Raw milk is already legal in Texas. But government regulations require consumers to drive to the farm every time they want milk, burdening both consumers and farmers.
Representative Flynn has introduced a bill, HB 91, to allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and to make delivery arrangements with their customers. This bill reduces costs and hassle for consumers, while allowing farmers a fair opportunity to market their products.
The Texas House Public Health Committee will hold a hearing on HB91 on Tuesday, April 21. This is a critical step in getting the bill passed.
Please speak up now to help raw milk farmers and consumers!
TAKE ACTION #1
You can find out who your State Representative is by going to www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us or calling the Texas Capitol Switchboard at 512-463-4630.
If you call after hours, you can simply leave a message: “Hi, my name is ____, and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge Representative ______ to co-author HB 91, the raw milk bill, and to help the bill move forward as quickly as possible. I would like to know where my Representative stands on this issue, please you can call me back at _________.”
More information and talking points about the bill are at the end of this alert.
TAKE ACTION #2
Please make plans to join us at the Capitol on Tuesday morning! We need a large turnout to show that this bill has grassroots support and to counter the opposition from powerful industry groups.
It can take as little as 15 minutes to register your support at the Capitol, and you can then go on with the rest of your day (see hearing logistic, below, for details). If you have time to stay for the hearing itself, you can help us pack the room with raw milk supporters for the visual impact on the Committee members.
There are a lot of bills on the agenda for the hearing, so we will have a very limited time to present testimony in support. If you want to testify, please email Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org as soon as possible.
TAKE ACTION #3
If you can’t come to the Capitol in person, you can still let the Committee members know you support HB 91 by sending them an email urging them to approve HB 91 as soon as possible. The Committee members and their email addresses are listed below.
DATE: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
TIME: Registration opens at 7 am, and the hearing starts at 8 am. You can register in support any time until the Committee actually hears the bill; so registration will be open until at least 8:30 am, and possibly for some time after that. Updates will be posted on the FARFA facebook page
WHERE: Capitol Extension, Floor E2, Room E2.012 MAPS
WHAT: Come to Capitol Extension and sign in at one of the kiosks in support of HB 91. You’ll be listed on the witness list even if you leave right after that. The witness list is important because the legislators look to see how many people were for the bill.
If you can stay for the hearing, grab a seat in the hearing room. Simply being there and helping to fill the room with people who are watching makes an impact on the Committee members. We’ll have yellow lapel stickers available to show who is supporting raw milk.
If you have trouble finding the room the day of the hearing, you can text Lara at 512-632-6400.
REGISTERING: The House uses an electronic witness registration system on kiosks located throughout the Capitol Extension. Take the elevator down to Floor E1 or E2, and walk down the main hallway about halfway. Turn down one of the side hallways, then turn again so that you are going parallel to the main hallway. The koisks are in the alcoves where there used to be pay phones.
You can also register using an iPad from anywhere within the Capitol. More information on registering is available on the legislative website, www.mytxlegis.legis.state.tx.us
Registration closes once the bill is actually heard by the Committee, which may be near the starting time for the hearing or may be several hours later; we will post updates on our facebook page.
You will need this information with you:
- Bill number: HB 91 by Flynn
- House Public Health Committee
- The time and location of the hearing: 8 am, Room E2.012
- Position: FOR
- Not Testifying
PARKING: Parking is usually available at the Capitol Visitors Center, located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th. You can find a map and other options also listed at http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/Parking.htm
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE
If you live in the district of one of the Committee members, please take the time for a personal call and be sure to mention that you’re a constituent – and get as many of your friends and neighbors to call and email as possible! Constituents carry the most weight with the Committee members.
Chairwoman Myra Crownover (part of Denton County – Zip Codes 75065, 76201, 76205, 76207, 76208, 76210, 76226, 76227, 76234, 76249, 76258, 76259, 76266) | Phone: 512-463-0582 | Email Myra.Crownover@house.state.tx.us
Cesar Blanco (part of El Paso County – Zip Codes 79903, 79905, 79906, 79907, 79915, 79916, 79925, 79927) | Phone: 512-463-0622 | Email: Cesar.Blanco@house.state.tx.us
Garnet Coleman (part of Harris County – Zip Codes 77002, 77003, 77004, 77006, 77007, 77010, 77019, 77021, 77033, 77048, 77061, 77075, 77087, 77089, 77098) | Phone: 512-463-0524 | Email: Garnet.Coleman@house.state.tx.us
Nicole Collier (part of Tarrant County – Zip Codes 76012, 76102, 76103, 76104, 76105, 76107, 76110, 76111, 76112, 7615, 76119, 76120, 76133, 76134, 76140) | Phone: 512-463-0716 | Email: Nicole.Collier@house.state.tx.us
Sarah Davis (part of Harris County – Zip Codes 77002, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 019, 024, 025, 027, 030, 046, 056, 057, 081, 096, 098, 401) | Phone: 512-463-0389 | Email: Sarah.Davis@house.state.tx.us
Bobby Guerra (part of Hidalgo County – Zip Codes 78501, 78503, 78504, 78539, 78572, 78573, 78574, 78577) | Phone: 512-463-0578 | Email: Bobby.Guerra@house.state.tx.us
Rick Miller (part of Fort Bend County – Zip Codes 77083, 77099, 77406, 77407, 77459, 77469, 77471, 77477, 77478, 77479, 77498) | Phone: 512-463-0710 | Email: Rick.Miller@house.state.tx.us
Elliott Naishtat (part of Travis County – Zip Codes 78701, 78703, 78704, 78705, 78712, 78731, 78735, 78745, 78746, 78751, 78752, 78756, 78757, 78758, 78759) | Phone: 512-463-0668 | Email: Elliott.Naishtat@house.state.tx.us
J.D. Sheffield (Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba, and Somervell counties) | Phone: 512-463-0628 | Email: J.D.Sheffield@house.state.tx.us
Bill Zedler (part of Tarrant County – Zip Codes 76001, 76002, 76017, 76028, 76036, 76060, 76063, 76123, 76134, 76140) | Phone: 512-463-0374 | Email: Bill.Zedler@house.state.tx.us
John Zerwas (part of Fort Bend County – Zip Codes 77082, 77083, 77406, 77407, 77423, 77435, 77441, 77450, 77471, 77485, 77493, 77494, 77498) | Phone: 512-463-0657 | Email John.Zerwas@house.state.tx.us
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BILL
HB 91 by Representative Dan Flynn would legalize the sale of raw milk by licensed farmers directly to consumers at farmers markets, and allow farmers and consumers to agree to delivery arrangements.
- Raw milk is already legal in Texas, but unfair marketing restrictions burden both farmers and consumers.
- Only 6 illnesses have been reported linked to raw milk in Texas in the last 17 years, out of an estimated ¾ million Texans who drink raw milk
- Texas Grade A Raw for Retail dairies are subject to regulations that meet or exceed all regulatory standards for pasteurized milk.
- HB 91 simply allows licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and through delivery arrangements. Sales are limited to direct farm-to-consumer and will NOT be allowed in grocery stores.
- HB 91 improves the safety of raw dairy by allowing producers to transport it to consumers under safe conditions, rather than relying on consumers to remember to take coolers and ice.
- By allowing a farmer to make a single trip to serve multiple customers, rather than having each customer drive to the farm, the bill reduces vehicle miles, benefiting air quality, traffic congestion, and public safety.
- HB 91 benefits rural economies because direct farm-to-consumer sales of raw milk can mean the difference between a net loss on the farm and a reasonable income for the farm family.