Can Raw Milk Survive Being in the Most Pathetic Food Industry?

A scene at Aerofarm, an indoor farm in Newark, NJ. (

The dairy industry has to be about the most boring and pathetic in the food industry. Two events in just the last few days help explain what I mean:

  • Dean Foods, the largest milk processor in the country, just alerted something like 100 farmers around the country that it would discontinue buying their milk later in the spring. A Tennessee television station aired a report that a number of that state’s dairy farms would be badly impacted, as in they would no longer have a buyer for their milk.
  • At about the same time,a Tennessee radio station reported in the last couple days that the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which are heavily supported by Dean Foods, “applauded the withdrawal this week of a series of bills in the Tennessee state legislature” that would have expanded the availability of raw milk.

So, if I understand this correctly, Dean Foods just torpedoed a handful of Tennessee dairy farms, and to add insult to injury, it made sure to destroy the few lifeboats that might have provided alternative business options to the torpedo victims.

Now, I’m not suggesting Dean Foods consists of a bunch of sadists. Maybe a bunch of clowns would be more apt. Dean Foods is a multibillion-dollar company that, during a time of tremendous economic growth, has actually experienced a sales decline over the last couple years. From $8.1 billion revenues in 2015 to $7.8 billion last year.

There’s no shortage of short-sighted crazies in this business– on the other side of the fence, you have the downward spiraling Weston A. Price Foundation, which has been a primary outlet for news and information about raw milk over the last decade. Its membership is estimated to have declined by a factor of 50% or more over the last few years (it doesn’t publish membership numbers). A lot of that has to do with the spillover from the conflict over fermented cod liver oil a couple years back. But you have to think some has to do with boredom or nonchalance about raw dairy, and perhaps even a decline of interest in raw milk.

Fortunately, the food arena is full of imaginative and creative new ventures to fill the void. When I’m bored with raw milk, which happens a lot these days, I have been learning about exciting progress being made producing artificial burgers as well as in hydroponics. In Newark, NJ, of all places, an indoor farm is turning out more than a million pounds of fresh produce each year, with 95% less water and land use…..and restaurant chefs are giving it top taste reviews. Watch out, California. Year-round real local produce may become a reality in the East.

It’s tough for forward-looking and safety-conscious producers of raw milk to progress in a larger industry that is stuck in the 1950s. Maybe they need to help educate their traditional dairy farmer brethren. One Tennessee farmer decimated by the Dean Foods cutback was quoted in the article I linked to at the start saying: “It’s a tough situation, and I don’t know the answer for it. I don’t know what all has happened to lead to this point, but I know it’s devastating several family farmers.” Really? Conventional dairy farms have been falling like flies for the last umpteen years and this guy has no idea why his own business is doomed? These guys who berate teen moms for not planning ahead are committing business suicide in droves, and they have a much longer planning horizon.

It’s easy to blame the big multinational corporation for this kind of stupidity, but when are the farmers going to stand up and accept their share of the blame? It’s a fast-changing world out there, and dairy farmers embarrass their brethren when they come across as so pathetic. And you know they’ll never take any share of the responsibility, but will look for others to blame, like the “new world order” or “the globalists” or “the liberals,” or the scapegoat of the month. No, that would be too much like standing up like a responsible individual.

73 comments to Can Raw Milk Survive Being in the Most Pathetic Food Industry?

  • JHeckman

    Producers of organic pasteurized milk are now also suffering from a market glut.
    But in general there continues to be a strong demand for authentic organic foods or as organic farming pioneer Howard would call it “fresh food from fertile soil”.

    There has been a strong push back against allowing hydroponic produce to be labeled organic:

    Organic Farming is Buzzing – see page 34 of the Jan 2018 issue of American Fruit Grower

  • Rose Bohmann

    ???how does this show that the dairy farmers are pathetic? What is your solution for them? They should create “aerodairy” farms to avoid the problems of insufficient pay for their product, for official hostility toward fresh milk? This screed sounds more like blaming the victim.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      There’s no “victim” here that I’m aware of, Rose. I’m sorry, but these dairy farmers are also business owners. They have a responsibility to their employees and their families to run their businesses responsibly. That means being responsive to what’s happening in the marketplace. When a responsible business owner sees that he/she has only one viable purchaser of the business’ product, and that purchaser is a heartless corporate monopoly, it’s time to start looking at other options. For small dairy farms, that time came many years ago. Maybe the answer is, as you suggest, a transition to becoming an “aerodairy” farm, if that’s a realistic innovative option. Maybe the answer is to get into the raw milk business. Maybe the answer is to switch to growing vegetables, or raising pastured chickens or grass-fed beef. Maybe it’s to turn your farm into a local amusement park. One thing I do know: the answer isn’t to sit around and just whine about TPTB and wish for “the good old days” when there were a half dozen processors within a few miles, all eager for your milk and ready to pay decent rates. Where’s the responsible grown-up behavior?

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad


    Most farmers are fiercely independent, innovating, hard working individuals who know what it means to take the bull by the horns. There is no shortage of work yet a dire shortage of adequate income for that work; hence the need for many to seek off farm income. I can assure you they would much prefer doing what needs to be done on the farm and acquire a decent income for their efforts, rather then having to contend with government and/or industry officials who are intent on eroding their bottom line via cheap food policies and all manner of controlling, self-serving gimmicks.

