A Farmer, and Mom, Pleads for “Common Sense” Raw Milk Regs

The  Vermont legislature is considering very narrow legislation (S 70) that would allow the two largest raw dairies in the state to deliver raw milk to customers at farmers markets. Not sell it, mind you, just drop it off to customers, so they don’t have to trek to the farms to pick it up. A Vermont House committee has been holding hearings on this proposal, listening to both proponents and opponents of raw milk. I was among proponents offering testimony. But in addition to outside “experts,” the legislative committee has also heard from a number of raw dairy farmers. I thought the testimony offered by one of them spoke very well to the issue of risk, as well as to the hidden economic implications of reduced raw milk availability. 

 

by Tamara Martin


Tamara Martin with two of her childrenMy husband and I are co-owners and managers of Chandler Pond Farm in S. Wheelock, VT in the Northeast Kingdom. We are a diversified farm of 200 acres. We grow five acres of vegetables and berries, process 1,000 pastured chickens a year, as well as pastured pork, grass-fed beef, eggs, maple syrup, hay, and lastly, raw milk. This diverse model works for us as we direct market all of our products and are able to provide a wide variety of nutritious food for our local community, while keeping the family tradition of farming going strong. It also allows us not have all our income in one basket and lets our enterprises complement each other. For example, our waste vegetables and milk go the pigs, manure from the animals is composted for the vegetables. It’s a very connected system.

 

My husband is the fifth continuous generation in his family making a living farming in Vermont… There is a blue milk pitcher in our fridge feeding us and our three children, 8, 7 and 5, fresh milk since we began our family and started farming.


We currently market our products through several avenues—all local. We have a 45-member CSA, a farm stand on the farm, and we attend two farmers markets. The raw milk, of course, is only sold at the farm. We are a micro dairy. We milk two to four heritage breed cows, American Milking Devons, which don’t produce in large volume, but their milk is incredibly high quality. Milking Devons are known for their higher protein content as well as higher CLA’s and Omega- 3s, than most any other milk. Buying a product like this, pure Devon milk, anywhere but directly from the farm, is virtually impossible in Vermont. 


We don’t sell a large amount of milk, largely because of the location of our farm. Even if we were able to meet reasonable guidelines to sell at drop off points or markets, our dairy herd would never grow as large as many in Vermont. We chose this path of a micro dairy because it allows us to produce a high quality milk, and we are able to take care of cows and our milking systems to the degree of cleanliness and sanitation that we feel best about.  


Fresh milk sales in Vermont feel particularly challenging. I have personally done plenty of research and reading about regulations in other states such as New Hampshire, Maine, as well as accompanying statistics. I understand the desire for food safety, but only when balanced by common sense and the idea that people have an inherent right to choose the food that is best for their family, whether we agree or not. We can choose raw milk or Diet Coke, understanding the risks. It’s our choice. 


One has to realize that even before being a farmer, I am a mother. I am not interested in feeding my children an unsafe product. But I also am not interested in fear. I like to understand the risks and benefits and how it fits into the scheme of daily life. It is easy to read one scary story and have a knee-jerk reaction. When this happens to me, I force levelheadedness to take over. There are risks in everything. Do I allow my children to each poached eggs? Can they jump on a trampoline? Will I feed them raw milk from a source that I know to use the highest standards of sanitation and precaution? Do I allow them to visit Grandma in the hospital during flu season? Should they touch the grocery cart when norovirus is going around our small town? 


I can’t fear everything. I make decisions based on facts and risks. With all that said, we drink raw milk from our farm and have from others that we trust when we aren’t milking. I guess I feel the need to explain this, because I would never knowingly sell something I personally wouldn’t drink or feed my children just for economic benefit.


So let’s talk economics. It is hard to sell milk when your farm is just six miles out town. I can’t imagine farms that are twenty miles out that have an excellent quality product and no customers.


In order to make your micro dairy profitable, you have to be able to sell a certain volume, with a certain bottom line. This is a business and our expenses are real,  as is our time. If it’s established that this product is safe, please, let us sell it and support our families by farming. If we’re selling lots of it, then the regulations should be appropriate. If we are just selling a few quarts a day, then let’s use our common sense in those regulations. Scale-appropriate rules are ideal in risk and economics.


