As of July 15, 2013 it is now legal to sell raw milk in the state of Arkansas. Originally proposed in House Bill 1536 as:
AN ACT TO PROMOTE THE USE OF LOCALLY PRODUCED MILK PRODUCTS; TO ALLOW THE INCIDENTAL SALE OF LOCALLY PRODUCED WHOLE MILK THAT IS NOT PASTEURIZED; TO ALLOW THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO MAKE RULES FOR THE SALE OF LOCALLY PRODUCED WHOLE MILK THAT IS NOT PASTEURIZED.
Arkansas Govenor Mike Beebe signed the bill into law as Act 1209 which allows direct farm-to-consumer sales of raw goat and cow’s milk, up to a limit of 500 gallons per month of each kind. As part of the act farmer’s are required to have a large banner (4′ x 2′) and label on milk products giving the farm’s contact information and stating that the milk is for personal use, is NOT pasteurized, has not been inspected by the State of Arkansas, and that the consumer assumes all health liability that could arise from drinking the raw milk. The law also requires that dairy farms selling raw milk allow consumers to inspect the cows and barn.
The law is a victory for those who believe in the health benefits of drinking raw milk over conventional, factory-farmed milk as well as advocates of food rights who believe that Americans have the inalienable right to decide what they eat and drink.
You won’t find raw milk at the farmer’s market or grocery store, but it’s now legal to buy it directly at the dairy farm in Arkansas. So the next time you’re in Arkansas you might want to visit a small, local dairy farm and sample their cow’s milk.
Read more about the Arkansas raw milk bill, including tips on buying the whole, unprocessed milk here. Montana recently tried to pass a similar bill, which died in the state’s Senate due to amendments that the original backers thought were unworkable for small dairy farmers.
Get more information on raw milk here.
Would you like raw milk to be available in your state? We’d love to know your thoughts.