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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
New State Raw Milk Association Formed
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/22/2011

Supporters of the recent effort to legalize the sales of unpasteurized milk in Wisconsin have formed a new group to help advance their cause. The Wisconsin Raw Milk Association is made up of consumers, dairy producers and other farmers committed to changing the current raw milk laws in the Dairy State.

Organizers say the purpose of the organization is to work with lawmakers to pass new rules to allow the sale of raw milk and raw milk products. Current law only allows the on-farm sale of raw milk on an incidental basis.

"The proposed legislation WRMA supports would legalize the on-farm sale of raw milk and raw milk products by those holding a Grade A permit and by those unlicensed dairy farms that milk fewer than twenty cows," the group said on its Website. "We are seeking monetary donations from the public, and 100-percent of the donations will be used to pay for legal fees, lobbying and web presence."

The issue has split members of the agricultural industry since talks first began. Supporters say raw milk tastes better, contains bacteria that helps fight disease and is more natural. But others fear that even one instance of bacteria contamination could make people sick, thus having a negative publicity impact on the entire dairy industry.

Last May, former Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a proposal that would have allowed farmers to sell their raw milk if there were certain safeguards in place to protect the public. But Governor Scott Walker said last month that he would likely sign a similar bill if it were to come across his desk.

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