    The current globalist truth that, “If you control the land, you control the food and if you control the food you control the people”… or as Kissinger put it, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people” is the basis of a reality that farmers are face with in their day to day lives. It is increasingly becoming difficult when face with that reality not to lay blame… For certain, farmers can be their own worst enemies, yet… it doesn’t help when government officials consort with industry to dangle a carrot in front of them in an attempt to pit one farmer against the other and in turn use that dissention to undermine freedom of choice.

    Percy Schmeiser a western Canadian farmer who was wrongfully sued by Monsanto summed it up well, “The playing field between farmer rights and the bio-tech companies rights has been tilted towards the companies.”. Indeed, and this scenario has been aided and abetted by politicians.

    As well, in a ruling denying Louise Schmeiser cleanup costs for a large infestation of Monsanto’s RR canola growing in the farm’s shelterbelt and in her organic garden, Judge D. Ebert at Humboldt Provincial Court on March 21,2005 stated, “Monsanto has a license from the Federal government to allow for the unconfined release, or “pollution” of RR canola into the environment”.

    I would think that the Schmeisers and many farmers like them have taken and likewise have been compelled to take, as best they can for the sake of their survival, their “share of the responsibility”

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      That globalist truth, as you put it, no longer applies as it once did in our current digital age. Two cases in point are Singapore and Israel. These tiny countries have become economic powerhouses with little land and lots of brain power. Israel, in a country the size of NJ, produces nearly every food known to man.(One of the highlights of my spring is finding Israeli clementines–they are the sweetest of any from around the world, including Spain, Morocco, Calif.) Israel feeds its people and exports lots. The key is brainpower and flexibility. You don’t hear a lot of whining about globalist conspiracies coming from there.

      I suspect American farmers are as smart as Israeli farmers. They have to get out of this mindset that they are victims and have no power or choice. That leads only downward.

      Your point about Monsanto is well taken–they are another version of Dean Foods. Those farmers who were sued were treated unjustly. Losing in court doesn’t count for a lot in business, however. I’d say the message of those cases to other owners of small farms might well be that industrial farming isn’t a very friendly or free place to be. If you want independence, pick another outlet for your agricultural expertise and inclinations.

      The Rolling Stones said it well quite a few years ago: “You can’t always get what you want.”

  • JHeckman

    Other market pathways for dairy in New Jersey:
    Single-source Hun-Val milk from Ringoes gets Jersey Fresh label
    Important Partner Farm News – Single-Origin Milk at the Brick Farm Market
    Red Barn Milk Co.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Look to the north for the simple answer to the American dairy debacle.

    Supply management assures success and long term susteainsble payment for milk. Oversupply of milk from greedy selfish independent Dairymen is the basis of their own demise.

    I have been deeply involved in the constructive politics of trying to fix this mess. The Dairymen are definitely to blame. They refuse to stand up together and demand a system that is based on we… verses me.

    Organic dairies are just as bad off. Lack of compliance on the Pasture Rule has doomed the organic markets. CAFOs now run the show and have flooded the markets with a tidal wave of organic milk. Yet, coops refuse to collaborate to enforce the pasture rule

    Having exhausted myself with travel to Canada, Kansas City NFU, I see the funeral.

    Dairy in the USA will continue to fail until a few socialist minded survivors say… that’s enough and then act to control supply and create a sustainable market place.

    Capitalism will eat its young with over supply as processors pick their most favorite sources and let the smaller dairies die.
    Just watch. Dairy Canabalism is eating away as we sit by and watch the carnage.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Organizing a supply management community (or having one organized for you, like in Canada) is definitely a business option. But American dairy farmers seem unable to pull it off. They seem to be waiting for someone/something to do it for them.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Mark and David,

      That’s exactly what happened in Canada … the government moved in and legislated supply management with the introduction of the milk marketing board system.

      Initially, supply management “substantially” improved the dairy farmer’s overall net income; however, that scenario didn’t last and began to deteriorate in the 1980s! Measures that were initially put in place to ensure adequate income based on cost of production, preserve and protect small family farms and maintain local production and distribution of milk were eventually and systematically dismantled… The result, in the late 1960s when the supply management system was created, there was nearly 140,000 dairy farms in Canada; today, there are fewer than 12,000, a large and growing percentage of which are CAFO’s, and every year a few hundred more dairy farmers disappear from the scene. Today dairy farmers are subject to what can best be described as a mindboggling array of top down regulation with a price tag on them to boot, further eating away at their declining net income due to recent reductions in the payout for milk.

