Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dairy Farmer Tries to Baaaaaaaaaaaan Goat Milk

Some of our betters cottoned up to the idea of banning the sale of raw goat milk in Mississippi.  Mississippi law allows goat farmers to sell up to 9 gallons of raw goat milk on their farms.  People buy it to make cheese, produce soaps, and of course, consume.  Well, a dairy farmer just happens to chair the House Agriculchah Committee so he did what comes naturally to those in power: He wrote a bill to wipe such farmers out of existence.  Representative Bill Pigott (R-Land of the Moos) authored HB #609.  The bill states:

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-31-65, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE GOAT MILK AND GOAT MILK PRODUCTS FROM THE REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF THE MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD/DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO REPEAL SECTION 65, CHAPTER 510, LAWS OF 2016, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE REPEAL OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE BOARD/DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO INCREASE FEES FOR SERVICES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. Rest of bill.
Selling goat milk could mean a fine up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail if the bill becomes law.  It doesn't hurt his cause that the State Department of Health and the FDA oppose the sale of raw milk as well (and with good reason.).  The bill passed Ag and awaits approval at the House Public Health and Human Services Committee where it is expected to die a quiet but noble death.


Why the interest in banning goat milk sales? Step back and look at the milk industry. The milk market is flat.  The Wall Street Journal chart posted below shows the state of the industry.


 Milk sales have been falling for nearly 20 years.  CNBC reported last year:

U.S. milk consumption has been falling for decades. In 1984, milk consumption represented a 15% share of all eating occasions, according to the NPD Group. By 2019, milk represents only a 9% share....



The decline of milk consumption has accelerated in the last decade as alternatives have soared in popularity.  In the last four years, sales of nondairy milks have risen 23%, according to Nielsen data. Alternatives like soy and almond milk have become popular as health-conscious consumers have grown wary of dairy.... Rest of article.
Dairy farmers are not immune to the laws of supply and demand so if consumers want to buy non-dairy milks, milk producers will respond as a glance at the milk shelves in the grocery store will reveal.  

Raw milk has exploded in popularity over the last few years.  Federal law bans the interstate sale of raw milk but states can allow it for sale within their borders.  Thirty states permit the sale of some form of raw milk. However, efforts to legalize the sale of raw cow's milk in Mississippi have failed.  While that fight stalled in the legislature, the Washington ____ reported raw goat's milk is the next big thing in the milk industry:

The most popular milk worldwide comes out of goats. The United States, where cow is queen, is an outlier. But new data shows even in America, dairy goats are having a moment.

Dairy goat herds expanded faster than any other major livestock group over the past decade, growing 61 percent between 2007 and 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture... Rest of link.
Mr. Pigott is not just a dairy farmer but was once the Chairman of Farm's Bureaus Dairy Advisory Committee.  In other words, he takes a reeaaal strong interest in the subject.  So...... it doesn't take a genius to figure out what took place with this bill.  If the Ag Chaih-man and his fellow dairy farmers can't sell raw milk from their cows, then dammit, the goat farmers shouldn't be allowed to sell raw milk either.  Legislating competitors out of existence - such is the Mississippi way.

Kingfish note: The legislature should allow the sale of raw milk.  However, it should also require producers to place nice-sized warning labels on the containers.

There is another sector of the milk industry that is growing and it is growing fast.  Readers will be surprised to learn what segment it is.  Hint: It isn't "craft" milk or small time milk-producers. It will be the subject of a future pose.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the penalty for making/selling moonshine?

Sol Juette said...

Milk goats leave a smaller carbon footprint than a dairy cow. However, a dairy cow will not climb on top of your vehicle. Do the math....

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it when "conservative" Republicans try to regulate yet another aspect of citizens' lives?

Anonymous said...

Everytime I look a goat in the eyes I shudder because they symbolize satanism. Goats have no place in a Christian state like Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

The wrongful demonizing of saturated fat has led to consumers seeking out non-dairy milks.

I though Republicans were free market? Is this the same Ag committee that won't allow a common sense animal cruelty bill out of committee?

Anonymous said...

I ran my own goat dairy for years. People bought raw milk from me to "feed orphaned [puppies, cats, calves, etc.]." I have NO IDEA what they did with the milk after they purchased it. States across the nation regulate the sale of raw milk differently.

"Raw" milk, though, is merely unpasteurized milk. For those wondering why anyone would drink it, know pasteurization also kills the naturally occurring "good" things in milk. If you read your labels, storebought milk is fortified, which means nutrients have been artificially inserted back into the milk.

Generally, goat milk is more easily digestible than cow milk, effectively mitigating the effects of lactose intolerance/sensitivity in many, including young children.

Leave it to the MS Legislature to innovate when it comes to uselessness.

Anonymous said...

Could Bill Pigott come from the same gene pool as our former US Attorney Brad Pigott? Political Hackness must run in the blood if so...

Anonymous said...

Republicans have not been very conservative in Mississippi since the days of Fordice. Haley was the biggest fan of pork and big government this state had ever seen, and we have been headed the wrong way ever since.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate milk has always been a favorite hangover remedy. I don't think goats are involved however...unless something took place the prior night of which I am unaware.

Anonymous said...

That's a small government Republican who is looking out for his friends.

Anonymous said...

The legislature should also require legislators with a conflict to abstain in their vote. Oh wait. It already does.

Anonymous said...

So much for a free country.

Anonymous said...

all brought to you by your precious mississippi republican party.......... the party of 'free enterprise capitalism and limited government".

Anonymous said...

Cue the new post about breast milk consumption for adults.

Anonymous said...

