“Farm to Fridge” Bill Introduced in California
The California Home Dairy Farm Raw Milk Safety Act (AB 2505)—also known as the “Farm to Fridge” bill— provides for small-scale raw milk producers (i.e., home dairy farms) to make on-farm sales direct to consumers. No license would be required but there would be basic safety/sanitation requirements to meet.
Invitation to Support Efforts
Dear California Raw Milk Supporters,
We need your support for Farm to Fridge – AB2505!
Visit us on Facebook for the most recent updates!
Please join us in the coming weeks to support small dairy herds in California to legally distribute excess raw milk from Home Dairies.
First, to launch the bill, you are invited to attend a press conference in Vacaville on April 4th at 11 a.m. with the author Assemblymember Mariko Yamada. At the conference we will be conducting interviews asking people what AB2505 means to them. We are asking farmers and consumers to speak on behalf of the bill. For more details on the press conference, contact Doniga Markegard at email@example.com
You can further support the bill. On April 9th at 1:30 you are invited to be part of history and attend the Assembly Agriculture Hearing in Sacramento or VOICE out your support via letter, calling or e-mailing. If you attend in person (most important and historically significant!), you will only be able to state your name, affiliation (farmer, consumer or advocate) and that you support the bill.
For more details pertaining to the hearing, contact for questions: Yannick Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you attend in person or make a call, we ask that you keep this bill primarily about the rights to raise and consume the food of your choosing. We have been asked to keep health claims out of the campaign efforts for this bill. If you are a member of the Farm Bureau we ask that you specifically state it. We need to show that Farm Bureau members around the state do in fact support the rights to raise and consume raw milk.
Ahead of April 9th, the Ag. Committee needs to hear the large collection of tiny voices that would most benefit from this bill; farmers, folks who show goats, 4H dairy project members, FFA members, Farm Bureau members, Grangers and consumers. Please let them know in your own words who you are and what it would mean to you to have AB 2505 become law.
Please keep in mind that an actual letter, whether faxed or US mail has the most “value” to a legislative office. A phone call is second best. An email is the least “valuable” but if that is all you have time for GO FOR IT!! please have AB2505 in the subject line. You can keep it as simple as “please support AB2505” but having it in your own words is better than a “form letter”.
Contact information for the Assembly Agriculture Committee:
Susan Talamantes Eggman (Chair)
P.O. Box 942849, Room 2003, Sacramento, CA 94249-0013; (916) 319-2013
Fax: (916) 319-2184
Kristin Olsen (Vice Chair)
P.O. Box 942849, Room 2111, Sacramento, CA 94249-0012; (916) 319-2012
P.O. Box 942849, Room 319, Sacramento, CA 94249-0078; (916) 319-2078
P.O. Box 942849, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249-0001; (916) 319-2001
P.O. Box 942849, Room 6005, Sacramento, CA 94249-0009; (916) 319-2009
P.O. Box 942849, Room 2175, Sacramento, CA 94249-0020; (916) 319-2020
Again, PLEASE go to our facebook page where we have up-to-the-minute actions and details for this bill or contact us!
Your voice and our united message will be heard and we thank you in advanced for your dedication to raw milk for all.
Doniga Markegard and Yannick Phillips
Farm to Fridge Team
AB 2505 (Yamada)
Home Dairy Farm Raw Milk Safety Act
AB 2505 defines a home dairy farm as having no more than three lactating cows or no more than 15 lactating goats on the premises and incorporates these small scale raw milk producers into critical safety and sanitation standards. AB 2505’s safety and sanitation standards for home dairy farms include having their animals tested and found non-reactive to annual tuberculin and brucellosis testing, maintaining strict milk temperatures, and strict bacterial limits; the same standards required for Grade A raw market milk.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heat treated). Farm families have been choosing to drink raw milk from their cows, goats or other lactating mammals for decades, and have traditionally shared extra milk with neighbors and friends. Thirty three states have set varying standards to allow for some form of sale of raw cow or goat milk, including California.
In California, any farm that produces milk for sale and has more than two cows or six goats in lactation qualify as dairy farms, and only dairy farms with permits are approved to sell milk in California. These dairy farms produce milk to be pasteurized for retail sale or processing at creameries and cheese plants as well as produce milk intended for sale to consumers in its raw form. Raw milk that is produced for direct human consumption must be tested at inspection facilities to determine weight and fat percentage, produced in a milk house or milk room, and graded by a milk inspection service. There are no national regulations for human consumption of raw milk.
NEED FOR THE BILL
An estimated 1,000 home dairy farm families with a few cows or goats have no recourse under California law to offer their excess raw milk to anyone, even though it never touches retail markets or farmers markets. A market exists for raw milk as individuals throughout California choose to drink raw milk for taste, access, or health reasons, and prefer to purchase it fresh from a neighbor as they might do with eggs from family chickens or produce from family gardens rather than purchase them from a retail store. Currently, a dairy farm has to obtain a permit, build special infrastructure such as milking rooms and pay for regular farm inspection fees, animal health inspection fees and grading of the milk and fat content measuring. These cost prohibitive requirements prevent families with a few cows from being able to share their milk legally. AB 2505 will provide California’s family farms a legal method for putting their milk to use instead of throwing it away. The base standards created by the bill, including on-farm, direct sales only; sanitary and safe environments; bottle neck ties with home dairy farm’s information and raw milk warning labels; adherence to Grade A market milk bacterial content standards; equipment sanitization; and annual animal disease testing, will support California’s small family farms while still protecting public health.
Phone: (916) 319-2004