      In my local area we have gone from over thirty milk producers and three milk processing facilities to less then a handful of producers and no milk processing facilities… and that is par for the course for rest of Northern Ontario that was at one time self sufficient in milk production! Today there are tractor-trailer loads of milk being trucked up from Southern Ontario into Northern Ontario, when at one time it was not permited… all for the sake of economy of scale and cheap food.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        I think that what both you and Mark are getting at is that the market has shifted in important ways, and there’s not the same demand for milk from traditional small dairies. I’m not sure if it’s because the few big guys have gotten so big they can handle most everything, or because non-dairy drinks (almond, soy, and other “milks”) have taken so much market share from real dairy that overall demand is declining, or just a shift in tastes away from traditional dairy. Whatever the problem, neither the American “cartel” system nor the Canadian socialist system seem to be doing the trick for small dairies, though definitely things seem to be working better in Canada. If you’re a traditional dairy farmer in such a marketplace, I’m afraid the only business answer is to come up with a new business model, ideally outside the regulated system.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    As we blog today, I know of meetings between Canadian Dairymen and a Wisconsin Dairymen that are scheduled to happen next week. These meetings will be video taped and placed online.

    The Canadian system controlls milk volumes to assure prices stay reasonable. The Dairymen control the prices on a provincial basis.

    In the USA we treat our food chain like it doesn’t matter. We send suicide hot line numbers along with notices that contracts are being dropped !!

    America is being forced to realize that capitalism and economic canabalism is not sustainable.
    Economic cooperation and the force of we…does work extremely well.

    We speak of hardy independent souls on the farm that don’t like to collaborate with others.

    I don’t think of these souls in that way.

    Those hardy independent souls are fools and lack foresight or any concept of cooperation. They deserve to die off. I am so sick and tired of trying to help them with a grander view of the future where dairies thrive !!

    I do have a deep regard for a group of NFU Dairymen from Wisconsin that are working with a group of Dairymen from CA.
    They are learning all about the Canadian system and have pledged to start action to fix this disaster.

    Since 1970, Canada has had its act together. To the contrary, US dairy programs have failed since 1970. Get big or get out… feed the world but starve your family!! This is madness.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad


      The milk Marketing board literally shut out all attempts made by Michael Schmidt to “collaborate”!

      I hope you don’t adopt the Canadian “socialist system” of supply management lock stock and barrel… You’re in for a rude awakening if you do!

  • Ali

    Interesting post but you seem to be unaware that the Weston A. Price Foundation continues to lead the fight for legalizing raw milk in the America. We just had a fantastic chapter meeting in our city and saw a large number of new people come into WAPF. It’s exciting to see people care about their food choices. From what we understand in talking with WAPF board members, last year the foundation saw an increase in memberships, which is very encouraging. WAPF will continue to work to legalize raw milk in all 50 states as they have been doing for the past 20 years. You must not have known that WAPF enlisted a paid lobbyist in Tennessee to work on this bill. They are in for the long haul so be encouraged!

  • John Dutcher

    In 1983 we had 225 dairy farms in our county here in Michigan. The state of Michigan forced a lot of the small dairies to shut their doors when “grade B” milk was eliminated. Grade B milk went to our local cheese plant. In the great wisdom of the state( this was also pushed by Michigan Milk Producers Association who are grade A milk buyers, and Farm Bureau)in forcing all the grade B dairies to grade A, many shut their doors. 30 to 50 cow dairies could not afford the upgrades( stainless steel piping,etc.) and shut down, the state also very conveniently instituted a “buy out” too. And another consequence of going grade A was that we also lost the local cheese plant too, I really,really miss that place!! We now have less than twenty dairies, so sad!!

  • Vera

    At some point, the raw milk community is going to have to start dealing with the science of epidemiology, not ignoring it or avoiding it. Notice that in that KTIC Radio article, the statistic was cited:

    “In data collected between 2009 and 2014, CDC researchers concluded that unpasteurized milk is 840 times more likely to cause food‐borne illness than pasteurized milk, and such illnesses have a hospitalization rate 45 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products.”

    If we do not believe this tripe, then we need to get our own articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals in order to challenge it.

    For example, this conclusion comes from an article with the complete citation” “Costard S, Espejo L, Groenendaal H, et al. Outbreak-Related Disease Burden Associated with Consumption of Unpasteurized Cow’s Milk and Cheese, United States, 2009–2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2017;23(6):957-964”

    Some things to note:

    – Emerging Infectious Disease is the CDC’s in-house journal. It looks like an independent peer-reviewed journal, but is it?
    – The CDC is not a neutral body, it is political – see and
    – Was Solenne Costard contracted by the CDC to write this article?
    – The data used in this article include outbreak data from 2009, to show an “increase.” The CDC itself reports data quality issues for 2009, due to a changeover to a new computer system: “Preliminary analysis of the 2009 data showed a large drop in the number of reported foodborne disease outbreaks, from 1034 in 2008 to 681 in 2009, a decrease of almost half of the previous five-year average. We hypothesize that this may have been caused by “1) technical issues associated with the introduction of the new system, 2) reassignment of types of outbreaks previously reported as foodborne to another mode of transmission, 3) staffing and budgetary issues … or 4) other, unidentified reasons” – from “National Outbreak Reporting System: An Evaluation of Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance and Technical Requirements for Reporting” ( So it is public knowledge that 2009 data is questionable, and yet both this article and Mungai-et-al(2015) use it without qualification.
    – Costard uses questionable multipliers and only uses them on unpasteurized outbreaks, not on pasteurized, thus making the difference seem vastly larger between the two.
    – She conflates outbreaks from illegally-imported mexican queso fresco cheese with standard domestically-manufactured cheese.
    – Costard bases her conclusion on the assumption that only 1.6% of the population consumes raw milk cheese. This is VASTLY out of date. Raw milk cheese aged more than 60 days can be sold legally across all states boundaries according to Federal law. It’s for sale in many ordinary grocery stores. Heck, I can buy half a dozen types of unpasteurized cheese at the common chain supermarket. The American Cheese Society is up in arms about Costard’s tripe.
    – Costard also assumes that people who consume raw fluid milk or raw cheese do NOT consume any pasteurized products. This is complete nonsense. How many of us have both in our fridges?