I get dozens of requests from customers every summer who know I have milk for sale at the farm, to sell it at the market or even just bring it to town. I am constantly explaining to them that this is illegal. They’re always disappointed and sometimes even frustrated. They want to drink fresh milk, for their own reasons, but can’t afford the time and gas to come out to the farm every week.


Now I want to address really quickly what some of the realities of milk delivery to a market or central drop-off locations might look like at our farm. First off, understand that we currently bring a truckload of vegetables, eggs, as well as two or three coolers of frozen meat to two markets a week all summer. As well, bi- monthly winter markets. Keeping products chilled and high quality is always a concern and the biggest effort of farmers markets for many reasons. Number 1 being that NO ONE wants to sell (or try to, rather) substandard product. 


Bringing the meat in coolers frozen solid has always worked like a charm. The meat stays frozen even on the hottest days. We leave the lids on with a price list and open to let the customers choose their product then close them. No problems. Vegetables can be a difficult at times but we have found if they are prechilled prior to loading up for market with cold towels they do very well. Based on those experiences, I could imagine several scenarios for transporting and keeping milk chilled. I am always amazed at farmers’ ingenuity. For example the many different ways small micro dairies like ours have figured out how to chill milk in the time limit given to the right temps.


The initial ideas for us when thinking about transporting milk to market or central locations involve making sure the milk is adequately chilled ahead of time, plenty of ice packs and possibly an ice water bath with a small cooler of secondary ice packs to change out on particularly hot days. A min/max thermometer in our cooler etc. I urge you to allow drop off points and farmers sales and with a few COMMON SENSE guidelines and let us try at our hand at how we’ll do it. 


Currently there is a law to allow delivery to homes. In allowing drop off points and market sales, the last concern is what happens to the milk from the time it leaves the farmer to when it gets to the fridge. I tend to trust people to make good decisions. I know you or I would. At market currently I am constantly talking to people about keeping their product. Most customers, for example, when purchasing meat but maybe lingering at the market for lunch, will leave their meat in my cooler until they are ready to head home, I don’t tell them to do this, and they do it themselves because they are smart and can be trusted to figure out how to take care of their food. Others bring insulated bags or coolers in their cars with ice packs, the same goes actually for folks who buy milk at our farm. I don’t see how drop off points or markets really change anything. At some point we have to assume when making laws that people are smart, just like we assume they wash their cutting boards after cutting meat and wash their hands. 


Lastly, one of the things that gets me most frustrated about food rights is the poverty and justice side of this issue. We’ve passed a law that says folks can buy this product, it is safe enough for that, BUT they’ll need to go to the farm, or live in the delivery area of the two farms delivering milk, AND be home when that delivery is supposed to come. What that says to me is, if you don’t own a car and have the gas, money and time to drive five to twenty miles or more you don’t actually have that right. It means this is a product available only to those who can afford it. It isn’t the market price that is not allowing them to feed themselves in the best way they believe possible, it’s the laws around the product, which by default have eliminated the families or persons who don’t make enough money to get it.

 

Many family and friends we know and love have been drinking raw milk for years. Hopefully, the disconnect of what is legal to eat at any given time and what generations of Vermonters have been eating and continue to eat is closing as we close the culture gap and the legal gap with common sense regulations and allow ALL Vermonters access to the food of their choosing whether they live near a farm or not. 

Dave Milano's picture

Tamara's comments about fear make a lot of sense. We have become a world fearful of the very biology that gives us life.

It needn't be so.

In our house we rarely use the term “raw milk.” We call it “milk” and call the other stuff “pasteurized milk.” That's the way we speak and the way we think, and it's not insignificant. We treat milk and everything we grow or forage from the wild, from mushrooms to eggs to asparagus to beef, like what they are--plain, natural, biological substances. Everything else we consider to be adulterated. The current paradigm dictates the opposite, that natural is dangerous, and that processing and regulation is not only necessary for safety, but the very baseline for goodness. It's a fear-based paradigm that is badly out of sync with Nature, but it dominates so thoroughly that plain, good people living according to natural principles can find themselves in the bizarre situation of arguing for permission from elected officials for the simple right to exist.

We are an upside down world, and those drumming for more processing, more regulation, more dependence on third parties, have no idea of the damage they are doing.

