After a seven-year battle, the Governor signs bill to make raw milk in West Virginia legal through cow shares
Raw milk in West Virginia is now legal and available through cow share arrangements. The news spread quickly on Facebook after the governor signed the bill into law.
Lead advocate for the legislation, Tinia Creamer stated,
“It has been really amazing to watch the positive change in West Virginia on the issue of raw milk rights and food freedom. We’ve taken Food Freedom from a place of silence to a hot button issue that whole state has now talked about,” Says Creamer.
“Regaining the ability to operate herdshares was certainly not an overnight occurrence here, and the general thought for a long time was that West Virginia would never allow co-ownership agreements to exist again. In the end, I believe it was worth the 7-year fight. Well worth it. Persistence and growing a strong statewide support base through social media made SB387, the Raw Milk Herdshare bill, law. We overcame corporate Lobby groups, Lobbyists hired by statewide Health Departments and involvement from the FDA.”
The fact that raw milk in West Virginia is now available through cow shares is phenomenal. This opening for co-ownership of animals through cow share arrangements speaks to the ongoing shift from complete prohibition to acceptance of people’s rights to obtain the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice.
It is refreshing to see this shift continuing to occur, especially as enforcement increases against raw milk in Canada. If raw milk in West Virginia can be legal and available, perhaps it won’t be much longer for the other states and Canada that are holding out.
After the West Virginia bill was vetoed in 2015, Tinia persisted in bringing the issue before the General Assembly in 2016. Her hard work has paid off with farmers rights now reinstated.
“It is a relief, really,” says Creamer. “I know that raw milk in West Virginia through herdshares will help small farmers thrive; they will be a much needed way to bolster our economy. I am thankful that farmers will be able to offer, through co-ownership, a local food to their communities. This will, in turn, offer education to families about where their food comes from, how it is produced and really connect farmers to the people, as well.”
As the tide continues to shift towards raw milk availability, it is the advocates like Tinia we can thank for their tireless, unpaid work that keeps legislation and possibility alive.
To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org