with phake phoods. Monsanto has big plans.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

You are absolutely right, it is a co-mingling of all you mentioned and I agree with the rest of your post too.

The only solution I can think of is be your own health advocate, speak up, inform others, it is their choice to listen/act or not. It will be a very slow process for change, slower than the raw milk fight. People are too brainwashed, doped up, uninformed, etc. Change will indeed be slow.

I learned very quickly as a young nurse. I cannot fix everything, I can only share the knowledge I gain and it is up to others what they do with that knowledge. At times it has been a hard pill for me to swallow, as I see the potential that even tiny changes would have made.

People are expected to do drastic changes, for example: a new or old diabetic- the dietician talks to them about foods, carbs,sugars, proteins,fats and tells the patient what they can and cannot eat. The patient is thinking they are supposed to change their whole eating regime at once (kind of like dieters) this leads to failure most of the time.

Change for most people must come in small steps. You can have that piece of pie, only a small sliver of the piece, not a normal piece and after eating it you must go for a walk to burn off the sugar you just ate. Patients understand that statement and are not overwhelmed and are likely to be compliant. It's a learning process for them too.

All we can do right now, is make sure we have healthy food and water and our own environment is as healthful as possible and inform those who wish to listen about what we learn. Those who don't open their eyes and make their own changes, will die early and probably in ill health.

rawmilkmike's picture

Milk is ogooglebar or ungoogleable and unyahooable or oyahoobar. Remember when we tried to find out what's in milk and none of us could find much of anything on the net?

Late last year, the Swedish Language Council published a report of words that had entered the Swedish lexicon in 2012. Among them was ogooglebar – ungoogleable, in English. This did not please Google. In fact, according to the Council (you'll need to enable Google Translate, unless you speak Swedish), Google promptly wrote representatives for the organization, and asked them to remove the word. 

Yahoo! Inc. was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995. On July 16, 2012, former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as Yahoo! CEO and President, effective July 17.

mark mcafee's picture

If this does not piss you off as an American do not have a pulse, a heart or a brain.

This is the pent-ultimate Monsatan Monsanto is protected from liability for any of its BIO TECH...IE GMO crops.


mark mcafee's picture

There is both a congratulations in hand here and also a oh shit feeling in my heart. Montana just passed a 100% hands off Raw Milk bill.

No standards and no liability to the producer and no testing. This is an old plane with an untrained pilot at the controls and no maintenance and bad fuel looking for a place to crash in the dark of night over the mountains. Any predictions on the outcome?? Bill Marler is about to set some interesting new legal precidents with this one. Childrens & minors rights anyone? They can not be legislated away....neither can the responsibility to produce clean raw milk, regardless of what the stupid legislature says. This one swings so far out of hurts my heart.

Ever heard of responsibly produced raw milk????

@ Mark: Just because there's not testing required doesn't mean MT dairy farmers won't do that. No standards? What does that mean? You think because it's MT and not CA there are no standards?? I know a lot of people from MT and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you get some nasty emails at some point. I'd rather see less regulation than more because we have to start somewhere in backing up the train. Do you think that MT dairy farmers weren't milking until this bill? If they've been producing raw milk and people have been drinking it and there have been no deaths (nationwide, as you said yourself) this bill won't matter a whit, unless guys like marler and pritzker are convincing people they're sick because of the raw milk and not because of a "bug" of some kind.

rawmilkmike's picture

Not everyone can afford $14.00 a gallon Mark.

anyone who truly cares about feeding his family properly, will pay the going rate for top quality milk. That being = what the farmer needs not only to survive, but prosper. Surely you agree that the workman is worthy of his hire ? Where is it written that it's the duty of farmers, to subsidize consumers?
If you're not making enough $$ to buy sustenance - then the solution to that problem lies within yourself ... not, by beating-down the producer.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

There is no doubt that most would buy what is best for them, if they can afford it. Where do you get "beating-down the producer"?

What is sustenance to one is not to another. There are many posts on this blog that go over that ad-nauseum.

rawmilkmike's picture

But Gordon, the producer only gets $1.00 a gallon. And like I said what value is added for the $13.00 worth of useless red tape. If you have the $14.00 than spend it but don't force it on working class people with barely a roof over their head. My family drinks over a gallon a day. You're asking me to through $300,00 a month out the window. The state has no concern for the quality of milk or the health of the people that drink it. And the same is true of anyone that spreads their lies about raw milk. And don't talk to me about prosperity. It wasn't my idea to run Tom Barrett against Scott Walker. Working stiffs, that can be fooled into believing we are on a fiscal cliff when the wealthy are paying less taxes than the people working for them, will never prosper. You do know I live in Wisconsin where everyone lives within minutes of many small dairy farms. Their is no reason to ship the milk to Timbuktu and back again.

