“There are any number of reasons why the negotiations over herdshares taking place in California—between owners of small dairies and the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture– over the last few months should not work.
Many tiny dairies dispensing raw goat’s or cow’s milk through such operations feel as a matter of principle that they shouldn’t have to negotiate a right that is already theirs—the right to contract with neighbors and friends for milk and other dairy and food products.
Even if they aren’t so principled, many shy away from making their presence known to the CDFA. They figure that no matter what comes out of these discussions—even the least onerous regulatory structure—they’d rather not be on any more government agency lists than are necessary. Assuming the CDFA never gives them trouble, who knows what other authorities the agency may send their way.
Those that are open to negotiation and regulation worry that it’s nearly impossible for the regulators to be fair. So against raw milk are most of the regulators, in this view, there is no way they will negotiate in good faith.
Dr. Annette Whiteford of the California Department of Food and AgricultureDespite all these obstacles, CDFA’s chief veterinarian and director of animal health and food safety services, Annette Whiteford, is optimistic a workable solution can be found to the issue—an issue that only became an issue when the CDFA began issuing cease-and-desist orders last year against small dairies operating herdshares….”