Raw Milk Comes Under Attack in South Dakota – Smaller Farms Get Hurt

Proposed South Dakota raw milk regulations will make it difficult for smaller operations to continue selling the substance in the state.  Department of Agriculture officials finished a third public hearing on the issue on Wednesday, saying the rules are necessary to ensure safety.  A legislative committee last August had rejected the rules until it had more information on their financial impact for farmers.

The State of South Dakota currently allows the sale of raw milk, though not from retail stores.  Farms are allowed to sell the popular substance directly to consumers. Raw milk must also be clearly labeled as raw, but no other regulations currently exist.  The new regulations would regulate the production, testing and labeling of raw milk in the state.


One of the new regulations would require the labels to have written, "This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria.  Pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly and persons with lower resistance to disease have the highest risk of harm from this product."  This would require farms, both large and small, to redesign their labels and in some cases print more expensive ones.

The other regulations are more severe.  They would require a bottling date, as well as requiring regular testing and setting standards for bacteria and other contaminants.  Some have argued that the regulations – such as those designating maximum numbers of beneficial bacteria – are unreasonably low, and will be next to impossible to achieve.

Many who drink raw milk drink it specifically for these beneficial bacteria.  Individuals have cited raw milk as beneficial for health problems, from arthritis to irritable bowel syndrome.  The idea that the state would regulate the production of raw milk to minimize the very aspects of the product that people find beneficial and appealing simply reiterates the idea that the state feels it knows best.

Another effect of the new regulations would be the favor of larger operations over small farms.  Since 2010, raw milk producers have been required to have a license or permit, and only five dairies in the state are currently licensed to sell raw milk.  The new regulations would push more dairies out of business by imposing testing and labeling requirements which put extra financial burden on the operations.

Citizens believe this law would violate personal freedoms and give unfair advantages to larger farms over smaller competitors. Bigger corporations frequently use lawmakers to create regulations to push smaller operations out of businesses in order to strengthen their market share by reducing competition. Clearly this is a concern in S.D.

Those who oppose this law want the freedom to enter into private, contractual agreements without government interference.

Raw milk connoisseurs want to consume a living product that is fresher, full of nutrients and tastier, not a sterile, pasteurized product. Raw milk proponents say pasteurization – the process of heating milk to kill disease-causing bacteria – kills the good stuff, and they claim the bacteria is beneficial to human health.


There continues to be a high demand for raw milk despite the debate on its health benefits. North Carolina has banned raw milk sales, but residents are buying the products through the black market. According to reports, there is such a high demand that distributors have created "drop sites" in N.C. and will only sell to people they know. For many states "raw milk" has become the "new pot" and purchasing this popular substance will continue to be funneled through the black market despite government regulations.

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6 thoughts on “Raw Milk Comes Under Attack in South Dakota – Smaller Farms Get Hurt

  1. I don't think we have RAW milk around my area to sell. But when I was a kid I milked the cows and know just how fresh it was OOO and yes the butter and the rich cream from it Lover how thick the cream was with what you see in the stores now. The only bad thing I found was when the cows got into the bitter weeds yuuuuk that sure made the milk bitter also But we would find it and keep them out of it till we got rid of the weed. Wish it was as easy to get RID of libs. When milking to spray the milk in the cats mouth to feed them also and hey I even spray it in my mouth so I for sure new how fresh and good fresh milk is

  2. Well, People... how far will you allow government to encroach into your lives? How about creating your local "everything" and tell the feds and states to get lost. Create your own "liberty zones" and do what you want as long as you support the constitution and do not hurt others. Create your own food coops, your own energy coops, your own county guard units to support all of it. Act NOW while you can, or prepare for hell to be coming around the corner and be taken...

  3. Geeeeez....thank you so much for protecting us from....yeah...um...natural, healthy, non-heat killed products that our entire nation was once grown upon....thanks...I know it's a lot healthier to replace natural products with chemically altered ones...and then line up for a flu shot and wonder why our immune systems just don't work...

    Thank you. I'm so much safer because the gov't protected me. Great.

  4. Time to identify and arrest all communists throw their silly asses into jail and throw away the Keys!

  5. To quote a late maternal uncle who always said about "Neese's Liver Pudding"......"I would kill for......" a half gallon of REAL, honest to gosh buttermilk.