The Montana House passed the Raw Milk bill 98-2. Doesn't it still have to go through the Montana Senate and then the governor before it becomes law?


mark mcafee's picture

Montana is a great example of what really pissed off people do with over zealous regulations that limit personal rights. They go way over board.

American Patriot's picture

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" Thomas Jefferson. Montana is standing up for your rights people, and now the two big blowhards here, Mark and Bill, are on the offensive against Liberty, and Freedom, once again. If you two really hate American values, and freedom, and Liberty, so much, why don't you guys take your businesses and families to another country that espouse your Communist ideals? RAWMI of North Korea? RAWMI of China? Moscow RAWMI? Red RAWMI?
Control the food and control the people, control the raw milk and lie in bed with the regulators and that is cool with you two. Then you attack Mike for making ends meet in this economic downturn. Then you attack Gayle. Hell, you two are always on the attack against freedom loving Americans. To infringe upon our God given rights that are protected by the Constitution by an overzealous government is one thing we can resist, but you two are like 'the enemies within'.
We 'Patriots' can see through your RAWMI facade and understand the money you and your investors in RAWMI will make off of co-habitating with government regulators, and if you get your way with Wisconsin legislation, and bringing RAWMI to Wisconsin, Mike is right in the cost to the working family tripling the outlay for nutritious food. There are real peole in the world that do not have your deep pockets, maybe you should think of the little guy you pretend to defend.
So what would happen to all the small ma and pop farmers in Wisconsin if your St. Brigid farm gets its legislation passed and brings RAWMI to that state (WI)?
Patriots have a popular saying right now, 'Come and Take it'. Do you really want to attack Montana and freedom loving Americans all the time? Or are you two just overzealous about filling your pocketbooks.
America, love it or leave it.
And Bill if you hate Capitalism so much why do you sell your cheese and not just give it away?

Lola Granola's picture

American Patriot,

You are right not to be fooled. RAWMI regulations were written to fit into Codex Alimentarius and the Food Safety Modernization Act, as was exposed by me on this blog a few years ago. It's all a very calculated plan.

Enjoy this e-mail from Bill Anderson. Note that Mr. Social Justice doesn't even pay his workers minimum wage, and that for as much as he expounds on food safety, he admits to drinking beer while making cheese.

Looking for a helper with cheese making, Wednesday
Posted By: certainkindo...

Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:57 pm |

Hey folks,

I'm looking for someone to help me make cheese this Wednesday. I am making another batch of my flagship cheese, the St. Brigid, and I'm willing to pay you $100 for your time and labor. You'd also get the chance to learn some of the finer points of artisan cheese making!

Here's the catch -- we'll be starting on the graveyard shift, and its apt to be a 15+ hour day. I will plan on picking you up and leaving Madison around 11pm Tuesday night, and we'll drive out to Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, WI (about an hour away, in Sauk County)

We will make cheese from midnight until about 3 or 5pm, depending on how things work out. There will, of course, be down time for eating meals, and I'll plan on bringing some beer we can enjoy throughout the day.

Your primary job will be cleaning. Cleaning cheese moulds, cheese making equipment, and the cheese vat. You will also get to help me cut the curd, stir the curd, mould the curd, and flip the wheels of cheese, so you'll get the chance to experience artisan cheese making first hand.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in doing, please contact me ASAP. You can send me an email at the below address (NOT the the address I am sending this email from), or call me at 262-XXX-XXXX. (blackened out by Lola)

I can only afford to pay one helper, so whoever contacts me first gets to be the paid helper! Anyone else is welcome to join, but I can't pay you, sorry.


Bill Anderson
Creme de la Coulee Artisan Cheese

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Wow, that speaks volumes, doesn't it. Forked tongue? Two faced? BSer?

Thank you for this, Lola. Speaks volumes.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" Thomas Jefferson"

I like that statement, thanks.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

There are people making big efforts to fight the system.!

The following is Montana's bill

Sylvia Gibson's picture

If someone gets ill from contaminated milk, it doesn't appear to hurt the industry, just look at those who died from the pasteurized milk a few years ago. Aren't they still in business? Guess the bottom feeders didn't "own" their farm..

