Raw Milk Farmer Success Story Shows There is a Market for $24 Gallons

One Oregon dairy farmer’s raw milk is in such high demand that she is able to sell it for $24 per gallon and has a waiting list of eager customers.

Her success can likely be attributed to her commitment to produce high-quality raw milk and other farm-fresh products (and being within a 30 minute drive of Portland probably doesn’t hurt, either).

On David Gumpert’s blog, The Complete Patient, he writes that “…she is a great illustration of how working diligently and publicly for safe raw milk can be a big business booster. [She] pushed hard to become the first certified dairy member of the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) in 2012, and is also on its board…She is limited in her production by Oregon’s three-cow limit on raw dairies, or she would likely be serving many more than the 100 regular customers she currently has.”

At a time when there are all too many sad stories about small farms being targeted by health officials or put out of business by Big Dairy, this success story is uplifting and inspiring. Read more about what she’s doing to encourage other farmers on The Complete Patient.

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International Business Times Sheds Light on Global and Regional Milk Industries

A recent article in the International Business Times discusses how the global milk market has helped, and hurt, American dairy farmers.

The article points out that while milk-derived products like powder can be shipped internationally, liquid milk remains a largely regional industry: “Markets for fresh fluid milk are largely local or regional in the United States — and even in modest-sized countries — because moving it quickly by air is far too expensive, while transporting it very far on the ground risks spoilage.”

But when small dairy ecosystems begin to suffer because Big Dairy is elbowing them out, other parts of the regional economy feel the effects: local veterinarians have fewer cows to treat, equipment companies, feed companies and lumber mills that supply sawdust for bedding get fewer orders.

Together, these points make a strong economic for supporting local dairy farms. Not just to stimulate our local economies and not just so that we have access to fresh, responsibly sourced foods – but because if there’s one industry that should be easy to regionalize, it’s the dairy industry which is inherently regional already.

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New Test Shows Whether Milk Really Came From Fresh-Grazing Cows

A new test, developed by Dutch food testing company Qlip, can show if milk is the product of cows that grazed on fresh grass or other feeds like corn silage.

As milk composition and quality is directly impacted by a cow’s diet, and consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about buying organic, free range, and other responsibly sourced dairy and food products, this test will be important in holding dairy producers accountable for where they say their milk comes from.

Currently, Qlip’s laboratory produces these analyses for dairy companies who are purchasing milk from farmers. In the future, Qlip hopes to utilize such tests for other indicators, like animal health, animal welfare and sustainability.

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Australians Want Raw Milk to be Less Controversial Than Climate Change

According to Dr. Christopher Degeling of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, the discussion of fresh milk in Australia and New Zealand is “almost as contentious as climate change science.”

Earlier this year, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) reviewed Australia’s milk regulations and the released report legalized the production and importation of some raw milk cheeses. Unfortunately, the commercial sale of raw milk is still illegal (though drinking it is not).

Some believe that the reluctance to legalize raw milk sales stems from “laziness on health authorities’ part.” Australian microbiologist Dr. Ron Hull says, “They think it’s too hard to regulate raw milk, which is not true. Raw milk is regulated in most parts of the world and is just as safe as any other food.”

Read more via the The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt Targeted by Authorities – Again

Canadian authorities have again targeted dairy farmer Michael Schmidt in two separate raids during the week of September 29, 2015.

Schmidt has become well known throughout his more than 20-year fight with the Canadian government over his right to distribute raw milk to those eager for it. In recent years, Schmidt reconstituted his farm into a co-op with shareholders who hold joint-ownership of the farm and can therefore drink milk from their own cows.

On September 29, York Region health officials and police officers descended on a church parking lot where co-op members were meeting to pick up their farm products. The police obtained a search warrant for health department inspectors to search Schmidt’s van and take samples of the dairy products.

Then, on October 2, more than twenty local police and health officials arrived on Schmidt’s farm and began confiscating milk and dairy equipment. Schmidt put out a call for help and soon more than 50 local raw milk activists and supporters came to his aid, blocking the driveway so the regulators were not able to depart with the stolen goods. A dramatic standoff ensued, finally ending peacefully with authorities only able to take a couple of computers before the supporters assembled.

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