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Action Alert

URGENT and Renewed Action
is Needed by All Minnesotans

Help the Food Freedom Project (www.mnhlrp.org) in passing the Minnesota Raw Milk Bills (Senate SF147 and House HF255) that the State Legislature is currently considering.

 

To bring you up to date, a committee hearing is expected to take place in the very near future (date to be announced, but expected in April), so we need to step up our efforts NOW.   

 

Remember that time is of the essence!  Your participation is critical.  We thank you for your efforts to support improved access to farm-fresh raw milk and local, sustainable, wholesome foods of our choice. 

 

Sincerely,  MNHLRPcontact

Food Freedom Project

Gregory Schmidt, President, MNHLRP    

Tel: (651) 647-9908

Email: FoodFreedom@mnhlrp.org

TAKE ACTION NOW   

Please do as many of these as possible, even if you have already done some of them in the past, because repeat contact is crucial.  Plus, there are new steps and strategies outlined below.

 

1.)  SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION

Do this step only once per person, and ask friends and family to sign it, too. Visit www.MNHLRP.org

 

2.)  CALL / WRITE THE GOVERNOR AND YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS

Contact both your Legislators (Senator and House Representative at the state level, not national level), as well as Governor Mark Dayton.  Tell them where you live, tell them why raw, farm-fresh milk is important to you, and ask them to support these bills.  Be sure to include any personal health benefits for you and your loved ones.  

 

See Reasons and Talking Tips below, as well as links for identifying and contacting legislators.

 

3.)  CALL / WRITE YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS IF THEY ARE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

This is particularly critical because the Agriculture Committees currently wield great power in deciding to give these bills a hearing, and with no hearing they will go no further.  Tell them where you live, tell them why raw, farm-fresh milk is important to you, and ask them to support these bills.  Be sure to mention the economic benefits for rural communities and small family farms, and the strength these bills offer for the local food movement.  Include any personal health benefits for you and your loved ones.   

 

See the list of Ag Committee members below, as well as Reasons and Talking Tips at the bottom of this email, and links for identifying and contacting legislators.

 

4.)  ASK FOR A MEETING WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS IN PERSON

This can be a meeting at the State Capitol (often lasting ~15 minutes), at a coffee shop in your neighborhood, or at your home with a small group of like-minded friends.

 

5.)  RECRUIT FRIENDS TO ACT

Please ask like-minded friends and family to act.  Also, if you know someone who is a raw dairy consumer who is DISABLED or DIFFERENTLY-ABLED, or who has transportation challenges, please ask them to make their voice heard.  The law as currently written, requiring raw milk to be obtained "at the farm", is discriminatory toward those who rely on public transportation or who are disabled, blind or unable to drive.  The new bills would alleviate this discriminatory aspect through improved access and delivery options.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  

Legislators will be on spring break from Sat, April 16 - Sun, April 24, a perfect time for an in-person meeting in your home district, either at a coffee shop or home.  This can also happen on weekends when legislators are generally at home in their districts.  Just call your Senator's or House Representative's office in advance to ask for an in-person meeting in your community.  You may be surprised at how easy this is - remember, your legislators represent YOU and your neighbors in your district.  They are genuinely glad to have direct input from individual constituents rather than paid lobbyists.  Feel free to bring your children if you meet in person.   

 

We will gladly accompany you to a meeting to help answer questions if you are in the Twin Cities metro area.  We can give you talking pointers in advance in any case, and if you live in an out-state area we will do everything we can to help you with a local meeting  

 

See our contact info above

Please let us know who you contacted and how it went, and send us copies of your letter(s) to include in our support materials for committee hearings. 

CONTACT   

GOVERNOR & LEGISLATOR INFORMATION

Governor info call 651-201-3400, OR visit http://bit.ly/GovDayton

 

Senate Info call (888) 234-1112  

House Info call (800) 657-3550

OR visit http://bit.ly/mnlegislator

 

HOUSE AGRICULTURE & RURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Bruce Anderson, Paul Anderson, Kent Eken, Andrew Falk, Mary Franson, Patti Fritz, Rod Hamilton (chairman), Rick Hansen, Larry Hosch, Kory Kath, Debra Kiel, Mike LeMieur, Carolyn McElfatrick, Terry Morrow, John Persell, Jeanne Poppe, Joe Schomacker, Ron Shimanski, Chris Swedzinski, Paul Torkelson, Bruce Vogel, John Ward.