" he pays about $12,000 a year in inspection fees for his 270 head of dairy cows."

Seems the dairy farmers haven't been too business savvy to allow it to come to $12000/yr. I'm thinking perhaps his milk NEEDS to be boiled. Perhaps he can't compete with selling healthy raw milk? And his milk is price fixed?

Passed 98-2, guess the masses have spoken.

Perhaps jealousy that there is no price fix on raw milk? "It doesn’t put us on an even playing field.” Indeed, money appears to be an issue. Too bad people feel they and other require "policing". I guess these Montana dairy farmers assume all raw milk dairy farmers don't use a closed system. Sounds like the Bitterroot dairy farmer is bitter.

@ Sylvia: The MT bill involves small herd operations with 15 or less cows, 30 or less goats (lactating, that is) so this is foreign to Mark who has a large operation. Small herd operators generally take very good care of their animals and obviously that was a part of the reasoning behind the bill.

Also, don't listen to Bill because he doesn't know his azz from a hole in the ground when it comes to MT. The MT farmers know just as much about dairy as any WI farmer, and they have politicians with a lot more common sense than anything I've seen out of WI in the past two to four years.

But I can definitely see the billboards with marler's name in huge letters going up all over the state. Next time I go to judge shows in Billings or Laramie or Great Falls or Bozeman I'll no doubt see them. ;-)

@ Sylvai: "Sounds like the Bitterroot dairy farmer is bitter." Har-har!! Good one. The green-eyed monster.

Ken Conrad's picture

I am almost tempted to move to Montana.

There are thousands of gallons of raw milk being sold (illegally) and consumed in Ontario on a daily basis with no illness and absent all the rigorous testing advocated by some on this site.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Isn't it amazing that the human race is able to survive.

rawmilkmike's picture

And they're only testing for the irrelevant. They don't even test to make sure it's raw. Selling pasteurised as raw is a big problem in Europe. I see no reason for useless testing that adds $13.00 to every gallon of milk. How can we expect testing from people who talk as though they no nothing about raw milk, people that have never even studied the difference between raw and pasteurised milk. People that are afraid of a little competition.

mark mcafee's picture

I applaud Montana...believe me. They won the big raw milk jack pot on this one. What I do not hear or see is a group being formed to help mentor the new inexperienced dairymen that will come out of the woodwork to feed people and try to survive in this new dodge city for raw milk.

Along with this freedom comes huge responsibility. I talk to Charlotte Smith all the time about Oregon and the lousy default standards that are happening all over Oregon. She knows....she takes calls from families that complain about very short shelf life raw milk and want to know if the raw milk is good if the cows are up to their lips in manure and mud and never see a blade of green grass.

Those that embrace freedom...must also embrace producer responsibility. Those two behavioral traits do not nessecarily go together. Perhaps, Montana hates raw milk?? They just gave the producers enough rope and a a tree with a tall enough branch to HANG THEMSELVES. The insurance industry is always the silent regulator. They will never agree to backing up unknown raw milk. It is demonstrated high quality or forget it.

Do you all think I just got off the train this morning....?? Freedom comes with huge responsibility. I have said this so many times. Not all people choose the high road or integrity. Ask Charlotte Smith about this. She knows what I am saying.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

gee Mark,does every state have "a group being formed to help mentor the new inexperienced dairymen"? because you don't "hear or see" any groups being formed, it must not be in existence? Didn't the bill just pass within days?

I would bet the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund would be willing to point those who ask, in a general direction for learning. I would think the up and coming farmers have enough brains to ask at whatever universities there are, I bet they even know how to read.

What makes you think they won't be responsible? Haven't many already been producing raw milk? Oh I see, it isn't YOUR way, so it must be wrong. Get over yourself. We all know about the high road and integrity. you are really sounding like the govt et al.

Charlotte Smith's picture

Sylvia, no, there are no groups in existence to help raw dairy producers get up to speed, save one we just started in Oregon.

Ask away at the universities, too, you'll be transferred all over the place and finally dead end.

FTCLDF can point you to join their organization and talk to Tim Wightman on the phone. That doesn't translate to how to milk a cow and produce pathogen free milk.

Farmers try their best to be responsible but with no training available that's puts severe limits on their abilities.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Charlotte, Mark implies that no one can do anything without his (rawmi) assistance. The way he words things only succeeds in further alienating people. It is amazing that others have been able to produce raw milk without any problems without rawmi assistance over the centuries.

