My family grew up drinking raw milk as did most of the farm families of the Cumberland Highlands region of Southeastern Kentucky.
We would go through a minimum of one gallon per day; a good milk cow was crucial to the economics of our farm.
Even back then, milk was expensive, and a good way to mitigate the cost was to turn a Guernsey cow loose in one of our pastures then coax her into a stall each morning and milk her. My sister and I inherited the duty as it’s tedious work and the older members of our family had already served their cow-milking time when they were kids.
We drank thousands of gallons of milk, grew tall, rarely got sick and certainly never from drinking milk from a good honest cow.
The benefits of raw milk consumption have been proven over and over again, and now only ten of the US states have outright bans on it.
Louisiana is one of those states.
Yesterday, State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain laughably stated “We are charged, you and I, with public health, protection of public health,” in lobbying against the Louisiana farmers who wanted to change the law.
To be clear: There are risks in consuming raw milk. Ol’ Bossy’s udder needs to be thoroughly cleaned with good soapy water prior to milking, that’s the only protective measure we ever took and it worked to great effect.
Since 1970, the number of dairy farms in the US has fallen from a peak of 658,000 to 75,000.
How many additional farms would take on dairy production if they didn’t have to install hyper-expensive pasteurization equipment?
In the glory era of Louisiana dairy over a thousand farms were producing wholesome cow’s milk for our state’s citizens. Now that number is barely over a hundred.
House Bill 1279 died yesterday, and with it the dreams of legally consuming non-pasteurized milk in our state.