[permaculture] [Fwd: [SANET-MG] Creation: Raw Dairy Choice Campaign]
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lfl at intrex.net
Mon Jul 4 23:29:31 EDT 2005
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Creation: Raw Dairy Choice Campaign
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2005 14:49:55 -0700
From: Chrys Ostrander <chrys at THEFUTUREISORGANIC.NET>
Today, July 4, 2005, is a fitting time to declare independence.
I'm declaring independence as a human being with the right to provide
for my own dietary sustenance and to freely associate with my friends
and neighbors to this end.
Today I'm launching an independent campaign I'm calling "The Future is
Organic Raw Dairy Choice Campaign".
I've decided to pare down my involvement in dairy regulation reform
activism to concentrate on making the unregulated shareholder dairy
model a legally recognized option for consumers and producers across
I've developed a position paper as well as a website with background
information. The position paper is reproduced below. Links to the
webpage are at the end of the paper.
I hope you are enjoying your Fourth of July and are reflecting on what
this day truly means to us as Americans.
I also hope you will join me in the struggle for recognition of a right
we already have - namely, to privately keep dairy animals and consume
the goodness of the products they provide for us.
33495 Mill Canyon Rd.
Davenport, WA 99122
chrys at thefutureisorganic.net
"From each according to their ability to each according to their need"
Karl Marx - "Critique of the Gotha Program" 1875
"The purpose of agriculture is not the production of food, but the
perfection of human beings"
Masanobu Fukuoka - "One Straw Revolution" 1978
The Future is Organic Raw Dairy Choice
*You could become a producer of your own fresh raw milk and cheese for
you and your family...
But **WATCH OUT! The Washington State Department of Agriculture might
take ENFORCEMENT ACTION against you if you partner with your friends and
neighbors to do it.
/“The acquisition of raw milk from Cows or goats by a consumer for use
or consumption by the consumer shall not constitute the sale of raw milk
and shall not Be prohibited if … the owner of a cow, goat, cow shares,
or goat shares Shall receive raw milk directly from the farm or dairy
where the Cow, goat, or dairy herd is located and … the milk is obtained
pursuant to a cow share or a goat Share. A cow share or a goat share is
an undivided interest in a Cow, goat, or herd of cows or goats, created
by a written Contractual relationship between a consumer and a farmer…”
/*Colorado law titled: /Concerning Limited Distribution Of Raw Milk To
Have A Consensual Or Contractual Relationship With Producers/, enacted
on April 22, 2005
*/“There is no doubt that heat-treatment /[pasteurization]/ is
detrimental to milk. Evidence shows that untreated milk has a higher
nutritional value providing more available vitamins and minerals than
pasteurised milk. It contains anti-infective agents which can both
restrict the growth of contaminating bacteria in the milk and give the
consumer protection. Not at least, it has a better flavour, with none of
the deterioration in quality caused by heat treatment.”
/*/The Case For Untreated Milk/ by Dr. B. M. Pickard, The Department of
Animal Physiology and Nutrition, The University of Leeds.
Originally Published by The Soil Association (The U.K’s Organic
*/“SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) The increasing concentration of the dairy
industry is leading to the demise of small family-owned dairy farms and
the domestic dairy industry, said dairy farmers from around the nation
who met with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer … The dairy
farmers, who came from throughout the Northeast
and as far away as Wisconsin and California, called on Spitzer to take
the national lead and begin investigating industry consolidation in New
York for possible antitrust violations..”
/*News item from the Capital Press, the Pacific Northwest’s premier
agricultural newspaper, May 7, 2004
*/"The one major impediment to [a healthy small-farm economy] is the
anti-raw milk agenda scaremongering propaganda and compulsory
pasteurization laws. Fortunately, there is a way around these laws with
our cow-share, herd-share and farm-share programs. In fact, now that we
are rolling back the propaganda and creating more and more customers for
raw milk and related products, these pasteurization laws can actually
work to the benefit of farmers. If people can’t get raw milk in stores,
they will make the effort to come to the farm, or pay for the service of
having products delivered to their doorstep. The farm-share system also
allows for other value-added products proscribed by health laws
farm-butchered meat, sausage, baked goods and so forth could be
‘provided,’ not ‘sold,’ to farm-share owners."/*
/The Economics of Food/ by Sally Fallon, August 2004, Acres U.S.A.
Sally Fallon is president of the Weston A. Price Foundation
_All over the country, families like yours and mine are becoming dairy
farmers. We're buying shares in herds of dairy animals and are
contracting with small family farmers to board and tend our herds, keep
them milked and make the milk available to us. The “shareholder dairy”
model helps consumers obtain the freshest, most nutritious milk and
dairy products possible while it helps support small and micro-scale
neighborhood dairies. Because the milk is not being “sold” (it is being
acquired by consumers who have become producers of their own dairy
foods), some state governments, like Colorado, do not require
shareholder dairies to be encumbered by expensive licensing programs.
Licensing in these states is reserved for dairy products that are
presented for sale to the general public. However, compliance with
licensing requirements is financially prohibitive for most small farmers
who would like to diversify to include dairying in their product mix. A
reasonable level of cleanliness is all that is necessary for small-scale
and micro-scale shareholder dairies to produce safe, healthful products
for their shareholders.
