Special to the Bovine from Michael Schmidt:
Why farmers matter.
Today I had the honor to meet one of the unsung heroes of the North American Raw milk movement.
David Lynch, no not the film maker, yes the real farmer who so far seemed to be the only one who successfully in the long run carved out a legislative exemption for cow shares in the US.
We met during his Thursday delivery at a parking lot in the Rocky Mountains.
It was as refreshing as the fresh mountain air to talk to this man who opened the legal door for over 70 cow shares in Colorado.
He founded the Raw Milk Association of Colorado whose goal has been to provide a collective unified voice and support for raw milk dairies. He says “we have the power of the people , a support network for developing our own standards and self regulation without Government intervention”.
It is worthwhile to visit their website www.rawmilkcolorado.org and get a good understanding why this should become a prime example of responsible self governance.
Meeting David was one of these moments I treasure most. Here a down to earth farmer has taken the initiative to achieve the impossible but week after week delivers personally the milk bottles to his members.
With the support of hundreds of consumers and I guess also farmers they managed to get 95% of the parliamentary vote to support the legalization of cow shares in Colorado.
Most of the cow shares are small and he acknowledged that they are promoting cow shares to a maximum of 25 cows in order to manage all aspects of cow sharing properly.
Voluntary testing is done monthly and expert advise is part of the membership benefits.
My daughter who is a massage therapist in Vail Colorado is a member of his cow share operation, therefore I had the opportunity to verify the quality aspect of his yogurt and milk.
As he was loading his truck and as we said good bye, he pointed out that they can make a decent living with their twelve cows and that it is most gratifying.
I left with inner gratitude and thought, yes indeed, small is beautiful, as beautiful as the mountains surrounding us.
I intentionally did not ask him how much infighting he had to face reaching this point, because I wanted to have no bitter taste when drinking his milk.
But who knows may be those farmers and consumers in Colorado are more civilized than us Canadians up north. Who would have guessed.
At the end it did not matter to me anyhow because I keep embracing the struggle for a better world.
I will be home in two days to milk the cows again.