Is prohibiting the sale of raw milk a raw deal for the state’s dairy farmers? State Representative Chris Danou says allowing on farm sales of raw, unpasteurized milk could provide a new source of revenue for the state’s hard pressed dairy farmers. “It allows the farmer essentially to capture some more of the retail dollar,” says the Trempeleau Democrat, who is circulating legislation which would allow such sales. “That’s always been one of my goals, is to be able to help farmers either be able to ad more value to their product or to be able to capture some more of that money, downstream on the retail end.” Danou says some consumers “are willing to pay a premium” for raw milk.
But Bill Bruins, President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, worries the dairy industry could end up paying, at least figuratively, if the state were to allow raw milk sales and people were to become ill. “The big thing for dairy farmers who are producing for a market is that we are concerned about our image,” says Bruins. “We certainly want to always be able to say that the milk that you buy in the store is safe, and we want to be able to protect that image.”
Danou says 25 states, including Minnesota, currently allow for the sale of raw milk. “To have formal legislation that allows for this process to take place, I think would be a dangerous precedent to set,” says Bruins.
Bob Hague (:60) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)