Unfortunately, the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture designates
unlicensed shareholder dairies as illegal. Even so, there are a number
of shareholder dairies operating in Washington State and there are more
consumers and producers considering starting up shareholder dairies all
Our state's farmers' as well as consumers’ interests would be better
served if independent, private, unregulated shareholder dairies were
recognized as legal instead of operating "under the radar" as is the
current situation. Farmers would more easily hear of the shareholder
dairy model as a new "marketing" opportunity that they might not
otherwise know about. Others who don't like to do things that aren't on
the up and up might then enter into the shareholder dairy model. Having
the shareholder dairy model as a legal "marketing" option would increase
small-farm viability generally in the state (“marketing” is in quotes
because the farmer is only marketing their dairying skills, not the
milk). Taking the lid off shareholder dairies would allow for more
information exchange among producers and between producers and
educational outlets such as WSU Extension and WSDA with the aim of
improving management practices and product safety. It’s certain that
many consumers would find the shareholder dairy model a very attractive
alternative to purchasing commercial dairy products. Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) farms are extremely popular and have improved small
farm economic viability significantly in Washington State (providing
mostly fruits and veggies). A CSA is a marketing model whereby consumers
pay a farmer for a season’s worth of produce in advance. This is often
termed a “CSA Share”. Shareholder dairies operating above board in an
environment of acceptance have the potential of surpassing CSA farms as
agents of increased economic viability in the small farm sector.
One successful shareholder dairy in Washington State, a highly
diversified organic farm, obtains 14% of its annual gross income from
the shareholders of its one cow. Add to this the revenues from selling
the yearly calf and the valuable manure (reducing the need for off-farm
inputs) and you have a formula for small farm viability. This farmer,
under contract with his shareholders, receives the equivalent of $60 per
hundred weight for milk compared with $10 per hundredweight that dairy
farmers receive from the conventional market. Not too shabby.
The shareholder dairy model is not necessarily a good fit for all
aspiring dairy producers. For them, becoming licensed facilities is the
preferable choice. Thanks to efforts by the Washington Sustainable Food
and Farming Network, the WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program
and the WSU Small Farms Program, there is some progress being made in
reforming dairy regulations and addressing some other environmental and
local permitting issues that are currently restricting small and
micro-scale farmers from becoming licensed dairy producers. These
efforts deserve support (contact the Network at www.wsffn.org), but it's
the shareholder dairy issue that really needs championing by a committed
group of producers and consumers united in a grassroots effort to affirm
the legality of the shareholder dairy in Washington State.
If we can normalize the practice of consumer producers setting up
shareholder dairies around the state, we will have made an important
contribution to the decentralization of the dairy industry, the
revitalization of the small farm economy and the overall health of the
families who become shareholder consumers of fresh raw milk.
It is perfectly legal at this time in Washington for a person and their
family to own their own dairy animal, to keep and maintain that animal,
milk that animal, bottle the milk, consume the milk and/or process that
milk into cheese, yogurt, etc. and consume that processed dairy food.
All of this without any contact with or license from any regulatory body
whether federal, State or local (except where local zoning prohibits the
keeping of farm animals such as in a city). These dairy products are not
sold retail or wholesale to the general public.
There is no reason, considering that the above is legal, to arbitrarily
make illegal or subject to licensing an arrangement whereby one
household and a neighboring household own a dairy animal in common and
make their own arrangements for the keeping and maintaining of the
animal and the milking/bottling/processing/consuming of the milk from
Further, by extension, there is no reason to arbitrarily make illegal or
subject to licensing an arrangement whereby private individuals purchase
shares in one or more dairy animals and make private arrangements for
keeping and maintaining the animal(s) as well as the
milking/bottling/processing of the resulting milk for the sole and
private use of the shareholders. In such an arrangement, the milk and
milk products are not sold either at retail or wholesale to the general
public nor would the milk ever be sold to a milk processing plant.
The centralization of the dairy industry hurts both the farm economy
(restricting market access for smaller producers) and the environment
(water pollution and odors resulting from huge concentrated herds). The
centralization of the dairy industry also hurts the health of dairy
consumers and their control over their own food supply. What we need in
Washington State is to make small and micro dairy operations viable once
again. It would be advantageous to be able to describe and promote the
shareholder dairy model to Washington farmers and concerned consumers.
We need active and concerned farmers, consumers and activists solidly
behind the effort to unshackle the shareholder dairy.
We need to tell WSDA that only daries that produce and sell milk and
milk products to the GENERAL PUBLIC should be licensed and regulated.
Unregulated shareholder dairies should be allowed to flourish if that is
what those producer consumers choose for their milk supply.
We need to tell WSDA to listen to the consumer as well as the producer.
What do we want, as consumers, regarding our food supply? Do we want to
be limited to only dairy products from huge, polluting operations that
are contaminated with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and filth - that
have had all the nutrition cooked and processed out of them? Do we want
consumers prohibited from forming free associations to provide for our
own sustenance? Or do we want to revive our rural and urban fringe
economies by revitalizing the small-scale dairy industry and empowering
consumers to regain control over our food supply?
Please join a growing up-swelling of Washingtonians and demand the
official recognition of the private, unregulated shareholder dairy. To
get involved, contact Chrys Ostrander at:
The Future Is Organic Raw Dairy Choice Campaign
chrys at thefutureisorganic.net
_More information on the benefits of raw milk, the detriments of
pasteurized milk, the history of the raw milk movement and efforts to
defame raw milk through misinformation, go to
More information about the permaculture