    So, unless we begin tackling — questioning, dismanting, and refuting — the “science” which claims that raw milk is dangerous, more bills are going to fail, as they all did last year. Just my opinion.

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      One thing I hope these farmers never EVER do, is sell their land. God isn’t making any more land and I believe these large corporate conglomerates are more interested in the land than they are in anything to do with the milk market. But that’s just me.

      Land is often heritage property and there are other ways to utilize land other than raising dairy herds, although it’s a damned shame people should have to make such a choice. If it were me (alert: this is my opinion only) I would start raising and breeding meat cattle (pasture fed only) as there is a definite market for that these days and far too few places to get it. Ditto for pasture-raised poultry and woodland hogs.

      People should try not to panic at this news, and start coming up with other ideas to fill the growing, burgeoning new markets of today.

      But please please please don’t let go of your land. Not ever. Again, this is just my opinion but as a former “farm/ranch girl” I’m not completely ignorant on this topic. Many might disagree with my theory but it’s worth serious consideration, IMO.

  • After working closely with raw milk friends in BC Canada, clearly the recent data on raw milk outbreaks and illnesses reflects a steep decline. They called it the RAWMI effect. When expectations changed and standards were published, serious raw milk producers cleaned up their production processes. There have been fewer and fewer illnesses.

    One big lesson here, it costs huge amounts of money to gather data, author peer reviewed articles and get them published. Only to have them disregarded by CDC and others.

    RAWMI Phds are hard at work on collecting data, and authoring a great piece of science for publishing. I hope it will be available via PubMed in the not to far off future.

    I do not agree that the Canadian system has failed its farmers. When farmers get $36 per cwt and they are expanding, buying new trucks, paying their bills….that’s not failure. That’s success.

    By comparison, American dairymen are getting $13 cwt with $18 cwt break even in CA. That’s 30% less than break even. Why? Because farmers have allowed processors to run the show. Processors love cheap milk. In the federal program its just as bad just $2 per cwt higher for pay rates and break evens.

    Its always cheaper if you can steal it!!! The American dairy experiment has failed miserably. Now the cost is paid in lives and livelihoods. And no one seems to give a damn. The farm bill does not Havel anything in it that will support dairies. The safety net is pathetic. Safety nets are handouts not market reforms. Supply management fixes the structure and disease of the USA dairy debacle.

    Mark my words…when Wisconsin is losing 1.5 dairies per day and CA is losing 1.5 dairies each week….the American dairy system is dying off under horrible conditions with no rescue in sight. Congress has been taken over by processors interests.

    Dairies will be few and huge. That’s the future. Sick and sad.

  • As far as Canadian marketing boards shutting out raw milk….you are right. They know how to protect themselves from threats. Right or wrong they do that well. A well designed milk system would make space for high quality raw milk. It would be a niche just like organic milk. Mandatory Pasture Rule enforcement would immediately fix the organic milk system failure.

    I see an American milk market that is controlled by a system of inventory management boards that are run by the farmers. Dairy farmers would be evenly issued quota to match the amount of milk that is forcast to be needed. As growth is experienced more quota would be issued on an equitable basis.

    Any milk produced above the quota level would be sold at a deep discount….this would incentivize control of milk supply inventory.

    Price for quota milk inventory would be set by the regional milk boards at a sustainable price. The cost of the system is zero dollars. Processors would pay the prevailing price and that is it.

    A careful calculation of the amount of milk that is excess and held over from year to year is about 2-3-%. So the amount required to be reduced is scant. At that point, farmers would call the price for their milk. Hence….farmers gain control of their futures and their farms.

    This answer is so simple, but it requires farmers to cooperate and “think of we not me”. Until that happens, there will be tears and loss. This system has been suggested in areas around America. Instead of farmers embracing this system, they prey on one another in hopes of their neighbors failure.

    I have no mercy for that kind of brother on brother and neighbor on neighbor self centered greed. It is time to hang together or surely we shall hang one by one.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      By coming down on raw milk as the big competitive threat, both Canadian marketing boards and American processors have demonstrated their managerial and marketing ineptness. The real competition has come from the soy and nut “milks”. While Big Dairy has gone crazy trying to destroy raw milk, these other competitors have been free to weave a new narrative–that the vegan milks are healthy and real dairy is dangerous, and bad for the environment. What makes the whole situation even more pathetic is that raw milk could have been an ally to Big Dairy in weaving an effective counter-narrative. And raw milk never would have been serious competition, likely continuing as a small but growing niche market.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Mark, Your description of an American designed marketing board system parallels that which was initially set up in Ontario/Canada.

