Link: States Target Raw-Milk FarmersThe Family Farms Co-op thought it had dealt with the Michigan prohibition against retailing raw milk, which is similar to prohibitions in many other states, four years ago, when it set up the co-op. Under the arrangement, the co-op leases cows from the dairy farm and then sells shares in the herd to co-op members, each of whom pays $20 a year for their share. The co-op members purchase milk for $6.50 a gallon, which goes back to the dairy farmer in the form of a boarding fee for the cows.
"It has to be this way, because it's illegal to sell raw milk retail" in Michigan, says Hebron. Michigan law allows for people who own and board dairy cows to consume their milk, though.
After I listened to Hebron tell his story about the state police and agriculture inspectors refusing to let him make a call home after confiscating thousands of dollars worth of fresh farm products from his truck, and then serving a search warrant on his wife and rummaging through the farm family's home, I asked him, "Could you believe this was happening in the United States?"
"No," he said. "I have a customer in Chicago who says he's from Russia. He thinks this is worse than what happens in Russia."
Saturday, October 21, 2006
States Target Raw-Milk Farmers
Michigan cracks down on unpasturized milk co-ops: