IDAHO: Raw milk proposals raise standards
Posted: August 27th, 2009 - 9:53pm
Source: Capital Press
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is proposing to update quality standards in its rules governing retail sale of raw milk and to exempt operations with three cows or fewer from meeting Grade A facility standards, a requirement for selling raw milk.
"If you have three cows, seven sheep or seven goats, you don't have to meet dairy barn sanitation and construction criteria," said Marv Patten, dairy bureau chief for ISDA.
That new exemption should take care of the "cow share" issue, he said.
"Cow share" program sales, or backyard sales, was a means of circumventing the requirement for a costly Grade A facility and regular testing. Instead, people pay the farmer a certain amount and claim ownership in the cow. That way the farmer is not selling the milk.
"There's a significant amount (of that) going on," Patten said.
Those exempted from Grade A requirements will still have to meet animal health and milk quality criteria.
With growing interest in marketing raw milk and concerns that raw milk quality standards were too lenient, ISDA initiated a negotiated rulemaking process. Two meetings were held earlier this month, and the proposed rule was due out earlier this week.