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News for May 21, 2010

Wis. GOP gov hopeful would sign raw milk bill

Republican candidate for governor Mark Neumann says he would have signed a bill legalizing raw milk sales in Wisconsin that Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed.

The other major Republican candidate Scott Walker was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

READ MORE (Businessweek) ]

Farm group sees lost opportunity in raw milk veto

While a coalition of agriculture groups urged Governor Jim Doyle to veto legislation which would have allowed for the on-farm sales of raw milk in Wisconsin, at least one farm group sees a lost opportunity in Doyle's veto of the bill. Kara Slaughter with Wisconsin Farmers Union says it's a lost opportunity for a segment of dairy farmers and consumers. "Even though over half of states in the U.S. have some form of raw milk sales, raw milk only accounts for one to three percent of all milk sales in the U.S." said Slaughter. "This was always going to be a small percentage of milk sales. It's a big deal for farmers who saw it as a market opportunity."

And a lost opportunity to regulate the sales of unpasteurized milk which, Slaughter notes was happening before the bill was proposed in the legislature and which will continue. "This bill had lots of great safety provisions," she noted. "It required that all the sellers were Grade A certified. It required testing, and record keeping so that in the event of illness so that those other customers could be notified immediately." Slaughter said arguments from opponents of the legislation, that illness from drinking raw milk would taint Wisconsin's dairy industry, seemed overblown because most consumers would have continued to buy pasteurized milk. "It would be very clear to any customer whether they're buying pasteurized or unpasteurized milk," she said.

READ MORE (Wisconsin Radio Network) ]

Raw Milk Issue Isn't Over

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the bill that would have allowed direct sales of raw milk to consumers, according to Dairy Profit Weekly editor Dave Natzke in Friday's DairyLine broadcast, despite the fact that, earlier this year, the Second Annual International Raw Milk Symposium was held in Wisconsin, and after a bill allowing the sale of unpasteurized milk cleared the state Senate this spring, it appeared Wisconsin would join more than two dozen other states in allowing the sale of raw milk to consumers directly from the farm or through retail outlets.

In his veto message, Doyle said he recognized there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue, but said he came down on the side of public health and safety, charging the bill contained inadequate testing requirements to ensure the public safety when consuming raw milk. Doyle also said any disease outbreaks related to raw milk sales could be financially detrimental to the state's dairy industry.

READ MORE (Dairyline) ]

Raw Milk Rally

Alex Lewin reported on his blog, FEED ME LIKE YOU MEAN IT, the May 10 Boston Raw Milk Rally. The Rally was followed by a public hearing with Commissioner Scott Soares of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) who is simultaneously claiming that raw milk buying clubs are illegal and trying to create legislation making them illegal. Lewin points out that selling raw milk is one of the best (and indeed only) ways for a small dairy farm in New England to stay in business. Raw milk drinkers pay $6-$10/gal directly to farmers for raw milk, while processors pay farmers only $1-$2/gal. People have been buying milk on-farm for many years in Massachusetts.

READ MORE (Slow Money) ]

Both sides react to raw milk veto

People on both sides of the argument to allow farmers to sell unpasteurized milk in Wisconsin are reacting to Governor Doyle's veto.

Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association executive director John Umhoefer says many people in the dairy industry worried that one outbreak from tainted raw milk could damage the entire industry.



Use this form to update your market information for the 2010 USDA National Farmers Market Directory


Mobile Slaughter Unit Manual

This manual offers comprehensive guidance for anyone interested in building and/or operating an inspected mobile slaughter unit (MSU) based upon on the experiences and expertise of several USDA-inspected MSUs in operation.

READ MORE (UMass Extension) ]

New law bans pesticides on NY schools' grass

Gov. David A. Paterson signed New York's Child Safe Playing Fields Act into law on Tuesday, exciting organic lawn proponents, child health and safety advocates, and a certain Newsday garden blogger.

The law, which bans the use of chemical pesticides on school grounds, including playing fields and playgrounds, also has been hailed by Paul Tukey, author of "The Organic Lawn Care Manual"

READ MORE (Newsday) ]

Lawmaker: Raw milk bill will come back

One day after Governor Doyle vetoed a bill that would have legalized the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin, a State Representative says he will introduce a similar bill again next year.

State Representative Chris Danou (D-91st) says that he will reintroduce a raw milk bill next session. Danou says it would likely be with State Senator Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls).


