Raw milk farmers in Oregon and free speech supporters all across the country won a victory in February 2014 when the state of Oregon agreed not to enforce a ban on advertising the sale of unpasteurized milk.
Currently, the on-farm sales of raw milk in Oregon are allowed but advertising is not. As a result, dairy farmers have been unable to mention on their websites and in email campaigns or flyers that they offer the product or how much they sell it for. While this can have a damaging impact on sales, it also means that many farmers are wasting precious time responding to individual queries about pricing or production.
In November 2013, dairy farmer Christine Anderson filed a suit against the Oregon Department of Agriculture, claiming that the ban on advertising violated her right to free speech. She says she was prompted to sue after a state inspector visited her farm in 2012 and told her that the raw milk prices listed on her website constituted advertising. Finally, last month, the Oregon Department of Agriculture agreed to settle: Anderson will dismiss her suit and, in exchange, the director of the Department of Agriculture will ask the state Legislature to repeal the ban.
“Now I’ll be able to put information on my website about our production, with the prices,” Anderson said. “And I won’t have to spend hours a day responding to people’s questions about our milk and how we produce it.”
The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods. http://www.westonaprice.org/lab