I would not join his club, because of things he has said in the past and continues to say. He is no different than the govt demigods. Not his way, then it must be the wrong way.

He isn't promoting rawmi, he continues to alienate farmers and non-farmers with his words.

Because of his words, it is doubtful that farmers will ask him anything. To be insulted? Demeaned? Accused of not caring? The list is long. It's too bad, as I've no doubt he has a lot of information.

Your farm and his are the only listed farms on rawmi. I look at the consumer section and it really doesn't tell me anything. It doesn't inform me of anything. Apparently you have to join to get any training about dairy cows. The cost is unknown. So if I want to learn about cows and I don't wish to test in the same manner that rawmi requires, it appears It won't behoove me to utilize that 'club'.

There is nothing on that web site that informs or encourages a person to seek further information from it.

To use Polyface farm as an example; the web site tells you what you can learn, the cost and what you will be doing to learn. Very transparent. If I was to spend money on something, I want to know up front, I will not dig to find the information, as then I feel whatever company is not on the up and up and possibly a fly by night company. If you have a product to sell, whether tangible or not, put it out there.

Charlotte Smith's picture

I've seen McAfee work with dozens of raw dairy producers. Not one was offended or alienated, insulted or demeaned. This was for days and hours on end, so lots of opportunity. These are people I know, see, communicate with regularly so would know and hear otherwise. He taught, communicated, modeled, encouraged, supported.

if you don't find what you want on the site, then call - take initiative. It's not it's a new business still being built. There is such a larger perspective here than you are taking. Are you a raw milk producer who wants help? He'll bend over backwards. Just here to attack? What purpose does that serve? He's done more for improving raw milk production than most people.

If you have a way to also help improve raw milk availability and production, focus on that, as that's what's needed. What is there to criticize in those who want to share basic standards of production with and eager and inviting crowd, when it's proven that when milk quality improves, insurance rates decrease, and legislators back off because they see the introduction of common standards having a positive effect? All this resulting in more raw milk availability for those desperate for it?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Guess he only insults those on this blog. I am not attacking anyone, just responding to his words.

I'm not attacking anyone either, but I AM saying this much: if more and more states don't find their spine and figure out a way to slam the door tightly shut on the regulators (read: fda) the way MT did, there is no hope for this fight for rights. If you leave the door open far enough for them to get their little toe in, under the guise of *safety*, they'll be back with a vengence. Those of you insisting that testing is "necessary" to provide safe and wholesome raw milk are acquiescing and soon will be right back where you started, too. With no rights at all. On the back end of that, we'll be opening another door just far enough for them to start taking away more food rights all the time. And they will. Personally, I think they're going to do this anyway, whether they have a reason or not, especially now that the monsanto thing has been shoved down our throats.

This article from Pete Kennedy (FTCLDF) has some older news in it as well as some more recent news:

It doesn't really appear the testing makes much difference once the fda gets on board. People here at TCP keep trying to co-mingle food rights with food safety. Let's get the food rights thing happening first and then deal with safety because without the rights, the safety won't be necessary. But as I said, the safety testing (insofar as raw cheese and milk are concerned) don't really seem to matter to the fda - to wit:

[quote from article at above link]: "Neither the FDA nor the Milk Board ever tested a single sample of the Morningland cheese during the entire time the embargo was in effect. In September 2010, FDA took one hundred environmental swabs at the Morningland plant to test for listeria; all of the tests came back negative. Yet the Milk Board, spurred on by FDA, pursued and obtained a court order . . ." [end quote]

Tests can come back negative - and it means nothing to them. But if they suspect something might come back positive, they're on it like a bird on a June bug. Somewhere in all their yapping, something isn't making sense. But they DO have the big money and the DOJ on their side, so that sure helps them, doesn't it? As I said hell is in session.

If dairy farmers want to do their own independent testing, fine. But it doesn't seem to make any difference to the way the fda operates. They have a different agenda.

The kind of testing I would like to see done would be a bacterial community profile of the milk that specifically looks at diversity in the community of bacteria in raw milk. Diversity , both genetic and functional, " needs to be preserved to ensure buffering of communities against abiotic and biotic stresses."


