Thursday, April 25, 2013

Answered Prayer to Legislation and Efforts of Many

The above picture is from a video clip of two legislators on a radio show discussing raw milk where Bartlett Farm is mentioned as one source of raw milk in North Dakota. To see this video, go to THIS LINK and look for "The Legislature Today 04-22-13 Seg 2."
The North Dakota House of Representatives and Senate have now passed SB2072 which doubly protects shared animal ownership (i.e., cow-share dairies). The amended bill defines shared animal ownership agreements and then specifically limits the ability of the ND Ag Commissioner from regulating it.  The three page relevant amendment is HERE.

The key sentences are these:  

"It is not a violation of this chapter to transfer or obtain raw milk under a shared animal
ownership agreement."
"..the commissioner may not adopt any rule that restricts, limits, or imposes additional requirements on any individual transferring or obtaining raw milk in accordance with the terms of a shared animal ownership agreement."
Here is what we wrote to the Representatives and Senators just prior to the recent vote:
Please vote DO PASS on the SB 2072 Amendment and bill.
1. The latest SB 2072 Amendment version 13.8013.04000 April 23 is acceptable to us, because it prevents the Ag commissioner from interfering with the private property and individual liberty of shared animal ownership agreements.

2. While acceptable, we view the amendment as technically unnecessary because shared animal agreements are already legal. On April 22, 2013 Attorney Pete Kennedy, President of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, informed us that the present legality of shared ownership agreements can be defended from NDCC 35-17, the Agister's Lien law ( ). By implication from 35-17, a person can board their animal on another's property. It would then be unreasonable to bar someone from obtaining their own milk or for a dairy regulator to define shared ownership as selling milk, and thereby increase regulation.

Therefore we encourage you to vote DO PASS on the SB 2072 Amendment and bill.


Jim, Peter and Jonathan for Bartlett Farm