|Virginia to Outlaw Small Cow and Goat Cheese Producers!|
|Sunday, 16 January 2005 17:05|
New repressive regulations recently adopted by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and approved by Governor Warner will drive small cow and goat cheese producers out of business in Virginia. These regulations will become effective January 26, 2005 unless Virginia residents act now!
After January 26th, it will be illegal for a farmer to sell even one pound of their own farm-produced cheese and butter to a next door neighbor or direct consumer unless that farmer has a license. To obtain and hold a license a farmer must (to name a few):
The Governor has indicated that he could revisit this small farm issue!
The Governor, along with the two Agriculture Committees in the House and Senate of the Virginia General Assembly, can suspend the effective date until after the next legislative session so that the legislators can review the Department's actions.
CALL OR WRITE GOVERNOR MARK WARNER IMMEDIATELY!
The Honorable Mark R. Warner
Email: mark.warner (at) governor.virginia.gov
Phone: (804) 786-2211 Fax: (804) 371-6351
Also, you may contact the new Secretary of Agriculture, Robert S. Bloxom, at the same mailing address as above or by e-mail robert.bloxom (at) governor.virginia.gov and your local Virginia General Assembly Senator and Delegate
TELL THEM THAT VIRGINIA IS MOVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION WHEN IT OVER-REGULATES THE SMALL FARMER. TELL THEM THAT YOU OPPOSE THE NEW REGULATIONS WHICH COVER THE STORING AND HANDLING OF MILK AND THE MANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS. ASK THEM TO SUSPEND THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGUALTIONS SO THAT THE LEGISLATORS CAN REVIEW THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICUTURE'S ACTIONS.
The specific regulations in question are 2VAC5-531 Regulations Governing Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and 2VAC 5-501 Regulations Governing the Cooling, Storing, Sampling and Transportation of Milk. Please include this information in the Subject line of your letter.
Sample Letter (please use this as an example only. We will have more influence if you compose your own letter using the basic outline of the sample letter):
The Honorable Mark R. Warner
Subject: Comments on 2VAC5-531 Regulations Governing Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and 2VAC5-501 Regulations Governing the Cooling, Storing, Sampling and Transportation of Milk
I urge you to suspend the effective date of January 26, 2005 of the Department of Agriculture regulations 2VAC5-531 and 2VAC5-501 regarding milk and the production of cow and goat cheese by small farmers until after the next legislative session so that the legislators can review the Department's actions. These regulations are completely onerous to small farmers in Virginia and will effectively close down the sale of locally produced cow and goal milk cheese. Small farmers already face tough economic times. Why further limit their economic viability?
According to these regulations, after January 26, 2005, it will be illegal for a Virginia farmer to sell even one pound of their own farm-produced cheese and butter to a next door neighbor or direct consumer unless that farmer has a license. To obtain and hold a license a farmer must (to name a few):
These regulations will effectively put these small farmers out of business and cut off the supply of nutritious cheeses to consumers such as myself. I deeply resent this action limiting my choices of healthy foods and limiting the economic viability of small farmers.
Thank you for taking this very necessary action to save small farmers in this state and preserve the freedom of choice of the consumer.
[your name and address]
In addition to stopping the regulations through letters, e-mails and phone calls now, action is planned for the 2005 General Assembly session with respect to exempting farmers selling their own farm-raised/produced products direct to the final consumer.
Members of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association and the Virginia State Dairy Goat Association are spearheading this effort. Please contact Debbie Stockton at vicfavoice (at) earthlink.net to be placed on their Action e-mail alert list, if you desire. For phone call lobbying alert or more information contact Christine Solem or John Coles at (434) 973-6505.