Monday
Apr082019

The Life & Death of House Bill 182

First of all, thank you for all of your work and effort in behalf of this bill. If the Senate was willing to stay another five minutes we believe it had a chance to pass. We're frustrated with the process and the outcome, but appreciate the support shown for raw dairy products in Utah. 

So what happened? HB182 was thwared by the Gila Monster. On the very last night of the legislative session HB182 was up next, just before 11pm, when a motion was presented to bump HB144 to the front. The motion was approved, the Senate voted to make the Gila Monster our state reptile, and then they adjourned. For the year. With raw cream and butter sitting next in line with a handful of other bills. Incredibly disappointing.

We appreciate our Representative, Kim Coleman, and her willingness to step into the ring with us this year and fight for food freedom. She shared her experience with us during a Facebook discussion on our UNM page:

"There are so many tactics that special interests use in the legislative process, many disingenuous, but this was a first for me. The Farm Bureau/Dairy Farmers meet in the fall and take positions generally on bills that they haven’t even seen and don’t even know if they are going to have one. This prevents them from entering into any discussions or negotiations on legislation that does come up. Then they testify in committee that they oppose the bill and want it sent to Interim study, even when there’s nothing really to study, because they put themselves in a self-made corner.

This year I saw the most dirty tactics I’ve seen in my five years. But for the farm bureau to be the only association to voluntarily put themselves in a position of not being able to negotiate or be flexible with their positions throughout the legislative process is, to me, offensive to the process. All they could say is 'sorry, we already opposed your bill before there was a bill.' Then they lock down every farm to take their position. This was a first to me, and I think reflects badly on the industry when every other sector and industry is capable of participating IN THE PROCESS. But apparently it works, as it did this year, but the trade-off is a sullied reputation of the farm bureau."

"The End of the Road" by Two Sparrows FarmA few days later she also shared this article (The End of the Road) with these additional thoughts on her Facebook page

"I’ve often thought about the implications of “foreign oil dependency” and wondered what it might mean for America to be foreign food dependent.

A lobbyist for farmers seemingly mocked the fact that I was running two farm related bills as a suburbanite representative. He doesn’t know my background, though not a farmer, or the fact that I have a good deal of farming and agriculture area in my district. One of my bills sought directly to create better protections for farms against eminent domain. Another one sought to allow raw milk dairies to be able to sell the cream and butter as separate products. Holy cow, I had no idea how oppositional traditional dairy farms would be to these 10 or so boutique raw milk dairies who have customers begging for $12 per pound raw butter for the health of their children. Their answer to these families was to do without. Interesting commentary on demand for butter and cream, when they can simply deny dozens of families access to this product.

I would ask you to please read this article. After my recent experience, I’m baffled that the farm community worked against each other in this session when they have so many bigger problems facing them. (and their problem is our problem)

This is a very impactful article. It is both sad and scary. I don’t think I am just waxing sentimental about the American farmer, though there is definitely Americana romance there. But there are significant economic and future concerns this article points out. And this part might surprise you, government intervention in markets may have done more harm than good."

Basically, our bill to legalize the sale of raw cream and raw butter was killed because of special interests and their political friends in positions of power. Read the above article and tell me, is the sale of raw cream and raw butter really going to hurt the industry? It's already dying! And instead of working together to find different avenues to keep agriculture thriving, it's instead an "us vs. them" mentality with the Utah Farm Bureau and Utah Dairy Council as they continually place road blocks where they see fit. They won't even say, "Hey, let's create a bill together to make the sale of these products legal". It's just a no. No compromise. No brainstorming. No cooperation. Even with the Utah Department of Ag & Food speaking in favor of the bill, we got nowhere.

Running a farm is it's own amount of work, but we also continually battle against politicians, these two organizations, and outdated laws & regulations. Subsidies that are supposed to help are killing the industry, and the way farms are headed only those who evolve and find a niche market will be able to survive. Unfortunately these organizations claiming to represent farms & dairies can't, or won't, see it and make adjustments. Maybe raw dairy is what will save the industry? Maybe small-scale farms, who can harvest animals without needless government intrusion and oversight, will keep agriculture alive? Maybe your local farmer, where you can buy nutrient dense vegetables & other homemade foods, will be the future of farming? We think so, and that's why we'll continue to fight for change.

What's the next step? Try again next year - we'll be ready to go through this process again. What more can you do? Just be aware. Stay informed. How did your representative vote during this session? Were they on a committee discussing this bill, and if so, what did they say? What was their vote on the floor? What about your Senator? Take some time to know the people who represent you and find out if they're actually doing so, or just representing special interests instead. The food we eat can either be healing or harmful to our bodies, and we should have a choice in which we are able to purchase.

Friday
Mar082019

Act Now! Raw Cream & Butter Legislation

We made it to a Senate Committee!

Thank you for making your voice heard! We are one step closer to legalizing the sale of raw cream and raw butter in Utah through House Bill 182. The bill will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee Monday, March 11 at 8:00am. It needs to make it out of committee to then be voted on the Senate floor.

