Monday, August 19, 2013

Raw Milk Monday...Tiers of the Future?

Please note: If you are new to my blog you can catch up on the reasons for my raw milk passion and the struggles our own farm have experienced, by reading any of the previous posts on the topic I have written over the last 3 years . To do so, simply enter "Raw Milk" in the search bar under the picture of our house, on the right.

“The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk.”
Ogden Nash, Free Wheeling    

"Free Milk to the first person who gets that annoying fly off my nose"
Polly the cow at South Pork Ranch
For years we lived, if not completely in fear, but certainly in caution, of our own state government. Due to advice from other farmers, here say seen in newspapers (sorry, I can no longer call it "reporting" since so few actually do the research and then "report"), the words of do's and don'ts to follow when selling or transporting raw milk within the state boundaries, and the news shared by legitimate researchers, we have learned that Illinois was not a true supporter of small farmers.

Especially small farmers who played with cows udders.

But the actions of Illinois raw milk farmers in the last few months may cause the state of Illinois to re-evaluate their position. Next month we, the raw milk farmers and consumers of Illinois meet again with those from The Illinois Department of Public Health. the FDA, the USDA, along with reps from several big dairy.

This meeting may very well change the history of raw milk production and sales in Illinois.

We, the group of pro-raw milk folk, will continue to push a two tier system for raw milk production. The first Tier will be for those farmers who want to keep life simple . Farmers who sell direct to the consumer off their farm and into the consumers container, will be required to register with the state but that's all. No mandatory testing of either the livestock or the consumer and no inspections or testing.  And the consumer splits the risk (and trust) with the raw milk farmer.

The Second Tier will require much more of the farmer (Registration, Inspection, Testing of the milk, the farmer, the cow and maybe even the farmers second wives neighbors kids, the details are not yet final) . None of the items this group is recommending is final yet. But in return the farmer will be allowed to sell their milk from their home AND at the farmers market AND maybe even in the retail establishment. Time shall tell.

So, after a long summer of selling raw milk in a variety of ways, farmers will meet again in Sept. with the higher ups who believe that raw milk is best sold not at all. In the meantime we are enjoying our bit of raw milk freedom. Last week I saw a farmer selling raw milk out of his tractor cab in the middle of the mall and another one was offering it as a "gateway drink" just outside our local taverns door. Just kidding....or am I ???


  1. I HOPE you're not just kidding. You know I've always loved you for that feisty attitude! Keep up the good work! Missing me some Donna and Keith :)

  2. our government should put that effort into controlling drugs, not milk!

  3. @Jaz: WHICH drugs? IMO, the raw milk fight is very close to the War on "some" drugs. What I choose to put in my body is none of your, or the government's business as long as it does not hurt anyone else.


    Glad you're still spearheading this raw milk fight. I wish I lived closer to you (or at least had somebody to milk MY goats so I could do a "vacation" with ya), but I still do what I can here in AR. There was just a law passed about raw cow milk in the small farmers favor so at least word is getting around and government is getting OUT of our food.

    Keep up the good fight, oh goddess of the raw milk (and pork chops).

  4. Thanks Zan, Jaz and Carolyn for the great comments. Here in Illinois there is still work to do on the raw milk front but the warriors I a working with are amazing.

  5. Thanks for your work on this issue. At least your state is allowing raw milk advocates a seat at the table. I can't say the same for most states.

  6. I continue going to stores asking them if they have raw milk for sale. When they point me to the organic, homogenized milk, i shake my head and explain that i wasn nonpasteurized, nonhomogenized milk. You know, raw milk. Some look fearful, some laugh, and i say, well never mind, i'll just do my shopping at X grocery that has it available.

    Yes, i'm talking a "real" grocery store. Not a co-op or organic food place where they have raw milk, and 100 kinds of tofu and seaweed sandwiches, but a place where i can buy factory farmed meat, if i choose (I don't), a pack of cigarettes (quit smoking in 1989), and a bottle of raw milk.

    Just think of the ad campaign. "Pick up raw milk--wherever cigarettes and beer are sold." Catchy, eh?

  7. M. H. Our state did finally "allow" raw milk farmers and consumers at the decision making table but we had to fight to be included. Well worth the trouble

  8. are too funny. No actually you are just the right amount of funny.