Contact: Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org
“Free Enterprise” Bill to Help Farmers Market More Efficiently
(Austin, TX): Texas lawmakers will have the opportunity to make it easier for consumers to buy raw milk on Thursday, when House Bill 91 is scheduled to come up for a vote on the floor of the House.
The bill, which was approved by the Public Health Committee, will loosen the current regulations that only allow raw milk to be sold on the farm by allowing dairy farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and to make delivery arrangements with their customers.
“Currently, Texans have to travel to a licensed dairy to buy raw milk,” explained Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Executive Director Judith McGeary. “This bill reduces costs and hassle for consumers, while allowing farmers a fair opportunity to market their products,” she continued.
Kris Errickson, whose 13-year old daughter testified to the Public Health Committee in favor of the bill, explained the impact raw milk had on her daughter’s health. “My daughter suffered from food allergies and eczema for much of her life. Her condition changed for the better after implementing a strict diet including raw milk. However, for the past two years my husband battled terminal brain cancer. Driving hours for raw milk was too burdensome, so she had no milk during this time, and her eczema recently returned.”
Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn(R-Canton), the bill’s sponsor, has called it a “free-enterprise” bill. “If you have a legal product, it seems like you should be able to sell it at a farmers’ market,” Flynn told committee members at a hearing on April 21.
Mark Hutchins, a second generation raw milk dairy farmer from Greenville who also testified at the hearing, encouraged the full House to pass the legislation. “The House should affirm that licensed, regulated and legal raw milk is a safe product that ought to be more readily available to interested consumers.
As a raw milk producer myself, I know how hard raw milk farmers work to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of their loyal customers, and how much it means to customers to be able to access this product. I urge the Texas House to quickly pass HB 91 and support the freedom of farmers and consumers to choose what is best for their families’ health and safety.”
A fact sheet on HB 91 is available at: http://farmandranchfreedom.
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About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.