Healthy Living While Traveling Is Now Possible With Organic Travel's Free Online Travel Guides

Organic Travel ( announced today that it has added new content to its worldwide travel guides. Organic Travel publishes guides to healthy and organic places. In the guides you will find natural food markets, farmer's markets, organic and healthy restaurants, organic wineries, outdoor and natural attractions to visit and much more. These guides are perfect for people who like to travel but find it difficult to find healthy alternatives to the standard dining fare available at most restaurants. The guide is great for people with special diets such as gluten-free, low-carb, preservative free food and other needs.

New to Organic Travel's guides are completely non-smoking hotels, natural and outdoors attractions and pesticide-free parks. At an entirely non-smoking hotel you don't have to worry that a non-smoking room may not be available. Also, you don't have to worry about the smoke from neighboring rooms or floors. Natural and outdoor attractions include organic farms and wineries, parks for camping, nature tours, wildlife viewing and other places to visit. Pesticide-free parks are those that don't use chemical pesticides on the grass, making it safer for everyone, including children and pets.

READ MORE (PRNewswire) ]

Farmers shocked by raw milk ruling

Janet Brunner of Midvalleyvu Farm in Arkansaw said the governor's veto of the raw milk bill Wednesday came as a shock because the governor had supported raw milk sales in visits to area farms last summer.

"It's quite a shot in the gut," Brunner said. "What bothers me more than anything is that he chose to listen to big industry instead of the small farmer."

READ MORE (Leader Telegram) ]

Free milk, free votes just waiting to be picked up

I shouldn't be surprised Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed the bill allowing farmers to legally sell raw milk. He's been going after the little guy ever since he was the state attorney general raiding mom and pop taverns across the state because they had a video poker machine or two in them to make a little money for themselves. And I'm not surprised he flipped-flopped on the issue, telling one and all he would sign the bill and then vetoing as soon as Big Ag got to him along with nanny state bureaucrats. He did the same thing on the issue of re-establishing the appointment of the DNR Secretary by the state's Natural Resources Board. No, I'm not surprised at all at his actions. They're perfect Diamond Jim's profile.

READ MORE (American Conservative) ]

Headfirst into the Raw Milky Way

The Massachuessetts Department of Agriculture and Resources (MDAR) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) say they support our small dairy farms, but what do they really support?


USDA study shows gaps in livestock production, small slaughter plants

USDA unveiled a gap analysis study today (May 20) that maps the locations of small livestock producers by county and compares production to the availability of small slaughter processing facilities as well as rendering plants. The study was conducted by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service as part of the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative that aims to broaden local and regional marketing opportunities for farmers of all sizes.

The slaughter plant gap study show geographical gaps between small producers of cattle, swine, and poultry and the availability of both federally inspected plants and state inspected plants that are defined as small facilities. There is a composite map between of all species and all small slaughter and rendering plants.

READ MORE (Feedstuffs) ]

Dairy crisis on agenda of USDA national advisory committee

USDA's Dairy Industry Advisory Committee will meet for its second session, June 3-4, in Washington, D.C. to discuss farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability, review current USDA programs and federal dairy policy, hear proposals from dairy industry groups and hear comments from the public.

The meeting is open to the public. Written comments for the committee's consideration can be filed on the committee website at The two-day meeting will convene at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C., in room 104-A of the Jamie L. Whitten Building.

READ MORE (Feedstuffs) ]

U.S. spells out how it will combat world hunger

The U.S. global anti-hunger strategy will focus on a small number of countries where collaborative projects can expand local food production and reduce chronic hunger, the Obama administration said on Thursday.

Rajiv Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, outlined the administration's strategy, called Feed the Future Guide, at a daylong conference. It described how to match international donations and expertise with local efforts.

READ MORE (Reuters) ]

Fonterra eyes massive organic growth by 2014

Fonterra says it expects its organic business - selling the milk from 20,000 cows certified as organic livestock - to surge by 140 percent over the next five years on the back of burgeoning global demand for organic dairy ingredients.

"Dairy is the fastest-growing category in the international organic market, and having seen 60 percent growth over the past two years we are well placed to build on this," said Fonterra's organic global category manager Rick Carmont.

READ MORE (New Zealand National Business Review) ]

Study suggests organic baby products could reduce risk of ADHD

The risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be reduced for children who are bathed and moisturised with organic baby products at an early age.

Research conducted by Harvard University and the University of Montreal looked at the link between pesticides and the prevalence of ADHD in young people.

READ MORE (Big Green Smile) ]

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