      The problem as I see it is that the marketing board system in Canada lost sight of its original ratified objective to protect locally produced milk on small family run farms. It chose rather to cater to the establishment of larger CAFO dairy operations, This in turn was prompted in large part by the consolidation of the milk processing industry who, for the sake of economy of scale, began to systematically buy up all of the small local processing plants and then shut them down, choosing rather to truck the milk over longer distances to larger centrally located processing facilities. I can still vividly remember attending meetings with fellow milk producers in an attempt to halt this process. Unfortunately it became clearly evident that our concerns were falling on deaf ears. Indeed, the deaf ears of politicians, consumer groups, representatives of the milk processing industry including elected and appointed milk marketing board representatives who were “supposed” to be representing the milk producers.

  • miguel

    ” I’m afraid the only business answer is to come up with a new business model, ideally outside the regulated system.”

    There does exist a huge unfulfilled demand for medicinal quality milk and milk products. This means a major change in the way the cows are managed but still the skills of the dairy farmer are needed to produce this type of milk.

  • An organic market report just stated the following:

    Truck loads of organic milk from large organic Texas dairies are being shipped to Wiscinsin at a cost of $5 per cwt. This milk is displacing smaller organic dairies.

    There was no mention of the pasture rule enforcement. Not one peep.

    This organic dairy disaster is coming from one place …. The wholesale failure of enforcement of the USDA NOP Pasture Rule !
    When a 16,000 cow CAFO can produce organic milk and not ever pasture their cows… have a massive inequity, fraud, cheating and a huge problem!

  • Gordon S Watson

    Mister McAffee has it right about most things to do with the dairy industry, but not this point. The editorial in today’s edition of the Trawna Grope & Flail is unusually intelligent = “End supply management but do it right”. Of course their position, being : euthanasia for the quota cartel … but be kind about it = throw money at the dairy-persons. It’s the Canadian way

    the Globe & Mail is THE voice of the Plutocracy which has run this Dominion for nigh-on 200 years. With the announcement to all the subservient provinces ( particularly BC, on the fringe of the known world) of what Central Canada thinks, it’s now a given that the centrally-planned command economy on foodstuffs ( eggs, poultry, vegetables) is bound for the scrap-heap of history, along with the rest of the grand Soviet vision. The free-traders prevail.


  • D. Smith D. Smith

    Boy, no wonder our food industry is in so much trouble. No one is minding the store, it would seem.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Most of these Food Safety Authority recommendations are absurd… They are predictable result of what happens when authorities become obsessed with controlling microbes and people… Their recommendations represent an unhealthy obsession that is driven by fear and a controlling unreasonable logic that has little respect for the natural symbiotic relationship between humans and microbes.

      When eating in the house I fall within that 93 percent who wash their hands, if that is… they’ are visibly dirty. When eating lunch while working in the field or cutting firewood in the bush I fall within that seven percent who don’t. As far as wearing jumpsuits/coveralls or wet gear is concerned I seldom do unless it is cold, dirty and wet.
      I/we drink untested raw milk every day of the week and I have never tested my non-chlorinated non-fluoridated ground water…

      My grandmother had eleven children and while pregnant with those children she milked the cows every day. Those children are all healthy and alive today with the exception of two who were killed along with their father in a train car accident and one son who died in a mining accident.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      I’m surprised that the article didn’t mention that it is not uncommon in Europe and to a lesser degree in North America to incorporate the hired hand(s) living quarters into the barn. In fact just down the road from me a young Amish couple are living in a house/barn combination until they have enough money to build a separate house. So far four children have been born to them while living this way… So far and thankfully, there is no bylaw stating that they cannot live in such a building.

      • D. Smith D. Smith

        @ Ken: I hope you haven’t just “spilled the beans” on your young Amish neighbors! No bylaw yet – just give it time – especially once it’s viewed online.

        As my grandfather aged and my Dad took over the ranching operation full-time, we had a hired man for 2 seasons and he lived in the tack room of our barn because that’s where he wanted to be. That old geezer was never sick while staying there, and he outlived my Dad by 20 years. My Dad, sorry to say, fell victim to the corrupt, lying medical system, as did two of my sisters and one brother so far. My other siblings are finally starting to wake up to the realities of the futility of the “pill culture”.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    It will be interesting to see what happens in Ontario when Doug Ford is Premier of the Province… Hopefully he will understand the plight of raw milk consumers and the dairy producers that serve them…

  • “But you have to think some has to do with boredom or nonchalance about raw dairy, and perhaps even a decline of interest in raw milk.”

    Hi David, My personal experience maintaining I am steadily adding new listings, editing existing listings, and moderating comments for consumers looking for sources near them. Yes, I also remove listings sometimes, though far fewer than I add or edit.

    The growth in the number of listings from when I starting maintaining them (~2001 I think?) is quite large…originally there was one short page of listings. Now I have one for every state, many of them lengthy.

    When I am told the reason for removing a listing, it usually seems to be retirement or death of the farmer, harassment from government, or…that they can’t keep up with the demand and want to just rely on word of mouth! I can’t recall someone saying they’re quitting because there’s no market for it in their area.

    Thanks for your blog; I always learn a lot.

  • Joseph Heckman

    Should You Include Cow’s Milk in Your Diet?

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    Dr. Heckman,

    There are big problems with the link to the story your posted about bone fractures and osteoporosis related to milk consumption. Some of the data related increased use of milk to higher rates of bone issues.