"Biodiversity increases the stability of microbial communities against both biotic and abiotic environmental perturbations. Depending on stressor type, varying aspects of biodiversity contribute to the stability of ecosystem functions. The results suggest that both genetic and functional diversity need to be preserved to ensure buffering of communities against abiotic and biotic stresses."

How we manage the cows, the diversity of microbes in their environment ,their pasture or feed and in the milk, will determine if the microbial community in the milk is stable or not. How does the method of harvesting the milk influence the diversity of microbes in the milk? Does using machines and a pipeline preserve or reduce the diversity in the milk ? Does hand milking in an open pail preserve or reduce the diversity in the milk ? These questions can be answered with current testing methods.Is RAWMI interested in this kind of testing?

Ken Conrad's picture


That was an excellent research article.

“The results suggest that both genetic and functional diversity need to be preserved to ensure buffering of communities against abiotic and biotic stresses."

I am afraid that many will be unable to grasp the significance of that last sentence from the paragraph you just quoted (above). They are overly preoccupied with isolation and destruction (imbalance) hence their inability to fully comprehend the importance of diversity and preservation (balance).

Hopefully Montana’s reasonable approach will prevail in light of this fear driven control mentality that has bewitched the psyche of our nations.

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
John F. Kennedy


What do we learn about the diversity of the microbial community in our milk from laboratory pathogen tests? The length of time the milk stays fresh tasting in the fridge tells us what the numbers of bacteria are. The flavor (fresh and incubated) tells us what the somatic cell count is. We don't need a microscope to see what the diversity of the microbial community is.The farm practices will tell us that. Does the farmer have monoculture crops ( corn ,small grains) in rotation on the farm? Then the fields are plowed every few years at least. Plowing totally disrupts the development of microbial diversity in the soil. Monoculture crops select for a monoculture of soil microbes. Do the cows have access to many different types of vegetation in the pasture? Grazing 4 or 5 different plants leads to a monoculture of gut bacteria in the cow. The number of plant types available continuously should be more than 100, including tree leaves,bushes and shrubs. Do the cows share the pasture with lots of wildlife? An abundant wildlife population is an indicator and source of diversity of soil microbes. Not pasteurizing milk might be a step in the right direction , but let's not stop there. Agriculture has lost it's way. Milk that is a product of the " isolation and destruction" that modern farming has become will not be safe to consume as long as these other problems are not addressed. If consumers understand this they will be the ones to educate the farmers about how the farm should care for the cows. Low diversity = instability = disease. High diversity = stability = health and resilience.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Miguel, "How we manage the cows, the diversity of microbes in their environment ,their pasture or feed and in the milk, will determine if the microbial community in the milk is stable or not."

That is spot on.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Mark, over the years you and I have had our differences and have exchanged harsh words with each other. I think we have finally come to a place where we can agree. I 100% get what you are saying. If raw milk is not produced with the highest respect for the pathogens that can contaminate the milk, tragedies like the Oregon outbreak will continue to happen.

Even though you have had outbreaks at your dairy and I get frustrated at your inability to acknowledge them, I do give you credit for attempting to set raw milk safety standards. Nothing good comes from an outbreak, only heartache.

Salmonella and Campylobacter can do serious damage to the human body, but I think STEC is the one to be most fearful of if it winds up in the milk. It is dangerous on multiple levels. It takes a small amount (some speculate as little as 10 to 50) to make someone very ill and based on the data that has been collected on outbreaks since 2005, a high percent of children are developing HUS after drinking contaminated raw milk.

I left out Listeria because I am referring to liquid milk, not cheese. Soft cheeses are vulnerable to Listeria and it is the pathogen that causes the most deaths.

Gayle Loiselle's picture

Freedom asks people to take responsibility for their own actions. Regulations do not guarentee responsibility, didn't keep Monsanto in check. Regulations allow non labeling of GMO's, BPA in baby bottles, millions of innocent deaths from drunk drivers. Ethics, integreity, compassion, social conscience self reliance, responsibility...these things can not be regulated into being. MT will be fine... There is a lot of first rate information available to farmers who want to learn about and sell raw milk for a living. It is in their own best interest to get it right. And there is also a lot of first rate information about how to select a respectable farmer. People also need to take personal responsibility in this equation. When you over regulate a people they get dull and complacent. This is simply not what our government needs to be spending gross amounts of tax dollars on. I'd much rather they work on keeping the fox out of the hen house and put Mondanto out of business. Education is the answer...not regulation.

mark mcafee's picture

D Smith,

The Foundation Farms incident was a very small herd of less than 10 cows.....they put 21 people into ecoli hell. Small verses large herd means very little

Conditions, the plan and mind set means everything.

