Kathie Durbin of The Columbian News reports that a House bill that requires state licensing of all dairies regardless of size has been endorsed by state regulators as well as raw-milk producers. The bill raises the possibility of a special license specific to microdairies, to take into account the costs of small farms.
House Bill 3010, like its Senate counterpart, makes clear that cow-share arrangements are still legally dairies and subject to the same standards as traditional commercial dairy operations. In cow-share arrangements, people buy “shares” of a milk cow or goat in return for a portion of the milk produced, rather than purchase the milk outright.
The bill also would give state inspectors new enforcement tools that would allow them to inspect unlicensed dairies and obtain their customer lists. It would make selling raw milk without a license a class C felony.
An amendment to the bill takes into account smaller “microdairies” that do not have the financial threshold of larger corporate dairies.
Microdairies will be based on how much milk they produce, how many animals they have or other criteria, and would develop “size-appropriate and economically feasible” standards for licensing, inspection and testing of the milk or cheese produced.