David Gumpert's picture

Dave, what I have found especially disheartening about the Vermont situation is that the change being proposed in making raw milk more available is so modest, yet the opposition is as intense as if some sweeping change were being proposed. The message to me is that, as you suggest, those drumming for more regulation don't care about the specifics, they are just committed to keeping the regulatory lid on as tightly as they can. 

churchlanefarm's picture

Yet the opposition is as intense as if some sweeping change were being proposed.”

David, I am not sure if you have been following the latest debates with respect to conscientious and religious objection to vaccines since those recent occurrences of measles and mumps in both our countries.

The self-righteous utilitarian rational is definitely alive and well! The medical oligarchy along with government regulators and the media are certainly milking it for all its worth with resect to these so called “outbreaks” in order to nurture “intense opposition” to personal choice. The comments being expressed have an eerie resemblance to the raw milk debate.

Has anyone ever considered that our governments may at some point in the future, in the name of safety and the so-called “greater good” attempt to further limit access to raw milk by declaring it an illegal substance to poses without a license and consume despite its safety record which is far superior to other foods?

Don’t laugh… such a scenario may not appear to be all that far fetched when one considers the self-serving demagogic nature of our political leaders.

In our countries where we are under democratic “mob rule” we may find ourselves on the short end of the stick unless each individual’s God given freewill to choose is protected visa vie the constitution and the courts.

Considering the growing belief that we are the product of a mindless universe, human freewill is increasingly being rationalized, “non-existent”.

Ken

Ora Moose's picture

"milking it for all its worth" sounds like a sound motto, maybe someone will register / trade Mark it. I am not laughing until the short end of the stick gets longer. Human freewill, is there such a thing anymore? Wake me up when it's over it's too early in the morning.

Vanity's not fair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hN9YRo7y1s

David Gumpert's picture

Ken, I agree, your prediction about raw milk possibly being declared an illegal substance isn't far fetched. My sense is that the authority figures are so fearful of the truth emerging that they may try to short-circuit it via a tactic like what you suggest. In the case of raw milk, as the truth gradually takes hold that raw milk can be produced safely, is being produced safely, and on top of that, provides health benefits, the authorities could be tempted to take a radical action to prevent that reality from fully emerging for all to see....and so declare raw milk as a "public health emergency" to avoid the real "emergency." 

The regulators, physicians, and others in positions of decision making have difficulty with the idea that what they are doing may be hurting people (depriving people of milk, forcing vaccinations, prescribing questionable drugs). Sometimes, the only way to blot out that possibility is to do more of the questionable behavior, indeed, eliminate any opposition to the questionable behavior. 

Dave Milano's picture

What are we to understand when the powers that be, before agreeing to not punish anyone for producing or drinking plain, unadulterated milk, must be first convinced by controlled-variable, double-blind western studies that "prove" that it “can be produced safely, is being produced safely, and on top of that, provides health benefits”? We can only learn that the system world is crazy.

Modern science is extraordinarily narrow-minded, and way too money-driven, to be much help in this arena. It is worth repeating again and again that we are considering here a natural biological food. And not just any food, but one that in its raw state has been supporting mankind in health and economy basically forever. If milk has suddenly become a potential poison, it is certainly not milk's fault, and any real scientist, upon noting that stark fact, ought to direct his attentions and efforts toward discovering exactly why. (The answers, of course, already exist in stunning clarity, but like all things visual, cannot be appreciated with closed eyes.)

Those who work with the crazies in charge and their apparently inviolable paradigm must, as a matter of physics, become a little crazy themselves, as we see today, to the point even of accepting redefinition of certain biological realities. If that's a solution, then God himself is crazy.

David Gumpert's picture

Dave, there was a period in history when milk posed a serious health problem--during the mid-to-late 1800s and early 1900s. As you suggest, it wasn't the milk's fault, but that of unscrupulous and uneducated producers. As we well know, even though those problems have been essentially resolved, the powers that be continue to insist that the risk is unchanged. 

I don't think it's going to be double-blind scientific studies that will convince them that things have changed--we have several of those, and the powers pretend they don't exist, or argue they are seriously flawed. No, it will be political action and economic power that will change things. They will never be "convinced," because it's not, at its heart, a problem of logic, but one of power and money. 

