Wisconsin farmer pushes for change in state’s raw milk law

A southwestern Wisconsin dairy farmer says it’s time to allow the sale of raw milk in his state. 

Travis Klinkner milks cows near Romance, in western Vernon County.  He tells Brownfield post-pandemic, more consumers want farm direct marketing, and he lobbied Wisconsin Farm Bureau delegates to support the change. “Our policy I think gives our government relations team a good step forward to help our legislators establish some good laws for the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin. Consumers can purchase what they want to buy and farmers can sell what consumers want directly.”

Existing law is in place to prevent people from getting sick from unpasteurized milk, but Klinkner says technology and standards are available to make it safe.  He says we’re not farming in the 1920s and 30s anymore. “The standards that I’m proposing are in a lot of ways in excess of pasteurized milk with lower bacterial and coliform counts, so we can ensure a stable shelf life to consumers who may be unaware of how to consume or handle raw milk.”

Klinkner says at least 26 other states already allow raw milk sales, but the safety standards vary. “We don’t just want anyone cracking a valve on their bulk tank and putting milk in a dirty jar. There’s going to be some standards with this that we propose today from the Raw Milk Institute as an example of some standards that will provide assurances that the consumer is going to be getting a clean, quality product.”

Klinkner spoke to Brownfield after Farm Bureau delegates changed their policy to support raw milk sales at their recent convention.

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