This bill will be met with opposition from some large agriculture organizations. Both the Utah Farm Bureau and the Utah Dairy Council are against this bill and will be lobbying behind the scenes to kill it or stall it. Any action you can take will help move it to the Senate Floor.

Here's how you can help:

1. Attend the meeting! Our farm will be there to speak in behalf of this bill and we would love to have you join us. This show of support will let the committee know there are many Utah citizens who want the freedom to purchase raw cream and raw butter. There should be an opportunity for public comment when you can also speak to the committee. The meeting will be Monday, March 11th, at 8:00am in Rm 220 of the Senate Building (on the 2nd floor). HB182 is item number ten on the agenda. To view the agenda click here.

If you are unable to attend but would like to listen to the hearing, you can do so by following this link. When the meeting begins there will be an option for the audio/video of the proceedings.

2. Contact the committee members! A simple email, text, and/or phone call to let them each know you support this bill. A list of members can be found here, or their contact information is below:

Sen. Ralph Okerlund | rokerlund@le.utah.gov | 435-979-7077
Sen. Allen Christensen | achristensen@le.utah.gov | 801-782-5600
Sen. Keith Grover | keithgrover@le.utah.gov | 801-319-0170
Sen. David Hinkins | dhinkins@le.utah.gov | 435-748-2828 (Good news! He is the floor sponsor for this bill.)
Sen. Jani Iwamoto | jiwamoto@le.utah.gov | 801-580-8414 (She is also on the Senate Rules committee. We appreciate her assigning this bill to a committee.)
Sen. Derek Kitchen | dkitchen@le.utah.gov | 801-674-6141
Sen. Scott Sandall | ssandall@le.utah.gov | 435-279-7551
Sen. Jerry Stevenson | jwstevenson@le.utah.gov | 801-678-3147
Sen. Evan Vickers | evickers@le.utah.gov | 435-817-5565
 


Thank you again for all of your work in moving this bill along, even in the face of some large opposition. It's exciting to see so much support for not only healthy foods, but local farms and local food too.

Tuesday
Mar052019

Dirty Politics - Raw Cream & Butter (Urgent!)

Currently, House Bill 182 to allow the sale of raw cream and raw butter, is being held in the Senate Rules Committee. Here's an update:

The Facts:
1. HB182 was heard and discussed in the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee TWICE. It was held the first time so they could discuss it further. At the second hearing it passed with a vote of 8-5.
2. At both of those hearings the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food spoke in favor of this bill. Senator Coleman worked side by side with them to create a bill which would alleviate their concerns.
3. At both of those hearings the Utah Farm Bureau spoke against the bill. They have never been very friendly towards raw milk, let alone raw milk products. They have a lot of influence with certain politicians.
4. At the second hearing the Utah Dairy Council spoke against the bill. They have never been very friendly towards raw milk, let alone raw milk products. They also have a lot of influence with certain politicians.
5. The Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Senator Gregg Buxton, is not friendly toward this bill.

This appears to be a stall tactic as we are running out of time. There is no reason for this bill to sit in Rules. It should go to a Senate Committee, be heard, and if it passes out, be voted on. Simply holding the bill because someone doesn't like it is dirty politics. This is shutting down the voice of the people and never giving us, as citizens of Utah, the opportunity to share our opinion.

Here's what you can do:

Contact the Senate Rules Committee members! This committee decides if a bill will be assigned to a committee, which committee will hear it, and when. Send a simple email, phone call, and text to let them each know you support this bill and want it to be heard. ASK THEM WHY it is being held. REQUEST they assign it to a committee. TALK ABOUT how it passed out of the House with an overwhelming majority vote. REMIND them time is running out and this needs to be done NOW.

A list of members can be found here, or their contact information is below:

Sen. Gregg Buxton (Chair) |  gbuxton@le.utah.gov | 801-707-7095
Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (Vice Chair) | lfillmore@le.utah.gov | 385-831-8902
Sen. Jake Anderegg | janderegg@le.utah.gov | 801-901-3580
Sen. Wayne Harper | wharper@le.utah.gov | 801-566-5466
Sen. Dan Hemmert | dhemmert@le.utah.gov | 801-380-8262
Sen. Don Ipson | dipson@le.utah.gov | 435-817-5281
Sen. Jani Iwamoto | jiwamoto@le.utah.gov | 801-580-8414
Sen. Karen Mayne | kmayne@le.utah.gov | 801-232-6648
Sen. Dan McCay | dmccay@le.utah.gov | 801-810-4110
 
For convenience here are all of their email addresses:
gbuxton@le.utah.gov

lfillmore@le.utah.gov
janderegg@le.utah.gov
wharper@le.utah.gov
dhemmert@le.utah.gov
dipson@le.utah.gov
jiwamoto@le.utah.gov
kmayne@le.utah.gov
dmccay@le.utah.gov

Time is of the essence and anything you can do will help.