Ora Moose's picture

Geez David, you are sounding more and more like me pardon the self pats on the back and yes I know that you've been doing it much longer than me. I love this blog and think it provides an important huge link between the well informed and the clueless. I am about the most cynical person you will ever meet or read and a believer that sarcasm can not only inflate and escalate but also disarm. When those self important types realize we are laughing at them, they may finally change their tune. Ain't that what you said? Speaking of which, for you classical music lovers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtTGfWDamVE&feature=kp

Dave Milano's picture

David,

I can only pray that economic power is not our only hope for improvement. Economic power is not a change agent, but the problem itself--the cause of most of our ills. It is far worse a master than pseudo-scientific research studies.

In the early 1900s it was the lure of money that took cows out of the countryside and put them into distilleries (creating sick cows and sick children, and of course a stronger economy). Today it is the lure of money that has substituted monoculture for decentralized and diversified farms, antibiotics for farm and outdoor exposures, even birth through an abdominal incision for birth through a vaginal canal (all creating sick cows and sick children, and a stronger economy). In this sort of culture--one that allows money to draw a veil over biological realities--how can we reasonably expect people to thrive, or even tolerate, common biological exposures? Clearly what we need is a different, more compassionate barometer of success than a vigorous money stream.

David Gumpert's picture

Dave, the phrase "economic power" not real good shorthand for the power of the marketplace. To the extent that people come to understand the threats to their families'  health from the products of the monoculture, and actively shift their purchases to local farms, or even grow their own food, change can occur. Indeed, it may be happening as we speak. Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's, and others have been experiencing sales declines in the U.S. in recent years, along with pasteurized milk. Farmers markets are booming. Sellers of raw milk report expanding demand. As you suggest, there is a long ways to go. But these long-term trends have a way of accelerating as word gets around--as Mark McAfee reported with pasteurized milk sales decline accelerating. If these trends continue, we may actually begin to see some leveling off, or declines, in chronic conditions....I'm in an optimistic mood right now. 

Ora Moose's picture

David as you are someone who likely has the research abilities in the food markets world, I'd be a bit leery when you hear of or examine these so called sales declines unless you get to see their actual numbers. For example if the yearly growth rate for the last 10 years is say 11% and then it drops off to 2% it may be called a decline but it is still growing. On the milk side I expect Mark has a pretty good perspective on it.

I'm trying to remain optimistic too, and I think we're on the food quality hump where it has peaked going the wrong way and may be starting to not only level off but headed in the right direction as people get more educated even if they can't afford the best they at least will try to avoid the worst.

David Gumpert's picture

No, I am talking about declines in sales, as in down...not a decline in the rate of growth. There have been a number of reports about it. Here is one; interesting that the declines are coming despite increases in marketing expenditures by the soda companies. Not unlike what is happening with pasteurized milk. http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/07/coke_pepsi_second_quarter.html

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I would drive 20 miles to a farm such as yours. An ideal working farm. Pure heaven.

D. Smith's picture

Starting in 2003 when we were finally able to secure raw milk from a small farm in our area, we had to drive 65 miles one way. No problem, we took coolers, ice, and all necessary precautions. Neither DH nor I are novices at this raw milk thing, we've both been around it all our lives, to some degree.

D. Smith's picture

I should add, those people sold out a couple of years ago because they could see the writing on the wall, and we've had issues getting raw milk in this area ever since. DH drives extensively with the work he does now, and has no problems driving even 100 miles or more one way to get what we need. There just isn't anyone in the area to buy from anymore. Big problem for those of us who love us some fresh milk.

Ora Moose's picture

Tamara, that was really powerful no nonsense perspective, wish I coulda written that but I've lived it as you have.

mark mcafee's picture

The reason that the FDA acted in 1988 to ban interstate commerce was because a court found that Alta Dena was unable to control Salmonalla in its certified raw milk supplies produced in southern CA at a couple of its CAFO operations. Since 1999 there has not been a single case of Salmonella in CA found in raw milk. If that court case was attempted today it would not have the evidence it had in 1987, and would have failed. I make this factual point in my 2nd FDA citizens petition which has been aging at the FDA for nearly a year. Pathogens come and go with conditions and time in our world...they are not constant.

A team from RAWMI and OPDC were invited to tour one of the UC Davis pathogen research labs yesterday. We even had a nice lunch with a lead investigator and held discussions about partnering in the future about collaborations for the advancement of raw milk food safety.

