From the Midlife Farm Wife (from April 28, 2014):
“Illinois Farm Bureau recently posted on their web site their view of the current raw milk battle in Illinois and although I do appreciate their moderate transparency , I certainly do not appreciate their very wishy washy stance, but I have never been a big fan of wishy washy in any arena.
Either you support small farmers or you support Big Ag and Big Government. The article states “We support their right to choose, provided the dairy farmers that are producing this food product are subject to some oversight, and the milk is picked up at the farm in the consumer’s container.”
Interesting how IFB “supports” the consumers right to choose. Since when do Americans need any organizations support to make our own choices? And the reference to some oversight is a blatant lie. The oversight has mushroomed from one small page to several pages of rules and regulations that if passed will be extremely detrimental to small raw milk farmers and consumers alike.
And why must the milk only be picked up at the farm? Several members of the dairy work group specifically stated they would be willing to endure more testing, and inspecting to ensure a safe product, if allowed to sell at farmers markets retail settings. But they were ignored and IDPH flipped over on them taking those (still proposed) additional testing and inspecting requirements and applying them to ALL raw milk producers, even those with JUST ONE COW OR GOAT!
Jim Fraley, author of the recent article has visited our farm and drank our raw milk. He has sat across from us as we all attempted to work together on the ill-conceived Dairy Work Group Committee created, controlled and disbanded (before any real consensus was reached) by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in 2013.
He verbally supported the raw milk farmers and consumers who served on this committee and in fact when the group often came to a standstill where common ground seemed unobtainable, it was Jim who stood in front of both sides and pulled us towards goals we felt we all could live with. Keith and I felt like he was really hearing small raw milk farmers, and that he was well representing our concerns to the group HE worked for, The Illinois Farm Bureau.
But then when the general assembly was hearing the ill-gotten House Bill 4036 amendment #1 just last month, where Representative Burke was asking that all raw milk sales be made illegal in Illinois, Jim Fraley stopped taking our calls….”
Note: It’s been a couple weeks since this story was originally posted.