Sometimes Christmas gets so busy you forget one of the presents under the tree. An eager reader e-mailed yesterday to alert me to one such gift I missed: South Dakota's Department of (Big Corporate) Agriculture announced last month it was backing down from proposing rules that would have shuttered small dairies and raw milk producers.
Of course, to win this reprieve, small dairy operators like Lila Streff from Streff Ridge Farm Goat Dairy near Custer had to wage their own fight. Sitting on the sidelines in fighting this threat to small family famrs were the big operators like the Farm Bureau propaganda organs, who claim to want unity among all agriculture producers.
Keep alert, small dairies: Ag Secretary Bill Even says he's still looking to impose some sort of rules on small dairies. He at least says he's looking to talk to producers and consumers first before drafting the next set of rules. Wow—actually talking to the people your rules affect before proposing... what a novel concept!
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