Herdshares Under Attack – Email Committee Members & Bill Sponsors
The freedom-killing raw milk bill, Senate Bill 15 (), has been assigned to the . There has been massive opposition to this bill that would ban herdshare agreements and deny your property rights and liberty!
Let the committee members and the bill’s sponsors know that you want this bill to die now. The driver for Senator Richard Briggs’ bill is a foodborne illness outbreak of e-coli O157:H7 last spring that was blamed on raw milk produced by a Knoxville shareholder dairy; no e-coli was found in any of the dairy’s milk that public health officials tested. This was the second foodborne illness outbreak blamed on raw milk consumption in the nearly ten years that herd share agreements have been legal in Tennessee. If two outbreaks in 10 years are enough to ban a food then many other foods would be illegal to obtain as well. SB15 would change the law to read:
“A person who is the sole owner of a hoofed mammal may use the milk from the animal for the owner’s personal consumption or other personal use. This section does not apply to a person who owns a partial interest in a hoofed mammal.”
So, whether you own a ¾, ½, ¼ or 1/100 interest in a cow, it doesn’t matter; it would be illegal to get milk from your cow. Even if you board the cow on your own property; it’s illegal to drink milk from the cow unless you are a 100% owner; in other words, herdshare farmers can’t drink milk from cows or other dairy animals on their property unless they own animals outside of the herdshare agreement.
ACTION TO TAKE
1. Email (PLEASE DO NOT CALL) the members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee asking them not to hold a hearing on SB 15 and asking that they vote against the bill if a hearing is held.
You may tap each email address of the committee members or copy/paste the entire to block to email the whole committee:
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2. Call and/or email Senator Briggs and ask him to withdraw SB15. Sen. Briggs contact information is 615-741-1766 and email firstname.lastname@example.org; staffer’s name is Sarah Adair.
3. Call and/or email Representative Patsy Hazelwood, the sponsor of the companion bill banning herdshares in the General Assembly (the bill doesn’t have a number as of yet) and tell her to withdraw the herdshare bill. Rep. Hazelwood’s contact information is 615-741-2746 and email email@example.com; staffer’s name is Kyle Faulkner.
· We have the right to determine what foods to put in our bodies, not the government; and parents have the right to feed their children the foods they believe are best for their health. Passage of SB15 would deny this right to 99% of Tennessee’s population. It’s not a free society if people don’t have the right to assume the risk and eat foods that its government discourages them from consuming.
· There have been numerous and deadly foodborne illness outbreaks in the past few years involving ice cream, cantaloupe, and romaine lettuce, and there have been no calls to ban any of those foods. Raw milk should be no different. There shouldn’t be any double standard. Raw milk has a good overall track record for safety. One incident should not dictate policy.
· Banning the distribution of raw milk through herd share agreements denies the property rights of those who have partial ownership interests in dairy animals. Herdshare agreements are private contractual arrangements outside the stream of public commerce providing for the distribution of a food that is legal to consume. The government should leave them alone.
· The Tennessee dairy industry is suffering enough, dealing from 600 dairies in 2007 to 210 at the present time. Herd share programs have thrived in Tennessee since the state legalized them in 2009. Several hundred dairies have operated herdshares at one time or another in the past ten years; thousands of raw milk consumers have benefitted. Herdshare programs are a way for some of the remaining dairy farms to stay in business. SB15 takes that away.
Read the blog post, “” WAPF will be sending out further alerts on SB15 as events warrant.