The answer....yes. They are interested and progress will go forward on mutual efforts!! Facts are facts. Regardless of what the national matra against raw milk might be at the highest levels, it has been clearly shown in CA that raw milk is NOT Inherently Dangerous!! Wat is definitely inherently dangerous are the advances in technology and protocols that make 115 year old technologies and notions outdated and no longer applicable. The danger is to the establishment....not raw milk or its consumers!!

OPDC just purchased the Mpengo DQI system and will begin to use it next week. Other RAWMI Listed dairies have already begun to incorporate this technology and it is very effective. When raw milk flows from healthy clean udders and this can be confirmed in 1 min for cheap...that is inherently dangerous to old dogma.

Perhaps the most frustrating elements are waiting and time. Time to wait for the FDA senior management to retire....time to collect the data and publish it....waiting for consumers to amass their pent up anger and to become aware enough to scream loud enough. Time and waiting...while working hard to over come 115 years of excuses and industrial solutions for filthy milk. Glad I have many more years and we have a smart next generation that will take up the effort when we must retire.

Time until pasteurized fluid milk dies off in the market exposing its naked non digestible and super highly allergenic reality, that is perhaps the element that rapidly accelerates this waiting and focuses more light on our greatly under appreciated work.

mark mcafee's picture

The Nobel Prize is not awarded to those that embrace the status quo. It is awarded to those that question the status quo and find a better way for humanity.

D. Smith's picture

You mean like Al Gore and Barack Obama?

churchlanefarm's picture

lol

Ken

Ora Moose's picture

Ken that one was for you. Puppets, you can dress them up to loook however you want, but they're still just pups till you train them or vice versa mary go round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caOQtCWMY-I

Sylvia Gibson's picture

LMAO

Ora Moose's picture

Status quo isn't that the way it used to be or was that just my imagination? I rush home to bed I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow and I wake next morning tired still yawning. Wht's a matchstick?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4YYI8G5EM

ingvar's picture

It seems that the clear and sensible of what I read at TCP, such as what Tamara Martin writes here, is a plumb line that easily exposes the crooked.

I see a mountain of crookedness. A mountain in time. A mountain in pervasiveness. This crookedness, I think, promotes the shadowy world of the false promises of protection. Turn in your freedoms, surrender your freedom!!! And in exchange you are promised protection!!! This perhaps is never made very clear at any one point and that that coupled with the growing up in such an environment sickens, weakens, us all, politically, even morally. Has it become normal?

Our first contacts outside the cave of shadows and in the light of the world of freedom and risk brings also a strangeness with every breath. Do we flee, turn back into the (familiar) shadows? Calling out in our unreasoning fear, into the blank darkness for help, pleading for more, and better, laws and regulations? We are accommodated… more laws and regulations block the route out. Driving us forward into the labyrinth. Echoey, dying, promises lure us deeper, frustrations and confusion growing as we direct our every fear-controlled step away from the light and from freedom’s air.

The Declaration of Independence trumps the Constitution and the Constitution trumps every downstream legislation, judicial opinion, and executive action. Divine providence trumps the whole shebang. Our familiar shadowy cave of false promises may just be a shortcut to hell itself, lit only by a few dying embers, residues of freedoms. Maybe, when in fear-driven fleeing, when crossing the finish line of the race to be protected from every conceivable risk, you drop off a cliff, welcomed into hell. Of course that is speculation on the end result, but what is not speculation is that apprehension is the coin of the realm in that place, that cave; there is no comfort. That is simply another false promise. Comfort is only where there is freedom, risk, and the light of life itself.

Or so it seems to me.

A glorious Easter to all,
Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

Ora Moose's picture

Ingvar, what do you wish the Westerners?

Ora Moose's picture

Westers? Do they paint eggs out there?

ingvar's picture

Glad you asked!

Yes, there are laws in that place of the light of life and freedoms and risk.

But they are not these laws.

mark mcafee's picture

http://rawmilkinstitute.net/listed-farmers/listed-farmer-the-family-cow/

I want to publicly invite everyone to visit Edwin Shanks RAWMI portal. He is finally live at RAWMI and looking great.