    The milk that was tested in those studies was PASTEURIZED milk and not raw.

    The studies on raw milk and bone density report the exact opposite findings. Raw milk builds bone density. The Alkaline Phosphatase enzyme along with a whole host of other bioactive compounds are responsible for this bone density increase.

    The presence of Calcium in the diet does not decrease bone density issues. That Calcium must be bioavailable!!

  • Mary,

    In your link about Irish farmers and knowledge of pathogens….the real information is provided in the comments area after the article.
    A study of Amish performed many years ago found that the Amish were immune to most pathogens in their environments. Unlike city dwellers and their Purell sanitized worlds that get sick from everything.

    Would love to see the real study. I think that the study title is misleading.

    1. Knowledge of pathogens has nothing to do with becoming ill from exposure to pathogens.
    2. Consumption of raw milk has nothing to do with knowledge of risk or illness rates from consumption rates from raw milk.

    The headline draws a completely improper conclusion.

    The study should focus on immunity and illness rates based on exposures in the diet or environment. It does not. They missed the entire point of the biome and gut based immunity. Exposing ignorance and or innocence of risk is not of any value and shows the bias of the researchers.


  • Richard Barrett

    Mark, you have it right regarding the Canadian Supply Management System. I follow it closely as if I was a member. If I have this right, this is how I know it. The price that the farmer receives is based the average cost production plus a very small net profit. At the table to decide the price of milk is: !. A Farmer 2. Transporter 3. Processor 4. Retailer You see no government person that I am aware of. The farmers lobby the politicians regarding imports and exports. Before about 10 years ago, there was a push for dairy farmers to get big or get out, two farmers communicated this to me. Now in Alberta, the Milk Board which consist of farmers, are having 2 or 3 new dairy farmers join them. They are given a quota on loan. Quality Milk Control is so good that they even detected a growth hormone in the milk when feedlot feed was mistakenly delivered to the dairy. The milk was discarded at the cost of $800,000. If their supply my be low, they will add the amount a farmer will supply in 1 or 2 days so if the farmer is over suppling, he would get full payment. The farmer’s are encouraged to test now for Johne’s Disease at no cost to them and are doing more closed loop herd increase. There is now 3 farms that are Organic of which two produce un-homogenized milk of which one has Jersey cows producing the milk. That one is Rocky Ridge. You may go to for more information.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Richard, You state, “The price that the farmer receives is based the average cost production plus a very small net profit.”

      In theory yes; in practice, at least for the last 25 years not always and for the last two years as I mentioned above, farmers have had to contend with a payout reduction… As far as who is at the table to decide the price of milk, my understanding is that government representatives were present. They certainly were when I was on the milk committee attempting to negotiate that local milk processing plants not be closed down.

  • Gordon S Watson

    Mr Barrett = nowhere in your presentation do we see representatives of those upon whom the racketeers depend, for their income, ie. consumers. Informed consumers are rejecting the swill put out by CAFO dairies, then voting with their dollars … seeking out sources of REAL MILK, regardless of what the idiots who sit on the Milk Marketing Board say. In British Columbia in 2009, the Milk Marketing Board gave a cheque to the constituency association of BC Liberal Party MLA John van Dongen ; the ONLY time the MMBoard had ever contributed to a political party. Just the meer-est coincidence that Mr van Dongen had been the head of the BC MMBoard, prior to entering politics?!

    There is no doubt in my mind but that that contribution was a payoff for him arranging to have installed – by stealth – a regulation whereby distribution of raw milk for human consumption was criminalized. The man in the street would call it a bribe : I sure do.

    Milk Marketing Boards are the last vestige of the Soviet system … unfortunately, their members are VERY well organized, politically. So much so, that they were able to prevent Maxime Bernier, becoming the head of the federal Conservatives, because he advocated ending the dairy quota supply scam.
    the Milk Marketing Boards are nothing less than organized criminals = no friends of the Campaign for REAL MILK

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      The reason I believe these huge CAFO’s will stay in business, even if it’s dying a slow death of its own making, is because sooooooooo many people (at least in the USA, don’t know about Canada) are on “food stamps” or whatever they’re called by now. Food stamps will only pay for certain items and crappy pasteurized milk, cheese, eggs, etc., are all they can buy with their taxpayer funded gifts. Last year it seemed there was some hope these people could start to use their EBT cards for fresh, organic veggies and fruits, but from what I’ve been able to tell that never went anywhere – tabled somewhere, no doubt.

      There are just too many people within the rank and file who are not afraid (read: overjoyed) to take bribes and hush money to achieve things and that is a huge problem. Greed is not going to go away so how do the little guys deal with that amount of corruption? And if we don’t deal with the corruption, it will continue and probably get worse. If only there were a way to stop lobbyists, since they are a huge part of this bribing process. There’s your organized, legal crime.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    What you germaphobes like Mary and Bill Marler need to do is to go and spend an extended amount of time working in the dirt and with the animals on a farm and get themselves covered in “shit”…

    Farmers For America- Trailer–AyICRAuY&feature=share

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      That’s a great little trailer, Ken. Thanks for posting. Gives one a little hope for the future as long as conglomerates stay out of things. Small farming is the answer, as well as large ranching operations such as we see in my neck of the woods. It’s the most pleasant feeling in the world to drive across two states in the spring/summer and see nothing but the greenest fields you can imagine loaded with cows/bulls with their heads down and munching away on that lovely green first grass. Not a plowed field in sight sometimes, what a relief.

