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  • Raw Milk Monday: Do you Know Your Committee Members? There is also a Tell IDPH Leave Raw Milk Alone Sign Attached BelowAfter a group of Illinois Raw Milk Farmers met on March 15, to discuss the proposed rules ...
    Posted Apr 19, 2013, 11:14 AM by Ernest Of Gaia
  • Raw Milk Advocacy Update News from IDPH received 4/11/13 1. Molly Lamb and Steve Divencenzo have responded to Donna OShaughnessy's request to add several raw milk advocates to the Dairy Work ...
    Posted Apr 19, 2013, 9:40 AM by Ernest Of Gaia
  • [Illinois Local Foods] Raw milk -- statewide conference call? Hi, Robin --I don't know what your timeline is on the raw milk regulations.   Your May 1 meeting suggests that you have plenty of time. If you do have ...
    Posted Apr 4, 2013, 10:21 AM by Ernest Of Gaia
  • Raw Milk Monday Update, Midlife Farmwife Blog Posted by Donna OShaughnessyYes, I am aware it is Tuesday but modems don't care. They crash when they crash. But the new one is up and running and ...
    Posted Apr 4, 2013, 10:02 AM by Ernest Of Gaia
  • Raw Milk Help Needed Hello from Donna,"How lucky are we to have had so many of you sign up on our "CAll to ACTION sign up sheet left in our store last week ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2013, 7:30 AM by Ernest Of Gaia
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This site was created by Ernest Rando in support of Raw Milk producers in Illinois. This information comes from Donna OShaughnessy 32796 E. 750 N Rd , Chatsworth, Illinois 60921, United States, Blog Creator and Co-Owner of South-Pork Ranch farm along with her husband Keith Parrish. Donna's Blog Raw Milk Topics  

The Current Rules for raw milk sales are fairly simple when you can get them in one place but they are currently scattered within the (Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act and have been open to much interpretation over the years. This is my own summary of those rules: 
  • The consumer must come to the farm with their own container.
  • The milk does not have to be pasteurized if sold or distributed on the premises of the dairy farm.
  • There is nothing in this section of Illinois Statures 410 ILCS 635, that talks about advertising although many of us have been told we cannot advertise our raw milk sales. 
  • So, in all and compared to to other states, these rules are not so bad. So why mess with them? I was told in my first Raw Milk Steering Committee Mtg that the primary reason was to "get all the rules in one place."
OK. Not such a bad goal. Many Illinois farmers have no idea where to look for the rules regarding raw milk sales. Reorganization could be good. Except that when "reorganized" the proposed rules came out looking like this:
  • All dairy farms selling raw milk shall be required to obtain a Grade A permit.
  • Only unsolicited sales are permitted and cannot exceed 100 gallons a month regardless of species. 
  • Cowshare agreements or other contractual agreements are prohibited.
  • Records or raw milk transactions shall be kept on a department approved log and submitted on a monthly basis by the 15th of the month.
  • Individuals shall bring their own containers to the farm for dispensing of the milk and the farmer shall provide a sanitary method for dispensing.
  • The dairy farm shall provide a label for the container of raw milk with this "Warning:This product has not been pasteurized and therefore, may contain harmful microorganisms that can cause serious illness..."
  • At the point of dispensing the dairy farm shall post an 8" by 10" warning sign "Notice: Raw milk Sold Here. Raw Milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization."
  • The dairy farm shall have shall have their milk supply analyzed for pathogens on a monthly basis in a certified laboratory...results to be submitted to the agency. 
  • The dairy farm shall assume all liability involved with the sale and distribution of the raw milk.
Now, personally speaking, some of these rules, particularly ones about testing may not be so bad. We already do this at our own expense but its' important that I explain the consequences of some of the other rules. For brevity sake I'll just talk about the first two or "The Worst Two" as I like to think about them. I'll cover the others on future Mondays.
  • All dairy farms shall be required to obtain a Grade A permit.
For those of us who may have had the permit before, but had it yanked from us by IDPH when we made the decision to sell direct to consumers ONLY, it would take very little to return to these standards. Most have been following them all along but for those farmers with just a few goats or cows who have never been Grade A, it would cost a MINIMUM of $20,000 for a very small very basic Grade A Dairy. We're not just talking about following the rules but also the concrete floors that must be poured, the pipelines that must be installed, the stainless steel bulk milk tanks to be purchased and put in place. Now couple that with the next proposed rule...
  • Only unsolicited sales are permitted and cannot exceed 100 gallons a month regardless of species.
So, lets assume the average price per gallon of raw milk is $8. If you can only sell 100 gallons, how long would it take you to raise the capital to build your Grade A Dairy? And if you have to be Grade A before you can sell that milk then you will have to come up with that money long before you could start milking. This means that even if you own just ONE cow or ONE sheep or ONE goat and you sell any part of that milk you have to build a Grade A Dairy. With a limit of 100 gallons a month or roughly a annual revenue of $9600 it would be difficult to call your farm "sustainable." 

Are you starting to see the picture here? And I've only barely touched on two of theproposed rules.
My husband laid it out best when he said "It's not that they are going to make raw milk sales illegal, they're just going to make them impossible."

What can you do? If you live in Illinois stay tuned to this blog or this website. Action plans are being written. If you know of a raw milk farmer in Illinois ask him/her if aware of these proposed rules . If not please have them to call me at 815-635-3414. If you are a follower who lives out of state, stay turned anyway. We will need your support.