 

SENATE AGRICULTURE & RURAL ECONOMIES COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Gary Dahms, Gary Kubly, Michelle Benson, David Brown, Kenneth Kelash, Doug Magnus (chairman), Jeremy Miller, Carla Nelson, Sean Nienow, Julie Rosen, Tom Saxhaug, Rod Skoe, Dan Sparks, LeRoy Stumpf.

OVERVIEW   

THE ISSUE

Raw, farm-fresh milk is a legal, traditional food in Minnesota; however, the current, outdated law requires it to be obtained "at the farm."  This restriction creates hardships for Minnesotans to obtain farm-fresh milk and for farmers wishing to sell farm-fresh milk, since it is wasteful, unwise, and impractical to have many city consumers drive to where the farm-fresh milk is produced.

 

THE SOLUTION

Remove on-site purchase requirement since it is not possible for some people and impractical for many people to face the perils of lengthy road travel in order to access the raw milk from the farm.

 

THE REASONS Reasons

  • These bills cost nothing for the state to implement. They simply improve practical access to an already legal food.
  • These bills support family farms, rural economies, sustainable farming, healthy citizens, and food freedom.
  • In Minnesota, farm-fresh milk is a traditional, cultural food consumed by many families for generations.
  • Raw milk consumers are rational people making educated choices by studying the health aspects, meeting the farmers and visiting the farms.  They choose their food and their dairy farmer carefully.
  • Our urbanized society is different from when the current purchase restrictions were established back in the 1940s.  The restrictions need to be removed to reflect the current times, and to be less discriminatory toward those who rely on public transportation or who are disabled, blind or unable to drive.
  • Raw milk produced for human consumption is safe.  There are 2 forms of milk production.  One type of milk must be pasteurized.  The other type is produced under different conditions and can be consumed raw.
  • Pasteurized milk is a processed food.  Nutrition and health professionals recommend less processed foods.
  • These bills support the national "Know Your Farmer" campaign.  

TALKING TIPS TalkingTips  

DO:

  • Focus on how these bills address the ACCESS, TRANSPORTATION, and EFFICIENCY issues.
  • Focus on why raw, farm-fresh milk is important for YOU. 
  • Make positive and personal statements; include the reasons listed above as well as your own.  

DON'T:

  • Please AVOID alienating or unrelated information -- partisan remarks; bashing Big Ag (focus on raw dairy and its benefits); Hartmann case (which is a separate issue and remains unresolved); federal food safety legislation S510 (these bills are only about Minnesota).

 

The Food Freedom Project is an initiative of the Minnesota Natural Health Legal Reform Project (MNHLRP).  This effort is supported by local and national organizations and many individuals.  To learn more about the efforts of MNHLRP, or to donate, please go to www.mnhlrp.org   

 

 

About the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

FTCLDF is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization made up of farmers and consumers joining together and pooling resources to protect the constitutional rights of the nation's family farms and the consumers who patronize them. 

 

Visit www.farmtoconsumer.org or call 703-208-3276    

 

 

Sent April 3, 2011 

Minnesota Links 

Find Your Legislators 

 

Online Petition

 

Minnesota Governor  

   

Bill Progress Blog 

 

About Raw Milk

Minnesota Natural Health Legal Reform Project 

MNHLRP, a 501(c)(4) grassroots consumer organization, was formed in 1996 to protect access to natural health care in the state of Minnesota.

MNHLRP was the citizen force behind the passage of Chapter 146A, the Complementary and Alternative Health Freedom of Access Act, passed in 2000 by the Minnesota State Legislature.

Chapter 146A  

is a landmark piece of legislation which affirms peoples' rights to access natural health information, products and healing services of their choice.  Many other states have copied Minnesota's legislation and passed Health Freedom laws for their citizens.

www.mnhlrp.org

FoodFreedom@mnhlrp.org 

Gregory Schmidt, President 

612-386-4908