      It’s very good for the soul.

      Let people like Mary and Bill believe whatever they want, they will anyway.

  • Joseph Heckman

    Drinking a glass of certified raw milk to celebrate Dr. Coit’s birthday.

    Born in Peapack, New Jersey, on March 16, 1854, Henry Leber Coit found his life’s work in preventative medicine.

  • Great article Dr. Heckman …maybe some New jersey Organic dairy farmers with the help of some of the Doctors at this very same hospital can start this up again even if raw milk is not “legal” in the state.with the co-operation of the doctors at this hospital maybe just like medical marijuana is dispersed

  • if one were to visit this hospital with this idea to re visit this .who would they speak with Dr.Heckman? Some Dr. in Pediatrics? The director of the hospital? whom would e the best person to talk with .Pleae advise

  • JHeckman

    Some history of medicine articles about Dr. Henry Coit has been published. You might begin there.
    Interestingly, Certified Milk (unpasteurized) continued to be sold by Walker Gordon Dairy in Plainsboro, NJ even after 1964 when New Jersey legislation made raw milk distribution illegal. There is a book with beautiful photos about this dairy entitled: Walker-Gordon, One of a Kind, by Edward E. Tindal, MS, DVM and C. Stanton Clark.

    Some history of medicine articles about Dr. Henry Coit has been published. You might begin there.
    Interestingly, Certified Milk (unpasteurized) continued to be sold by Walker Gordon Dairy in Plainsboro, NJ even after 1964 when New Jersey legislation made raw milk distribution illegal. There is a book with beautiful photos about this dairy entitled: Walker-Gordon, One of a Kind, by Edward E. Tindal, MS, DVM and C. Stanton Clark.
    That dairy operated for about eight decades without ever a recorded illness. It ceased operation in 1971. Much of the former dairy farmland is now built over with houses.

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose

    Don’t call me chicken, or we’ll be back to the future:

    “First, the quickly accumulated weight can overwhelm the young chicken’s bone structure, causing deformity, pain, and difficulty walking. The Cornish Cross’ large breasts also make them heavy in the front, complicating their mobility even more.

    Other than the physical issues faced by fast-growing breeds, there is also a welfare component to their short lives. To accommodate their rapid growth rate, these birds are driven by an insatiable hunger that keeps them parked in front of their feeders.”

    This is why modern day food zambonies, it’s absolutely not normal if it grows too fast and/or too big. Give me slow and healthy, it tastes better and worth the extra penny.

    “Even if a particular flock of fast-growing birds does not seem to suffer from these health problems, the breeder flocks that supply these farms with chicks virtually always compromise animal welfare.’

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose


    oops, darn caps lock is stuck on and I can’t turn it off, time to reboot.

    • Gordon S Watson

      suffice to say : the article to which you refer me, is a classic example of sophisticated propaganda writ large, by one of the enemies of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God … laughably ignorant as to what real Christianity is about, ie the faith once delivered to the Saints.

      GET in the habit of saying either german,italian,irish,egyptian….etc…that sounds much better

  • Greed of the individual will provide its lesson. The Canadians got it right. To dump more and more into the same sized market…..has but one effect…lower and lower farm pay prices. This is Econ 101.

    Control the supply and you will have some control over the price. But farmers must control both supply and the price. That means farmers cooperating.

    In America all I see are dairy farmers wishing that all the others die off so they can reign supreme. Bad things come to those with bad ideas. Greed is a bad idea. Cooperating is a great idea. Dairy is a mature market and if dairymen intend on existing and not becoming extinct….they will need to hang together.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      The Canadians “may” have had it right. They blew it however when they succumbed to top down government cheap food policies and as such catered to CAFO modus operandi…

    • Gordon S Watson

      Canada’s half century experience in which bureaucrats 3000 miles away dictate how farming shall go – particularly : prices at the farm gate for milk, eggs, poultry et cetera – stands as an all-time demonstration of why communism does not work. As astute as he usually is on dairying, on this issue, Mark McAffee cannot let go of the precepts inculcated in him as a red-diaper baby … thus = his enormous blind-spot re: the dairy supply quota scheme. Canadian producers are compelled to meet quota, or lose it. To ensure they make their quota, state-licenced dairy farmers carry more cows than they need, ALWAYS having more than enough milk, so as to be seen to come in ‘right on target’. That excess milk goes directly into the manure lagoon. In other industries, “Dumping” is expressly illegal ; but in the quota racket, such perversion of the economy is hidden right at the very bottom of the racket.

      • Vera

        “That excess milk goes directly into the manure lagoon.”

