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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for February 12, 2010

NAIS Decision Greeted With Rejoicing, Some Concern

Judging by the mostly negative comments USDA officials got at a May 2009 hearing in Harrisburg on the proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS), it was clear that the department would have its hands full reaching a consensus on a project they have been trying to implement since 2004.

Last week, the department abandoned its plans to fully implement NAIS, choosing instead to go in a different direction of requiring premises involved in interstate commerce to register their animals, but giving states the flexibility to develop their own program per USDA guidelines that are still being developed.


Dairyman: Demand for raw milk will grow

Boise, Idaho - A dairyman in Idaho is predicting that the demand for raw milk will continue to grow as more and more people discover it.

Mike Reid, who runs the second licensed raw dairy in Teton County, says once the consumer tastes raw milk for the first time "it's impossible to go back" to the pasteurized variety, the Idaho Statesman reported Friday.


New USDA Rules Establish Strong Organic Standards for Pasture and Livestock

WASHINGTON, DC — After over 10 years of lobbying, family farmers across the country, who produce organic milk, are celebrating the release of strict new USDA regulations that establish distinct benchmarks requiring the grazing and pasturing of dairy cows and other livestock. Many hope that the new rule will put an end to the abuses that have flooded the organic market with suspect milk from a handful of mega-dairies generally confining thousands of animals in feed lots and barns.

“We are delighted by the new rules,” said Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. “The organic community has been calling for strong regulations and its enforcement for much of the past decade. Cheap organic milk flowing from the illegitimate factory farms has created a surplus that is crushing ethical family farm producers.”


Raw Milk Gets Push At Capitol

ATLANTA — Athens-area lawmaker Doug McKillip is pushing a bill to make it legal to sell and drink raw milk in Georgia. Known as the Dairy Consumer Choice Act, the legislation would put producers of unpasturized -- or raw milk -- under the same state regulation as other dairy farmers.

Eric Wagoner owns an organic food online farmers market in Athens. He says McKillip’s bill (HB 1098) is set-up well for hopeful passage.

“It’s modeled after the laws in South Carolina, which have not just inspections, but also testing for bacteria levels and things to absolutely ensure the milk’s safety."


Dan Popkey: Raw-milk dispute reveals covert culture

One of Idaho's most powerful businessmen has allied with an underground movement of raw-milk drinkers to take on the biggest force in Idaho agriculture - the $2.1 billion dairy industry.

Frank VanderSloot, the founder of Melaleuca Inc. - with $850 million in annual sales - tried to kill a new rule aimed at bringing scores of small raw dairies under the Idaho Department of Agriculture's regulation.


TED Eats: Food, The Environment, and Health

Why Food Is The Talk Of TED 2010?

Big issues are hard. They're scary. And they tend to make people put their head in their hands.

So at TED 2010 -- it all comes down to food.

Why? Because as it turns out food is at the center of many of the big issues that face the world.


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