Independent dairy farming is a tricky business. Most of the dairy industry is dominated by large corporations with lobbyists that control Congress and a product that controls the market. Small farmers can hardly compete and there are no government regulations to help them. Unless they get a dairy license, which is a costly and intensive process, small farmers are forbidden to market their product and only able to sell the milk if transactions take place on the premises.
Last weekend I went to Living Earth Farm and the owner, Sharon Blick said, “The government is so corrupted by these big industry lobbyists that they are not doing the right thing anymore. The dairy industry is shutting down small farmers.” This weekend, on our farm visit to the Organic Rednecks, we heard a similar story. Knowing this makes me think about whose job it is to decide what food we eat and where we buy it from.
The government wants us to buy milk that is pasteurized and FDA approved, but there are other options. If small farmers aren’t allowed to reach out to us with marketing, then I think it’s our job to explore our area and meet local farmers. Although raw milk contains more nutrients and good bacteria, some argue that it is more likely to contain harmful bacteria as well. We have to decide for ourselves whether the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s a personal choice.