One of the wonderful things about RAWMI RAMP plans is that they are not all the same. Each farmer writes his own plan with in the parameters of RAWMI, using the RAMP template. I can tell that Ed really takes it seriously. I have never seen as many CCP points. He has pioneered the use of an electronic system that monitors and reports a huge number of Critical data points continuously.

Edwin has also pioneered the effective use of an on farm lab....he has unselfishly mentored and shared his knowledge of this lab experience with many others. Namely, Marcy in Tennessee that now has her own coliform lab and is doing a great job of producing great quality raw milk. Hopefully, Marcy will become Listed soon and join the growing community of Listed producers.

We at RAWMI are very proud of all of our Listed producers and look forward to the track record of excellence that flows from each producer and their RAMP practices. The greatest thing we as producers can do is to produce high quality low risk raw milk for our consumers. The greatest thing we can do for humanity is to change the paradigm of thought by creating a demonstrated data driven track record of excellence.

Our family of Listed producers is growing!!

mark mcafee's picture

I see more talk of freedom....

I love freedom. I have earned mine.

In states where raw milk is suppressed and frustrated, the fight has become radicalized. The radicalized faction becomes a food freedom movement very quickly. I do understand this desire to really reach out and choke the regulatory oppressors. In states where raw milk is legal in some form...we see much less radicalization, because freedoms are not being oppressed.

I guess the regulatory powers deserve what they have created, if they do not want to fight against radicals...then they should consider the idea of stopping the requirement to fight for freedom in the first place.

In the normalized raw milk markets however, it is food safety and not food freedom that feeds people. If food safety is disregarded, producers could never sell raw milk because they could not get insurance and they would be under random and frequent if not constant recall from raw milk related illnesses.

Sorry guys....food safety preempts food freedom, why? Because you will get all the freedom you can handle after you have demonstrated that you are safe. Freedom does not matter if a kid is sick from your raw milk!!

This is a big fight.

In the next couple of years, it is my goal to bring the FDA to a place of reason by critical demonstration that raw milk is Not Inherently Dangerous. In fact, the facts will show that raw milk safety is directly related to the conditions where it is produced and the management systems in place to confirm those conditions...ie testing etc...RAMP plans. Big goal?? No not really. This is a market reality and demand will direct this goal to its achievement. The Internet has uncovered all the lies and secret is out of the raw milk bottle.

mark mcafee's picture

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

Lets do lunch when you are out in CA. Michele can set it up, you pick the place, I am buying. I really do think you will find me to be a really nice guy. All I want is a chance to build a bridge of understanding so that the FDA can become a true food safety asset to help raw milk dairies and raw milk consumers that chose to be involved with raw milk. You are the guy at the top. You know where fluid pasteurized milk sales are headed....you know that pasteurized milk is listed at the very top of your most allergenic foods in America List. Lets do some detente...it is time to serve America.

Ora Moose's picture

"I am buying. I really do think you will find me to be a really nice guy." Sometimes you just seem too humble Mark but we still love you. When you coming to Massachusetts? I'll even throw in some used Patriots tickets. Just kidding of course, but a pigskin spirals. My sister married a Sheehan does that count?

mark mcafee's picture

One more thing John,

When leafy greens had serious problems, the FDA constructively helped out. When sprouts had their challenges, the FDA helped. Strawberries, cantaloups, oysters, spinach, pasteurized dairy products...The list goes on and on....none of these foods are considered labeled as inherently dangerous, but all of these have killed many. None of these are banned in interstate commerce.

American fluid Raw milk has killed none since 1972 ( cdc data ) and its demand is huge and rising. Pasteurized dairy has killed at least 77 by my count and confirmed by cdc data since 1972. Why can't the FDA provide service to this emerging raw milk market ? Shock us all, lets have lunch and start sharing and talking. I will even not blog about the content of our alliance. I am serious about raw milk food safety. Congressman McClintocks office called over and asked for a meeting with the congressional FDA liaison. The time has come to talk constructively and put the last 100 years behind us all.

Ora Moose's picture

Wow that Family Cow website looks really great, wish I lived within walking distance I'd be over there to work for free (or milk, rubatagas and kale etc.) Good looking place and family Edwin, I'm almost jealous if I didn't have my own.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

The gov has made buying health insurance mandatory, what makes anyone think they will stop at just that? Our freedoms to include choices have been eroding for years, more so in the last 10-20 yrs. The fda/cdc will never be satisfied with clean raw milk, it doesn't matter what "numbers" say.