@ Mark: That doesn't mean all small producers will have that issue, does it? After all, you're a large producer and you had problems too. Small producers are LOT less likely to have issues and that's the truth whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

I'll never understand where people like you are coming from. First you want freedoms and then we finally see a glimpse of sun at the end of the *regulation* tunnel and then you decide that's not what you want either. You don't want gubment interference - but you want some sort of gubment regulated regulations?? Arg. You want to continue to rely on "testing" - - - for something, or in lawyerspeak - for anything. There are foodborne illness outbreaks all the time. Perceived safety doesn't change that. Even your RAWMI educated farms can have problems at some point. Who, then, will take the responsibility? You? The farmer? Let people have their freedoms by visiting their farmers often and deciding if those farmers are producing clean milk. I can't imagine a small farmer who doesn't follow some sort of protocol regarding cleanliness, but as you know it can happen to anyone.

The other option is to home pasteurize if people question anything about even store bought raw milk, right?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

D Smith,

Logic doesn't work with some.

As they know what's best, right? They will tell you what you need to know, right? They will tell you what to eat, how to eat, how to sleep, how to clean, right? They will tell you where you must buy products, right? They will tell you what is right or wrong, right? They will even tell you haw you are supposed to breath, right? And, when things go awry it is never their fault, always anothers fault, right? Because they are the know all to end all.....right?

I guess that's right, Sylvia! And there are those on this forum/blog who think we aren't into nanny-statism. Good grief.

I really like that quote by John F. Kennedy which Ken included in one of his posts here recently. I thought about putting it here myself a little earlier, but then decided against it because I figured I'd catch flack from the people who are afraid of life without rules and regulations i.e., a cushion to fall back on. But it's time for people to take control on their own. There is nothing wrong with learning cleanliness and buddying up with other small farmers, but to me all that testing indicates they don't trust themselves to do things properly. Small farmers don't usually have that problem but then they are more in control of their herds and all the rest of what goes into raw milk production. Truthfully, one farmer can learn all about cleanliness, if they have no common sense about such things, from books or other farmers - without an organization. It was done that way for years before the gubment stepped in and started *force teaching* us everything we're supposed to know and telling everyone what to do. RAWMI type organizations give producers and the people purchasing their milk a false sense of security. That's what I see coming from it, but that's just me I guess. People either want freedom or they don't, you can't really straddle the fence on stuff like this. Let it start with food freedom. We may not have it for too much longer since monsanto will soon be ruling the roost (as if they haven't been in control since the mid 1970's). Then everything we eat will be safe, won't it? It will be sterilized and that means safety, right? Heh. Food safety with no nutritional value left in the food = malnutrition. Hell is in session.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Good one too D Smith!

Protection from local food and raw milk. Sounds like this idea isn't too popular.

[quote from article]: "Why? Because a growing cultural trend of embracing high-quality foods from local sources to make our gobbling both more green and more gratifying has run into a lot of onerous food regulation that makes the delivering and selling of your neighborhood kale or goat cheese illegal. It has also run into entrenched food purveyors in the market who are more than happy to use government regulation to muscle out these small, new competitors." [end quote]

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Seems more and more people are beholden to the govt for assistance, for numerous reasons; lost jobs, money issues from high health care costs, etc. Many of these people have been told, or believe that the govt will assist them in their time of need. So it is a deep ingrained belief. 'The govt will take care of me'. I saw a lot of this belief system when I cared for the veterans. They truly believed that uncle sam would be there for them and take care of the ills they incurred while working for said govt. Many refused to see the truth. (History is repeating itself with the younger vets).

It appears the general public has a similar mindset. People also don't appear to be encouraged to think for themselves, or to seek out answers/solutions either. They basically just don't know how, they haven't been taught.

When people are at or near bottom, it is easy to sway them to do whatever you want. They will believe an out right lie, because deep down they want to believe, also they are conditioned to believe. Pavlov's dog experiments come to mind.

Desperate times leads to desperate measures for survival, and people will survive anyway they can, even if it is against their own beliefs/values.

