From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“Last month, while visiting at a small ag and liberal arts school in upstate New York to give a talk, I got to tour its well-run conventional dairy of more than 300 cows (and a 50,000-gallon bulk tank—pictured at left). It serves as an on-campus training facility for students at the school, the State University of New York in Cobbleskill.
I also got to meet with a dairy professor. I didn’t expect a lot of encouraging words, given the school’s focus on conventional dairying, and how I predicted in my talk at the school ongoing upheaval in the food world, symbolized by the raw milk revolution. Continue reading
Raw milk prohibition, that is.
From Real Farmacy.com
“Buying and selling raw dairy products across state lines has been outlawed in the U.S. since the late 1980s, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that Americans were no longer free to make their own food decisions without government approval. But this senseless and unconstitutional policy of prohibition could soon become history if a bipartisan effort to restore food freedom reaches a breaking point in Congress.
The Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014, or H.R. 4307, would lift current FDA restrictions that prohibit all interstate trade involving raw milk. Under the new legislation, farmers who produce raw milk and sell it to eager customers looking for a more nutritious alternative to commercial swill would no longer have to worry about being fined, for instance, or raided at gunpoint by government goons with control issues. Continue reading
David E. Gumpert, of The Complete Patient blog, thinks it will be by amping up the fear factor. From his latest post:
“The proposed legislation to rescind or liberalize the federal ban on interstate raw milk sales holds out the prospect of a national debate on raw milk.
How so? There will need to be one or more hearings on the legislation before the House committee with responsibility for the legislation.
An aide to Kentucky Cong.[Congressman] Thomas Massie, who is leading the bipartisan “Milk Freedom” legislative effort, says he doesn’t have a specific timetable for when hearings could be held, but emailed me, “We hope sooner rather than later.” The hearings would be held before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Continue reading
While some states allow raw milk sales and others don’t, the seemingly arbitrary prohibition on interstate raw milk sales has been contentious for some time. In an episode of what looks surprisingly much like good government, American legislators are actually getting together across party lines to act in the interests of people rather than corporations. Good for them. And good for America. We could do with more of that.
Thomas Massie. Frame grab from C-Span via wn.com
From Bill Marler’s Food Safety News:
“A left-right libertarian coalition led by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) is sponsoring two bills in Congress to permit the interstate sales of raw milk. Massie says the bills are but the first in a series of “food freedom” measures he plans to introduce. One would overturn the interstate ban on raw milk, while the other would permit interstate shipment of raw milk only if two states already permitted intrastate sale. Continue reading
From farmer Joel Salatin, August 18, 2013, via the Polyface Farm FB page:
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Photo: USDAgov/Flickr
Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe. I did and still do consider it a distinct honor for his staff to invite me as one of the 25 dignitaries in Virginia Agriculture for this think-tank session in Richmond. Continue reading
From Farm to Consumer Legal Defense:
Stearns County, Minnesota—(August 5, 2013)—Peaceful farmer, Alvin Schlangen, faces five criminal charges with a possible penalty of up to 15 months imprisonment and $5,000 in fines at his trial slated to run August 13-15, 2013, in St. Cloud. Schlangen is no stranger to the inside of a courtroom having already been prosecuted—and found not guilty by a jury—in September 2012 in Hennepin County on three charges related to delivering food to members of a private buying club.
Attorney Nathan Hansen, in St. Paul retained by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), is representing Schlangen. Hansen also handled the Hennepin trial.
Schlangen offers members of the private buying club, Freedom Farms Co-op, the benefit of his volunteer delivery service as he picks up members’ food items, including raw milk, from other farms and delivers it along with products from his Freeport farm. Horse-and-buggy farmers, who otherwise would have difficulty getting their farm products distributed, especially appreciate Schlangen’s delivery service. Continue reading
The usual suspects. Book cover via Tagan’s Kitchen blog. Click image to go there.
Maybe YOU are a food activist. Perhaps you blog about food issues. Maybe you go to demonstrations, and come out to support your farmer at court appearances. Maybe you make a point of buying raw milk, even though you could do without, just to cast your vote in the marketplace of dollars. Do you ever wonder whether all that fuss and bother makes a difference? Well, according to Tony Gucciardi, who writes on the Natural Society blog, you and your kind are keeping food processors up at night, and giving them cause to worry about what the future holds for the way they have been doing business. Continue reading
From Evaggelos Vallianatos at Independent Science News:
Abandoned farmhouse, Washington. Photo: Homini
The plutocratic remaking of America has a parallel in the countryside. In rural America less than 3 percent of farmers make more than 63 percent of the money, including government subsidies.
The results of this emerging feudal economy are everywhere. Large areas of the United States are becoming impoverished farm towns with abandoned farmhouses and deserted land. More and more of the countryside has been devoted to massive factory farms and plantations. The consequences, though worse now than ever, have been there for all to see and feel, for decades. Continue reading
From Mike Hixenbaugh, at HamptonRoads.com:
Left: Jeremiah Crane, 21, does the evening milking, a chore that has been a rite of passage for the Crane children. Right: Elizabeth Minor feeds her two year old daughter Maren with milk from the Holly Grove Cowshare. They started feeding her raw milk when she was one. (Preston Gannaway | The Virginian-Pilot) Photos and caption info via Hampton Roads.com. Click image for more.
“It’s a scorching summer morning, and David Crane is standing with arms stretched wide in the middle of a pasture.
He steps cautiously toward a stubborn cow, cajoling her to move out of the heat and into a shady patch a few hundred feet away.
“Come on, girl,” he says quietly, almost whispering. “It’s OK.”
The cow bucks suddenly, knocking the husky middle-aged farmer off-balance and onto the ground in a cloud of dust. Crane hops back up, pats the dirt from his blue jeans and moves in again, arms wide, toward the cow. Continue reading