Correspondent Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reported for KWSU-FM radio about the current debate over raw milk.
She interviewed George Calvert, a dairy farmer who operated a cow-share dairy outside of Spokane, Washington, until recently. He said that in his cow-share program, a person could pay 40 dollars for a share of the cow’s ownership, and an additional fee for milking. In a cow-share, no one buys the milk, but buys the service that provides the milk – namely, the cow.
Since new legislations in the state were passed regarding the sale of raw milk, Calvert has shut down the cow-share portion of his farm for fear that the state would require him to buy and install expensive equipment upgrades.
Johnson also interviewed Dr Justin Denny from the Clark County Department of Health, who explained that licensing and inspections by the state would cut down on the incidence of campylobacter, salmonella, listeria, and E.coli, along with other potentially lethal bacteria, which are usually killed by pasteurization but live actively in raw milk.
Finally, she interviewed Chrys Ostrander, a spokesman for the Washington Association of Shareholder Dairy Owners. He hopes that there is a workable middle ground where the state can create a separate set of guidelines for small dairy owners, so that they are not subjected to the same sort of potentially expensive criteria as large dairy operations.