I am wondering people are able to put one & one together to figure out the food they consume is what is making them ill? Higher hip fracture in Americans, will they research the cause? Probably not as that would be changing a lot of things and not RXing toxic bone meds.

mark mcafee's picture


I feel the same about you. I respect your passion and commitment to safety. We have a battle our my hands. It seems that the fringe is collected and speaks up here at TCP. Few think that testing, plans and standands are important. Let me tell you and everyone...they are essential to reliable source of low risk raw milk.

The insurance industry cancelling raw milk policies is a great example of reality. RAWMI LISTED farmers pay 10% the cost of normal risk raw milk insurance plans. Ask Charlotte Smith. Her quote went from $10,000 per year for three cows down to $750 after she became LISTED at RAWMI. Insurance policy writers know risk when they see it. They also know low risk when they see that as well.

Enough said.

If raw milk is going to ever to grow or be respected, farmers will need to volentarily join a standards org of their own choosing and get their act together. When your insurance policy is not come crying to RAWMI or RMAC or anyone else. This is reality. You can not sell raw milk in a farmers market or a store without with out an insurance policy. Join what ever group you want...RAWMI invites all. It does not matter...join something and show your test results to the world and your consumers.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

"Few think that testing, plans and standands are important."

Really? Do name names.... Because they don't do things YOUR way it is wrong? That is what YOU are implying.

"If raw milk is going to ever to grow or be respected, farmers will need to volentarily join a standards org of their own choosing and get their act together."

How do you know farmers haven't collectively gotten together to whatever they feel needs to be done? Presumptuous? What makes you think their "act" isn't together? Who the hell are you to dictate what other farmers should do? Your sounding very narcissistic. Oh I forget, it is supposed to be YOUR way. You sound just like the govt..... sickening

@ Sylvia: I agree. The thing no one here has mentioned recently is - - no deaths from raw milk, nationally. I've seen mention here before about no raw milk deaths but 8 deaths from pasteurized (or something similar to that anyhow). Do ya'll think for one minute that small dairy farmers in the states where raw milk is strangled by regulation haven't been producing milk and people haven't been drinking it? Really?? Evidently small farmers all across america are certainly doing something right without any assistance from some organization or from the nursemaid helicopter "gubment" regulators. That's not to say raw milk dairy farmers aren't helping each other and speaking with each other concerning the raw milk business. I'm sure if they feel the need to organize they do, or will. But they've likely been getting along just fine without it for a number of years. I don't know how CA or WI operate but in this part of the country people still help each other without charge. RAWMI stuff might even be rejected by MT dairy farmers, who knows. And bringing up insurance just opens up another regulatory door they've obviously been operating without up til now. It sounds to me as if some people aren't going to be happy until the dairy farmers all across the nation glow in the dark.

Charlotte Smith's picture

Sylvia, farmers have not gotten together collectively to produce milk with even just some basic standards. This needs to happen for a continued supply of safe raw milk.

Raw dairy producers start milking a cow, usually with no training, and have little or no guidance as to some basic necessities. It's a very expensive on-taking so they do what they can with what little they have. This gets them by for awhile - months, years. Then, it catches up with them and illness occurs.

It doesn't have to be this way. If you follow some basic standards each and every time you will produce pathogen free raw milk every time. Every single time. You don't follow any standards and you are far more likely to get some nasties in your milk.

I'm sharing this here in hopes that the few people that actually comment regularly are representative of 1,000's of lurkers who will get it. Follow some basic standards in producing raw milk and it will improve our supply. If we improve our supply there is no reason for the govt. to get involved because we will have a track record of a safe product that does not cause illness.

Mark, "Few think that testing, plans and standands are important. " Any proof, or like Bill's unanswered accusation that Joel Salatin doesn't care about producing safe food (which I can easily provide multiple references to Joel emphasizing safety), is this just more BS from the two of you that alienates people, divides the movement, and shows how a completely self-absorbed and judgmental attitude that both of you continually exude towards others who happen to not tow your party line?

See, because I can provide proof. The farmer I work with and I talk about food safety, production, standards each quarter. GASP! I know other clubs and farmers do the same, as do consumers I know.

Honestly, you all continue to make asses of yourselves in this public forum, making unsubstantiated and slanderous claims about things you don't know.

The irony of how you all treat others is astounding.

Many of us would agree that raw milk farmers need education, training, testing, assistance. We just, based on your clear patterns and behaviors and postings and the like, ever so well documented here for the world to see and elsewhere, that it ain't going to be RAWMI and that you, sadly, cannot nor should be trusted.

Sylvia Gibson's picture


Still no answer....

