This is an re-publishing of the GRM Newsletter.
Blew past 3k listings earlier this month. Instagram recommended a grocery store’s post in Ireland, showcasing raw milk. This was the first time I’ve seen the farm’s branding, so I added them and their several retailers to push us over the 3k mark.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has also entered the scene with several retail locations supplying raw milk (or leche bronca) in the city.
Raw milk in Albuquerque
Tim Keller, mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, legalized the sale of raw milk through retailers in the city. The state’s laws allowed for retail sales, the city’s did not, but now they do.
I foresee De Smet Dairy supplying retailers in the city soon, and I hope to see more farms join them in this newly liberated market.
Wisconsin and Missouri
There are two bills to follow into early 2024 state congressional sessions: Missouri and Wisconsin. Links to articles:
House Bill 1711
This bill would allow raw milk to be sold in grocery stores and other off-farm retailers, with labeling to indicate that the milk is unpasteurized. Raw milk farmers would be held to standards that “meet or exceed” the standards required to produce grade A pasteurized milk.
Senate Bill 781
People think “Wisconsin is the dairy state (second only to California), therefore of course they’ve got good raw milk.” Well, they do, but it’s not legal for farmers to sell raw milk in the state. Because dairy production is big in the state, there are big dairy processors in the state, and they don’t like the idea of farmers selling raw milk around their bottleneck.
Currently, only a few herdshares exist in the state. Most notable being Grazin Acres (read lore) and Grassway Organics. While the state mostly leaves them alone since Hershberger’s legal battle, Wisconsin does not recognize herdshares. View raw milk near Madison, WI.
We’ll see if raw milk’s current wave of support can crash over their suppression in 2024 with SB781. Thanks to Seth Allen, from Rep Behnke’s office, for sharing the bill’s registration number with me as soon as it was available.
Bonus fact: Wisconsin salts their roads to combat ice in winter using spent cheese brine.
Brought back the visual map for the law library. I had one running in a previous version of the website. Didn’t like the way it was set up using pins instead of overlays, plus I wanted to use US Census Bureau polygon shape files to craft the overlays for each US state.
Now it’s easier to tap around and explore.
Rethinking the ranking schema. Right now lime green 🟩 is being used for any state that permits raw milk for sale in retailers or on-farm, ie commercial sales for human consumption.
Weirdly, in matters of farm growth as a business, it’s almost better to sell retail “pet milk” through the local tractor supply store next to the hog pellets, than to require all of your customers to come to your farm to pick up the milk.
On-farm commercial sales are closer to private membership organizations than they are to the grocery store system, so it makes more sense to lump them in with dark green while we root for retail legalization and cottage freedom efforts.
New ranking system:
This version shows us a more accurate model of where raw milk access has room to grow. Retail/ grocery store access at the top, accessible but not grocery-store-within-city-limits accessible in the middle, red being the present-day no-go zones.