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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for February 26, 2010

Idaho Legislature rejects raw milk rules

The Idaho Legislature has shot down negotiated rules by the Idaho Department of Agriculture regarding raw milk.

The proposed rule would have updated quality standards for raw milk and exempted operations with three cows or less from meeting Grade A facility standards, a state requirement for selling raw milk.

Meeting Grade A standards is a costly endeavor, which has led to backyard sales, or "cow shares," in an attempt to circumvent the requirement. With the cow share arrangement, customers pay a farmer a certain amount and claim ownership of the cow. That way the farmer isn't selling the milk.

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What is America eating and where? USDA's interactive website has answers

When First Lady Michelle Obama launched her "Let's Move" campaign recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture must have heard her loud and clear. It launched two fascinating components on its website looking at what, where and how we eat. 

One new feature: an interactive mapping tool called Your Food Environment Atlas. Across all 50 states, county by county, you can find the number of farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores. FYI: Cook County has 4005 fast food restaurants, 3516 full-service eateries, 1460 grocery stories, 23 supercenters/clubs, 490 convenience stores (806 with gas) and 82 farmers markets. The online info also lists adult diabetes and obesity rates, and it compares price ratios of fruit vs. packaged sweet snacks and whole grain vs. refined grain.

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Public Hearing to be Held in Eau Claire Over Raw Milk Bill

The public will soon have an opportunity to share their input on a bill that would allow dairy farms to sell unpasteurized milk to people who want it. The Assembly and Senate Agriculture Committees are both traveling to Eau Claire next month to hold a joint public hearing on Senate Bill 434. The forum will be held March 10 at Chippewa Valley Technical College, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Specifically, the measure authorizes a dairy farmer with a grade A dairy farm permit to sell unpasteurized milk, buttermilk, butter, and cream directly to consumers if they obtain a raw milk permit from the Department of Agriculture. It also states that the container must be prepared and filled in a sanitary manner; and the dairy farmer would have to display a sign indicating that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization. Current law prohibits the sale of unpasteurized milk and other milk products.

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