Subject: Support HB 2643 the West Virginia Raw Milk Bill!

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Hi Friend,

Under current West Virginia law, although herd shares are legal, the sale of raw milk is illegal. If passed, House Bill (HB) 2643 would allow the unlicensed sale of raw milk, up to 80 gallons per day, as well as raw milk products, up to 40 pounds per day, with some basic requirements. This bill would open up important new opportunities for farmers and make it much easier for consumers to get raw milk in this state.

Please take action now! And please share this alert with your friends and family in West Virginia!

WV Raw Milk Bill

Call or email your State Representative and urge him or her to SUPPORT HB 2643. You can look up who represents you in the House HERE.

Remember, calls are far more effective than emails, and they can take just a couple of minutes! Keep your call or email short, polite, and clear—you can simply give your name, identify yourself as a constituent, and ask the Representative to SUPPORT the bill. If you have time, add a sentence or two about why this issue is important to you. See More Information, below, for some talking points that you can use.

Under current West Virginia law, sale of raw milk is illegal in the state. Herd shares, in which a person owns a portion of a milking animal, are permitted and would not be impacted by this bill. 

HB 2643 would allow the unlicensed sale of raw milk, up to 80 gallons per day, as well as up to 40 pounds of raw milk products, with mostly reasonable, practical requirements. Under the bill, the milk would have to be labeled with the producer’s name, contact info, date the milk or product was produced, and “clearly state that the milk contained has been prepared in compliance with all best sanitary milking and milk handling practices, but is not processed, licensed, or certified by any state or federal agency.” HB 2643 would allow delivery by the producer at the farm, home, farmers market, or any other agreed upon location between the producer and informed end consumer.

The bill does have some overly stringent requirements like not allowing hand milking and mandating that raw milk be sold within two days after milking. But given West Virginia’s current ban on sales of raw milk, this bill would be a major step forward for both farmers and consumers in the state.

Read the full HB 2643

Talking Points:
  • The most important talking point is how this bill would affect YOU. Why do you want to be able to choose to buy or sell raw milk in West Virginia?
  • HB 2643 would be a boon to small farmers in West Virginia since many consumers are not interested in obtaining milk though a herdshare. Dairies across the country are closing at an alarming rate, but many small dairy farmers would flourish if they could legally sell raw milk. Rural dairy farmers in WV need this income stream.
  • Consumers want to be able to buy raw milk; a CDC survey on food consumption showed that an average of 3% of the population drinks raw milk.
  • While raw milk is currently available in WV through a herdshare, this option does not work for many small farms or consumers, because it means that people have to buy an actual share of the animals.
  • The rules in the bill promote public safety, compared to the current situation where people often buy raw milk illegally. The bill puts good sanitation and milk handling practices into place, so that consumers have access to high quality dairy.

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