Wisconsin OKs raw milk sales

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Farmers could sell raw milk for the next two years under a bill the state Senate has passed.

The measure would allow farmers who register with the state to sell raw milk on their farms through the end of 2011. They would be prohibited from advertising beyond signs on the premises.

They also would have to test the milk at least monthly for pathogens and submit the results to state agriculture officials. If pathogens show up the state could suspend a producer's registration.

Raw milk proponents contend it's purer and tastes better than pasteurized milk. Opponents counter raw milk easily can contain bacteria and make people sick.

The Senate passed the bill April 15 on a bipartisan 25-8 vote. It now heads to the Assembly.

Politician pushes dairy reform bill

FAIRFAX, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont Congressman Peter Welch plans to unveil a bill he's introducing that would create a growth management program for the U.S. dairy industry.

Welch, who's running for re-election in November, said the bill is the product of a national effort to address long-standing problems in the industry and help dairy farmers get a fair price for their product.

Joining him were Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery Board of Directors President Ralph McNall and Amanda St. Pierre, representing Dairy Farmers Working Together.

Increased price support sought

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase price supports for dairy farmers.

Shaheen said prices have remained too low for dairy farmers to make ends meet and are projected to remain below the cost of production.

She said the USDA took several steps to help farmers last year, and requested similar action this year.

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