The last couple months have been a roller coaster ride for proponents of HB574, a bill that in its original form would have allowed owners of small dairy herds in Montana to sell raw milk directly to consumers. The bill passed in the Montana House in March. The Senate Agriculture Committee made considerable changes to the bill and then voted – twice – to kill it.Some of the bill's original supporters were among those who wanted it killed, due to the amendments made by the Senate.
The revised bill said anyone selling raw milk would have to meet the Grade A standards of larger dairies, that anyone buying milk from a smaller herd would have to own a share of the cow, goat or sheep, and that anyone harmed by consuming raw milk could not hold the state liable.
According to the Missoulian, Chris Rosenau of Stevensville, author of the original bill that was supported by small dairy farmers and others who wanted to sell raw milk, said its backers felt Senate amendments to the bill had made it unworkable for small producers.
The Senate killed the measure on April 17, but the next day voted to reconsider that action and have another vote. That second vote came up one vote short of the needed two-thirds majority to advance the bill. PD
—From an article by Mike Dennison in the Missoulian (Click here to read the full article.)