They want to enforce such strict regulations, that they would/are regulating farmers right out of business. Unless people stand up to them, like they did in Nev, it will not change. I sadly don't see that happening any time soon.

Ora Moose's picture

Sylvia, I fear you are correct regarding regulations and the need for people to take notice, stand up and make THEM accountable to us. I saw that happen in my backyard in Foxboro and it was certainly an eye opener for everyone involved especially the politicos. Wait, they're going to stand up to us?

That seems to be what happened in Nevada but don't be fooled, word on the street is that they used it as an "intelligence exercise" so they will have better control next time, now knowing who how and when people will communicate act and react. And even though I took my son to about 20 or so Boston Marathons in downtown Boston, you couldn't pay me enough to be there next week. Security is a for-profit business, not safe anymore.

mark mcafee's picture

Sylvia,

After we have made the proof of raw milk safety available in peer reviewed and transparently available form. After the FDA refuses to meet with congressmen that insist on their attention. After we drag them into court one more time on my Citizens petition....then, we will force it down their throats, whether they like it or not. If it takes a Supreme Court challenge or a 50,000 raw milk consumer march on WA DC, in the coming years we will make our case in the science, in the peer reviewed articles, in the test data, in the market place...and most essentially in the immune systems of grateful consumers. The FDA will be given ample opportunities to meet with us, to look at our data, to visit our RAWMI Listed producers. In the end....they will meet or resign and or new faces will bring reason to the table. But...it will not be raw milk that did not reach out first for detente jand also prove our case. That is why RAWMI critical, it absolutely proves our point on North American soil...!!

In the end of his battle, freedom fighters will meet raw milk safety excellence and together the FDA will change or be changed.

mark mcafee's picture

Here are some new dairy sales facts to warm your heart. Greek yogurt sales climbed 45% nationally in 2013 with all yogurts rising 3.3% nationally. This is the EU trend line.

With the non renewal of Stan Andre's employment contract as CEO of the CMAB ( the GOT MILK? people ) CA fluid milk sales dropped 4.2% in 2013...that in just one year!!!! That is far worse than ever before. I do not think that the loss of Stan is the reason for the drop. In 2011 ( I think that was the year, may have been 2010 ) the CMAB spent $1 dollar per citizen in CA to try and either stop the fall or attempt to increase the sale of white fluid milk. For that investment, there was about a 2% decline in sales for fluid milk!!! In my opinion, more people did go out and try fluid white milk, only to find that they were allergic or could not digest it. The $35 million dollar gamble lost big time and actually accelerated the drop rate. People tried it..but..no likie.

The saving grace for USA dairymen has been the 20% decline of Chinese dairy output last year and a huge increase in Chinese demand for USA produced dairy products and proteins. The Chinese have learned not to trust Chinese dairies.

What does that mean for raw milk producers? Who knows?? We are very local and people just continue to dollar vote for...no fluid milk, almond milk, and....yes...raw milk. Sales increased 25% year over year at OPDC on our fluid raw milk!!! Perhaps this is data that really scares big dairy.

mark mcafee's picture

Ora,

Coming to Pennsylvania in November for the East Coast RAWMI training day. Date not set yet. But it will be in collaboration with the good professors at Pen State.

mark mcafee's picture

Ora,

The Nevada cattlemens rebellion against the BLM and its SWAT rangers was a very interesting test of what a future grass roots dollar voters uprising might look and act like.

In my opinion, do not trust future rebellions to look anything like this. The rangers screwed up by not closing all access roads and sorting through cars that were trying to access to cattlemen in support. The classic police tactic is to shut down all roads so that a mass can not be created to begun with. By letting a whole bunch of pissed off people congregate in the desert with guns on horse back, the rangers failed. Expect in the future that all roads that access a future uprising event will be blocked and people arrested as ones and twos for weapons violations or just looking upset!! That is what you can expect in round two. The government can not deal with large motivated well armed groups that share a common cause and indeed they will not. But they can arrest people that are on their way to protest when they are alone and not amassed into a powerful large voice and force.

That's the way I see this. Hang together....or get hung one by one.