American Patriot's picture

Joel Salatin and Vernon Hershberger should sue the panties off of Bill Anderson for making slanderous false claims about them on this public forum. Will FTCLDF be willing to litigate?
Mark and Bill do you think that all Montana dairy farmers are incompetent? Seems Montana raw daries already have a better track record than OP.
Maybe we'll just keep watching this blog for more insults to our intelligence from you two and we'll join in with the other farmers you guys slap around verbally all the time in a massive slander suit.
Why does RAWMI, Mark, and Bill use the same scare tactics that the fluoride industry and the vaccine industry use to 'sell' their products? Why do they always attack American's that love their freedom? Why do they always attack other farmers who do not play the game their way? Does anyone think that they'll be welcome to our Montana dariy farms to insult us in person as idiot producers?
RAWMI is just a vehicle for profit my friends, caveat emptor.
How many people have been hospitalized in Montana for consuming dirty milk that we do not know how to extract 'safely' from our herd's?
Spoke with some friends from Wisconsin and to my surprise there is a track record of farms having been raided and investigated, by the Wisconsin DATCP authorities wherever Bill gets his raw milk from, both are within an hour of Madison. Will this St. Brigid's be the next one DATCP takes down? Time will only tell. Your reputation proceeds you boys so don't bring your Red RAWMI to "Big Sky Country"

mark mcafee's picture

I give up with you Nay- Sayers....I will just keep poking away and helping
those that want help.....we will just keep LISTING more and more farmers for free. We will see the track record created....we will see who has affordable insurance in the coming years. We will see who leads progress and makes change happen at the national level. I treat all with is very cheap.

Continue your dialogue...I have teaching and work to do.

American Patriot's picture

We will see who are slaves and who are free men. Some of us you attack have been dairymen our entire lives (almost 60). How long have you been dairying? You have done your share of cheap talking for a long time, maybe it's time for you to make a public apology to the dairy farmers of Montana? Then practice what you preach and treat everyone with equal respect (that includes those of us who are not of your ideology). An old friend from Tennesse alway said " Talk is cheap, it takes money to buy whiskey".

Ken Conrad's picture

I believe Mark is sincere, and his passionate efforts to implement RAWMI are understandable considering the run-ins he has had with a system that has no qualms about using fear and deceit as a tool to achieve its self-righteous and/or power driven desires.

We are in a state of transition where scientists are on the cusp of realizing the true value and importance of the microbial world to our survival as a species. This transition is not going to be easy considering the fear and contempt that has been nurtured towards this unseen world over the last several hundred years.

Based on Marks comments over the last several years it appears to me that he is in the midst of attempting to satisfy two beliefs that appear to be clearly at odds with each other at the moment.

The author of the above blog makes a comment in light of as statement made by Mother Theresa, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

She states, “Take a moment and read this quote again. Think on its deeper meaning and meditate on its simple yet vast reaching truth. This is the greatest call we have as human beings. If humankind could grasp and apply this one lesson, that we all "belong" to one another, there would be no war, no poverty, no hatred, no ignorance. Let us be people that live this quote out daily. Mother Theresa was a pillar of love and compassion. Her life was filled to the brim because she poured herself out and blessed the world with her gifts. This quote speaks to the better person in all of us”.


Sylvia Gibson's picture


There is no doubt about Mark's passion. As said, he does sound like the govt shills. There is no reason to continually insult those who don't agree with all he says. Numerous people on this blog have tried to explain his need to change how he words things if he wishes to bring people together, he has chosen not to listen and continue as he has been. His words just further alienate people. It is a shame as there is no doubt he has a lot of knowledge that would be helpful. Hopefully farmers and farmers-to-be will find the information they need.

Most people don't agree 100% with others, unless you are brain-washed in a cult. Some people appear to have issues if not everyone agrees with them 100%. I won't make their issues mine.

Ken Conrad's picture

Well this is an about face!

“In the TED Talk above, ecologist Allan Savory explains how we’re currently encouraging desertification, and how to not only stop it, but reverse it, by dramatically increasing the number of grazing livestock.”
“According to Savory, rising population, land turning into desert at a steady clip (known as desertification), converge to create a “perfect storm” that threatens life on earth. Most people think technology is required to solve the problem.”
“Not so, he says. While we do need novel technology to replace fossil fuels, desertification cannot be reversed with technology. For that, we need to revert backward, and start mimicking nature and the way things were in the past.”