Subject: TENNESSEE: Support Herdshares and Ask Lawmakers to OPPOSE SB 15 Now!

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Hi Friend,

Under current law, if you own a share in a hoofed mammal, you have the legal right to the milk from that animal. If Senate Bill 15 (SB 15) passes, however, it would no longer be legal to drink or use that milk from one's own cow-share/ goat-share/ herd-share! SB 15 is a reaction to two e. coli outbreaks that were blamed on raw milk. While the cause of the outbreaks can be disputed, that's not really the main point: the issue is whether people can choose what they eat and what they feed their families.

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

Oppose Senate Bill 15 in TN & Support Herdshares

Call or email your State Senator and urge him or her to OPPOSE SB 15. You can look up who represents you in the Senate 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 Senator to OPPOSE 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.


Currently, Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) Section 53-3-119 says,
"Nothing in this part or any other law shall be construed as prohibiting the independent or partial owner of any hoofed mammal from using the milk from the animal for the owner's personal consumption or other personal use."

This means that by statute, herd shares are currently legal in Tennessee. A herd share is where people buy shares of a milking animal or herd and pay the farmer to care for the animals and milk them. As owners, the shareholders are entitled to the milk from their animals. The farmer is not selling the milk—he or she is being paid to care for the herd share owners' animals.

SB 15 would delete that section and replace it with the following language: 
"A person who is the sole owner of a hoofed mammal may use the milk from the animal for the owner's personal consumption or other personal use. This section does not apply to a person who owns a partial interest in a hoofed mammal. SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.”

So it would be legal to drink milk from one's own animal if you own 100% of the animal, but not if you split that ownership interest with another person or multiple people. 

See more info about SB 15 HERE

Talking Points:

· The most important talking point is how this bill would affect YOU. Why do you want to be able to choose to access raw milk through a herd share?
· Tennesseans should have the right to choose the foods that they feed their families. Any food can make people sick. There have been outbreaks that have caused children to be hospitalized and even die from lettuce, peanut butter, cantaloupes, and more. Whatever the cause, it is tragic when it happens—but the government doesn't ban these other foods.
· SB 15 would eliminate a valuable income source for small dairy farmers in TN. Dairies across the country are closing at an alarming rate, but many small dairy farmers, under current statute, are staying open thanks to herd shares. Rural dairy farmers in TN need this income stream.
· If SB 15 passes, consumers who live near the state line would still be able to obtain raw milk from most of the surrounding states, and through outright illegal transactions. A CDC survey on food consumption showed that an average of 3% of the population drinks raw milk—and that's true whether they live in a state where it is legal to sell or not. SB 15 wouldn't prevent raw milk consumption; it simply would make a lot of individuals into law breakers. | 703-208-FARM (3276) |
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