AmericanFarm.com

Legalizing raw milk makes sense (Editorial)

Through recent years, there has been evidence that there are a growing number of dairymen in Maryland who favor raw milk, or at least would like the opportunity to produce and market it.
A motion to change the long standing ban on raw milk sales in the state is advanced every year on the floor of the Maryland Farm Bureau convention.
Traditionally, it is quashed but, surprisingly in 2013, it lost by only a few votes.
This December, as the delegates gather to review, policy by policy, the organization’s pathways for action in 2015, the Farm Bureau’s stance on raw milk production and sales is expected to get attention from the floor.
Even now, county Farm Bureau representatives are engaged in the policy development process and, according to a Farm Bureau spokesperson, “our dairy committee has discussed the pros and cons” of the issue.
However, , nothing will change, neither the policy nor the stated position of the Farm Bureau, “until our delegates vote for something in December.”
Many residents of Maryland — and for that matter, Delaware where raw milk also is banned — buy their milk from Pennsylvania farmers.
Often, they buy a “share” of the cow so they are simply purchasing their own milk.
And, as those Pennsylvania farmers have proved, it can be safely produced and bottled in state-inspected and approved dairies.
Folks today, who grew up on dairy farms, did so on raw milk.
When they brought the milk home in a can for the evening meal and tomorrow’s breakfast, the thought of sending it off in the milk truck for pasteurization and bottling, never occurred to them.
It’s time to give thumbs-up to raw milk in Maryland. After all, it’s simply another step in the “buy local, eat fresh” phenomenon.