Real Raw Milk Facts
Wisconsin: Final Report Of The Raw Milk Policy Working Group
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATPC) posted the final report from the Raw Milk Policy Working Group on their website.
Download the pdf file here.
The Raw Milk Policy Working Group was a panel of 22 members representing a wide array of stakeholders and experts in Wisconsin’s dairy industry, appointed by then-Sec. Rod Nilsestuen in January 2010. The group met March through December of 2010.
The group’s purpose was to consider whether there are legal, regulatory means that might allow dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized fluid raw milk directly to consumers; if so, what conditions would be necessary to protect public health? All meetings were open to the public for observation, but they were not public hearings.
MembersDick Barrows, Chair
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and UW-Extension, retiredJames Baerwolf
Dairy farmer, Sassy Cow Creamery farmstead dairy plant, ColumbusDick Cates
Director of UW-Madison School for Beginning Dairy Farmers; member, Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection;beef grazier/direct marketer, Spring GreenJeff Davis, MD
State epidemiologist, Wisconsin Department of Health ServicesPatty Edelburg
Dairy farmer, Wisconsin Farmers Union, ScandinaviaTed Galloway
Dairy processor, Galloway Co., NeenahMike Gingrich
Dairy farmer, Uplands Cheese Co. farmstead dairy plant, DodgevilleDale Grosskurth
Director, Marathon County Environmental Health ProgramMelissa Hughes
General counsel, Organic Valley Cooperative, La FargeVince Hundt
Certified organic dairy and beef farmer, St. Brigids Meadows, Coon ValleyKevin Krentz
Dairy farmer, president of Waushara County Farm Bureau, BerlinBrad Legreid
Executive director, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, MadisonWilli Lehner
Cheesemaker, Bleu Mont Dairy, Blue MoundsShelly Mayer
Dairy farmer, executive director of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, SlingerAmy McCauley
Organic dairy farmer, ReedsburgJoe Plasterer
Raw milk consumer, MadisonScott Rankin, Ph.D.
Professor, UW-Extension and UW-Madison, Department of Food SciencePam Ruegg, DVM
Professor, UW-Extension and UW-Madison, Department of Dairy ScienceSteve Steinhoff
Former administrator, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Food Safety Division, retiredJoe Weis
Vice-president of Foremost Farms USA, BarabooJeff Wideman
Maple Leaf Cheese, Wisconsin master cheesemaker, Green CountyMark Zinniker
Dairy farmer, Elkhorn
A Wisconsin statute says that only Grade A milk and milk products can be sold or distributed to consumers or to restaurants, institutions or retailers. The law also says that Grade A milk and milk products must be pasteurized. It does allow that “incidental sales” to consumers at the dairy farm where the milk is produced.
Often the agencies responsible for enforcing the statutes that the Legislature makes write “administrative rules” that lay out in more detail exactly what the law says. Before they take effect, there are public hearings on administrative rules and the Legislature must approve them. In the case of the raw milk prohibition, administrative rules specify to whom raw milk can be distributed:The milk producer who holds the dairy farm licenseAn individual with a bona fide ownership interest in the farmA family member or nonpaying guest who consumes the milk at the home of the producer or bona fide owner
The administrative rule also defines incidental sales: a sale is not incidental if it is the regular course of business, or if there is any advertising to the general public through any media.
Read the statute here. (See 97.24)
Read the administrative rule here. (See 60.235)
Real Life Dangers of Raw Milk
Several families offered to share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks and negative effects on health from drinking contaminated raw milk.Real Life Stories