Action Alert (Montana): Support Raw Milk Bill HB 574

It is currently illegal for the sale or transfer of raw milk in Montana. The State has even harassed herd shares, where people jointly own animals and drink their own milk.

HB 574 would change this. The bill will allow small-scale farmers who meet specific standards to sell raw milk, as well as recognize people’s right to consume milk from their own animals through herd shares.

Please help us get this bill passed!

TAKE ACTION #1: Come to the hearing

WHEN: Thursday, March 7,  at 3:00 pm
WHERE: Room 137, Capitol Building, Helena, MT
WHAT: Hearing before the House Agriculture Committee
WHY: Having people in the room really makes an impact on the legislators!

 

TAKE ACTION #2: Email the Committee members

Whether or not you can come in person, please email all of the members of the House Agriculture Committee to urge them to vote yes on HB 574!

Just click on this link, and fill out the form to send the same message to each legislator in the entire Agricultural Committee at one time: http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/63rd/legwebmessage.asp

  • Enter your name, address, email, etc.
  • Select “House Agriculture” from the drop down menu by the “committee” bubble
  • Type in HB 574 for the bill number
  • Click on the “for” bubble to show you support raw milk
  • Include a short message as to why in the box below
  • Hit “send” and it will go to all the members of the committee

 

TAKE ACTION #3: Call your own legislators

Call your own legislator at 406-444-4800, and urge them to do everything they can to move HB 574 forward!

 

MORE INFORMATION

HB 574 creates a small herd exemption from the existing mandatory pasteurization requirements. It allows a small farmer to have up to 15 cows and 30 goats or sheep and sell raw milk. The farmer must have a permit and undergo random quarterly testing, but he does not have to adhere to the Grade A dairy regulations such as stainless steel machinery and concrete floors. Milk can only be sold to people coming to the farm to buy it. The bill also allows Grade A dairies to sell raw milk directly to consumers on-the-farm; since most co-ops forbid the sale of raw milk, this would apply, in practice, only to independent dairies like Lifeline Farms and Kalispell Creamery.

HB 574 also offers a herd share provision that recognizes that part-owners of an animal can consume milk from that animal. No milk is being sold, and the part-owners are responsible for deciding what health and safety measures they want to take for themselves.

montana-state-outlineTo read the bill and check on its status, go to:
http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/HB0574.htm

Updates will be posted on the Montana Alliance for Raw Milk Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/mt.arm

For more information:
Contact Chris Rosenau at rosenau.chris@gmail.com or Kristen Lee-Charlson at wapfmissoula@gmail.com