        Or is sold out the back door to consumers wanting raw milk. Hence, Bill Denby’s flourishing trade as a referral service in Ontario, likely happening in all other provinces too. No wonder the Dairy Farmers of Canada don’t want to see raw milk legalized (and lobbied to get sales made illegal in 1991) – they are doing a booming trade in it, have a monopoly on it already, and don’t want the competition from any new dedicated raw milk farms which might spring up.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    “Regulation is supposed to provide evidence-based improvements to health, safety and the environment. Instead, as trade expert Michael Hart wrote in a 2012 paper for the C.D. Howe Institute, “many are based on irrational fears that serve little purpose other than to satiate the bureaucratic hunger for information or to accommodate what British blogger John Brignell calls the ‘march of zealots.’”

    • DIDNT READ THIS YET BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT UPSTATE NEW YORK THERE were many farmers that had to ship their milk to the west of the usa one farmer told me that the pasturazations prices put them out of business.and some committed suicide. There is a pasteurization plant that was set up at a grass fed organic farm to help with this problem and for their own pasteurization of their product as they sell to a major organic supermarket.The owner said to me if she had to ship her milk elsewhere to be pasteurized she would be out of business..This was approx 7 years ago.wish i had this guys number again.Thats when i suggested ti tell all his farmer friends to consider switching raw.
      A farmer told me yesterday that when he sells his milk bulk to horizon milk company by the pound …he gets 1.00 per gallon.Crazy….just insane…thats why many are switching to raw grass fed organic.and selling their gallons anywhere from 7.00 – 10.00 on the farm.
      Ty renting the movie THANKS FOR SMOKING…a lot of parelles to the raw milk.However i don’t agree to put a warning label on raw milk.Theres no warning labels on oysters or raw meat in the store or sushi.It will actually scare people away from it.Warning label on guns?
      At udder milk we set this standard we know for pricing 9 years ago.The prices you see in the stores is because these companies saw our prices and they now get this price.

    • this is why you might not ever want to certify your organic farm
      that transfers the trust from the farmer to the government and the people
      when the trust should be between people(consumer) and farmer..period.
      you just might get what you need
      if you do it this way

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    What is it about USA dairymen that keeps them on the farm instead of protesting in the streets??????

    All dairymen are suffering from the same set of market conditions. Why don’t they protest like their lives depend on it. Because they do?

    The French have no problems protesting like crazy and pouring raw milk on the steps of their government buildings.

    Why are USA dairymen stuck on the farm? Is it the fear or power of the processors? Is it the American rugged individualistic culture? That would rather die than protest?

    I don’t get it!

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      You took the words out of my mouth.

      While I was reading your first sentence I was thinking go speak to the French farmers in Quebec…

      What sets the French apart from the Englaise can be more or less summed up in two word, “dignity and unity”… Most French politicians know better then to underestimate their farmer’s passionate desire to be treated fairly and with respect.

    • John Dutcher

      Farmers keep themselves isolated in general because most farmers do NOT like being around people very much, why they dairy and are not salesmen. Seems dairy farmers( that I know) are even greater isolationists, they much prefer cows over people. They seem to rarely want to leave their farms( can’t blame them either!!) They are not usually extroverts,LOL!! Just my experience with some dairymen I know. We have a small farm conference every year here in northern Michigan and it took a few years at the beginning to get more farmers coming to the conference, we actually would have to go visit farmers and convince them it was a good thing for them, now years later, we have had to move the conference’s location a couple times due to there not being room for all the attendees. If the conference grows much more, don’t know where it could be held as it now at the largest facility in the area. If interested google: Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference.
      Sorry, got off topic, but point being Mark, it takes some persuasion to convince some farmers to become pro-active, but stand back once they are!!!

  • Gordon S Watson

    what sets les Quebecois apart from the Rest of Canada, is ; the petulance they’ve perfected for the last couple of generations, so as to qualify as the perpetual “have not” province, in the “equalization payments” scam. No small co-inkidink that the majority of dairy farms are in La Belle Province … ergo = the tail wags the rest of the dog in this sorry Dominion

    • Vera

      Quebec: where raw milk cheeses aged less than 60 days are perfectly legal and regulated under Quebec law .. in direct violation of the Federal Food and Drug Regulation which forbids their sale.

  • John Dutcher

    D. Smith,
    Bridge cards have been able to be used at our local farmers markets now for a few years now, albeit, with limited success. The main cause being is the inconvenience the gov. makes in the manner in which these cards have to be processed through an app on someone’s cell phone. We are working on that too, maybe a prepurchase amount and “tokens” in $2.00 amounts then given to the patrons.

    Your words seem to represent some resentment towards folks that get assistance, I, personally feel we ALL have an obligation to help folks less fortunate than myself. This was pounded( literally too) into us children at an early age, at church especially.

    I will agree with you 100% on lobbyists, this system needs to be stopped, immediately!!

  • D. Smith D. Smith

    @ John: I’m not against helping people who need it and WANT it for food. I will tell you, even though I think the people who participate in the purchase of raw foods and organic fruits and veggies are of a different class than most of the recipients.

    To bring that home a bit more clearly, (I hate posting links but here it is!) check this out from todays news:

    I’ll warn you, it’ll raise your blood pressure!

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Breaking News

    DFA ( dairy farmers of America ) just agreed to support a national supply management system.

    This is huge. We are seeing a major change of policy. I sent David a power point that explains the Canadian milk supply system. I hope we can get it posted with a link. The PP is very well done and published by the Canadian Milk System management team.

    We are witnessing history happening.

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