Real Raw Milk Facts

Wisconsin: Raw Milk Bill Stalled In Senate Committee

Jim Massey, Editor of The Country Today, reported that a bill to expand raw milk sales in Wisconsin stalled after the co-sponsor. Sen. Dale Schultz, recommended the "two sides" meet and work out a compromise.

Wisconsin dairy farmers waiting for the opportunity to legally sell raw milk directly to consumers might have to wait a little longer to do so, with a bill to legalize raw milk sales apparently stalled in the state Legislature.

A Senate bill introduced by state Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, on May 26 was referred to the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee, according to state Rep. Chris Danou, D-Trempealeau, a bill co-sponsor. Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, is chairman of the committee, but Todd Allbaugh, Schultz's chief of staff, said action is not expected anytime soon.

"Dale has met with folks on both sides of the issue and his preference would be for people to work out a compromise on their own," Allbaugh said. "He's taking a slow approach on this. He'd like to see people talk to each other and then go from there."

Senate Bill 108 would allow a dairy farmer with a license and a Grade A permit to register with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for the right to sell unpasteurized milk and milk products. The bill also allows a dairy farmer who does not have a license or Grade A permit to register with the DATCP if the farmer milks fewer than 20 cows.

The DATCP's testing and milk quality rules would not apply to a registered farmer who milks fewer than 20 cows.

State Rep. Chris Danou, D-Trempealeau, a co-sponsor or the bill, said he is disappointed legislative leaders haven't taken action on the proposal.

"I hope we can get this thing moving, but in all honesty it will be a very difficult row to hoe," Danou said. "The Senate and Assembly leaders don't like it, and if they don't like it, it doesn't move."

Danou said he is "not overly optimistic" that the bill will gain traction before the end of the year.

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