Thursday
Feb142019

Raw Milk: Short Supply Sorrow

It doesn’t happen often, but once in awhile our raw milk demand is bigger than our raw milk production. Nothing has changed on our end - we’re still milking the same number of cows, which are producing the same amount of milk. But we’re selling out day after day and right now is one of those times.


Unfortunately, there’s not a quick fix for this. We can’t order more milk or simply add more cows to our dairy as an overnight solution. We are extremely selective about what breed of cows we add to our herd, also looking closely at their genetics and diet.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind while milk is in short supply:

  1. We have fresh milk stocked each day our farm store is open. We bottle our milk three times each week, right before our doors open. If you visit on a Tuesday or Thursday at 2:00pm, or Saturday at 10:00am, there will be milk on the shelves. How long it will be there is difficult to determine.
  2.  We have the most milk on Tuesdays. When we bottle that day it’s milk from Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, while the other days we bottle milk from two days (Wednesday & Thursday’s on Thursday, Friday & Saturday’s on Saturday). We have been selling out as quickly as 45 minutes on Saturdays.
  3. We cannot pre-sell or hold milk. We understand there are health reasons you need milk. We know some have to drive hours to pick it up. But there are many who share the same needs and we just can’t accommodate them all. The logistics of accepting payments, coordinating pick ups, and managing it would be a large job in addition to the existing farm work we also need to get done each day. We feel our first-come, first-served policy is the most fair to all in this situation.
  4. We post on social media when we are sold out. Check our Facebook and Instagram feeds before you head to the farm to see if milk is still in stock. You’re also welcome to call or text our farm number to find out (801-896-3276).
  5. We will have more milk soon. Both warmer temperatures as we move into spring, and a few dairy cows who are due to calve soon, will increase milk supply.

The amount of milk we have does change throughout the year. Our cows give less in the colder months, usually when demand is higher, and more in the warmer months, usually when demand is lower. It would be nice if production and demand coincided a little better, but we understand it’s just part of the cycle of eating real food from a farm.

 

As we work through these times of short supply, know how much we appreciate your patience and continued support. As a small farm it’s a relief to know we are selling all we can produce - none of it goes to waste. We also value your smiles in our store during an occasional long wait in line, as well as your commitment to healing, local food. Thank you for being part of UNM!

Tuesday
Feb052019

Urgent Legislation - Raw Cream & Butter

Let's make a change!

Did you know raw cream and raw butter are illegal to sell in Utah? Our Representative, Kim Coleman, is trying to change it via House Bill 182, which will legalize the sale of these two products from licensed raw milk producers. (To read the text of the bill click here.) We just learned this bill will be heard by the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, February 6 at 4:00pm. The bill needs to make it out of committee to then be voted on.

Here's how you can help:

1. Attend the meeting! This show of support will let the committee know there are many Utah citizens who want the freedom to purchase raw cream and raw butter. The meeting will be Wednesday, February 6th, at 4:00pm in Rm 445 State Capitol Building (it is the main building, on the 4th floor). To see the agenda click here.

2. Contact the committee members! A simple email or phone call to let them each know you support this bill. A list of members can be found here, or their contact information is below:

Rep. Keven J. Stratton | 801-836-6010 (no email available)
Rep. Logan Wilde | loganwilde@le.utah.gov | 435-412-4384
Rep. Carl R. Albrecht | carlalbrecht@le.utah.gov | 435-979-6578
Rep. Joel K. Briscoe | jbriscoe@le.utah.gov | 801-946-9791
Rep. Scott H. Chew | scottchew@le.utah.gov | 435-630-0221
Rep. Susan Duckworth | sduckworth@le.utah.gov | 801-250-0728
Rep. Joel Ferry | jferry@le.utah.gov | 435-465-8887
Rep. Timothy D. Hawkes | thawkes@le.utah.gov | 801-928-9008
Rep. Phil Lyman | plyman@le.utah.gov | 435-459-2800
Rep. Michael K. McKell | 801-210-1495 (no email available)
Rep. Derrin R. Owens | derrinowens@le.utah.gov | 435-851-1284
Rep. Douglas V. Sagers | dougsagers@le.utah.gov | 435-830-3485
Rep. Christine F. Watkins | christinewatkins@le.utah.gov | 435-650-1969

For convenience here are all of the available email addresses:
loganwilde@le.utah.gov

carlalbrecht@le.utah.gov
jbriscoe@le.utah.gov
scottchew@le.utah.gov
sduckworth@le.utah.gov
jferry@le.utah.gov
thawkes@le.utah.gov
plyman@le.utah.gov
derrinowens@le.utah.gov
dougsagers@le.utah.gov
christinewatkins@le.utah.gov

This bill will be met with opposition from some large agriculture organizations. We know it's short notice but anything you can do will help. Our farm will be there to speak in support of this and we would love to have you join us.

Here's to healthy, healing foods and the freedom to choose what we eat!