While in law school, we learned in constitutional law that the diary board lobby was one of the most ruthless, formidable lobbies in the country and really established this notion that growing kids needed to drink milk, and require its sale in schools nation-wide. It was a ruse pushed on the American people.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's asking too much of the proprietor of this site to gather some additional information such as comments from Mr. Pigott as to his reason for introducing the bill. Naaw. It's just too much fun belittling someone when you have but one side of the story. That would be investigative reporting, and that is certainly not what this site is all about.

Anonymous said...

I've known quite a few old goats. I can't imagine that their milk was consumable.

Anonymous said...

It aint big gubmint when random people donate to the legislators, and buy em drinks and food and whatnot and then the legislators decide to pass laws like the lawyers for the random people wrote in order to screw your competition!

That there is what you call coincidence!

Besides, them what get randomly screwed can commence to snuggle up to whatever legislators can tote their water best. That theres what you call free markets!

Anonymous said...

I guess it's asking too much of the proprietor of this site to gather some additional information such as comments from Mr. Pigott as to his reason for introducing the bill.

Couple things:

1. Is Pigott not a dairy farmer?

2. Was Pigott never the chairman of Farm Bureau's "dairy advisory committee?"

If the two facts as alleged by KF are actually true, then the burden falls to Pigott -- big-government interventionist that he is -- to explain why he doesn't have a conflict of interest; not for KF to call and ask him for his rationale.

Since you apparently question the motivation of the "proprietor of this site," why don't you step into the shoes of Mr. Nanny State Pigott and speculate why he would introduce such a bill?

Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

About 99% of the legislators have a conflict of interest of some type when they push hard for a piece of legislation. But, it is a "legal" conflict of interest (because guess who is in charge of making the laws???).

Anonymous said...

Hell, a simple solution would be to put this product under the same archaic rules as our beer laws.


Wet and dry goat milk counties.




Anonymous said...

As an Anarcho-Capitalist (ancap) I support the complete deregulation of food and agricultural products. Two free men can sign a binding contract to provide milk or meat or cannabis and if there are violations of the contract then let it be a matter for litigation.

Anonymous said...

I think the count is now up to five posts from the same guy ranting about republicans.

If we are going to be allowed to sell goat milk, why should we not be allowed to sell and purchase bream, crappie, frog legs bass and other such foods grown and harvested right here in this state? As it is, we have to purchase them from China, Vietnam, South America and Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Lactose Tolerance (the ability to digest/process/tolerate the natural sugars in Cow's Milk) is highest among people of Scandinavian descent. Considering the ongoing demographic transformation of the US, it would be reasonable to EXPECT declining sales in Cow's Milk and Milk Products, along with a rise in the sales of Cow's Milk alternatives.

Pigott seems to be fighting a SYMPTOM, rather than the underlying CAUSE, of the Dairy Industry's current woes.

Anonymous said...

If you take a cold glass of raw cows milks and a cold glass of raw goats milk and have a blind taste test almost anyone will proclaim that the goats milk tastes better.

Anonymous said...

6:05; What could possibly be the purpose of that exercise since you've already determined and announced the outcome?

Anonymous said...

Us Republicans are free market as long as it doesn’t include pot, unpasteurized milk and cheeses and anything that hurts muh Israel

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of bull crap -- or goat crap, whichever you prefer.

And that is not to be aimed at this bill but the stupid ass commentators on this site.

First, which way do you folks that complain about the "conservative Republicans" want to blame this proposed bill -- on Pigott for filing it (which you are claiming is expansion of government regulation by a Republican legislator) or by what KF claims will be its death in another committee -- again chaired by a Republican, which would be the killing of "expansive government" by a republican.

Of course, you ignore that part of the story because it doesn't fit your bitching narrative - ignoring all the while that a 'filed' bill is not law.

Second, you want to bitch about the supposed conflict of interest and want to eliminate any possibility of it within the legislature---- so obviously you want a legislative body of people that are totally unemployed, have no outside interests, and do nothing. In other words, you want a legislature that is 100% democrats, like it was for over a century in this ass-backwards state.

Yes, Pigott owns a dairy farm, and has been involved in his industry's related associations. Does he therefore know more about agriculture than any one of the commentators already on this site? Hell, probably knows more than all of the commentators here, including me. So who the hell should chair the Agriculture Committee in the legislature, a waiter in a Mexican restaurant? Or a hair dresser?

No, the committees often reflect people that supposedly know something about the subject. Does that possibly lead to their having their personal biases about things related to their industry? Absolutely. Is it obvious to every other member of the legislature and to the public when they speak to some subject that relates to their interest? Of course.

But of course you could tell them that they could deal with all other subjects in their field, in this case, Pigott could deal with corn, soybeans, and cotton, but the issue of milk should either be ignored or handed to the Ports and Harbors Committee, or some other such totally non-related area. Sure, that would work well!

I don't give a damn what happens to goat milk, or cow milk, or somebody squeezing almonds to the point that they give up their milk. But if a dairy farmer can convince some 121 other members of the House, and 52 members of the Senate that there is some merit in his 'bill' to address the issue, then what the hell is wrong with that? Despite what you bitchers want to imply ---- it will not change a damn thing in Pigott's bank account. I'm sure he will still sale the same amount of dairy cow milk, and the change made or not made by this bill will not change the price of that milk.

So how is that a personal conflict of interest? Its not affecting his bottom line a penny. It might be affecting what he believes (correctly or wrongly) what is good for people.

But it isn't a conflict; it has nothing to do with conservative, large, small, expansive, or anything else of government by a political party.

But, enjoy yourselves while you milk yourselves for something more to bitch about.

Anonymous said...

This is not some crazy conservative conspiracy, the health department (who checks this stuff) doesn’t have the manpower to continue to check this stuff to make sure it s safe for consumption. I say to hell with it , if it has a virus it has a virus that’s on the person buying it. It’s not worth the effort.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Rep. who proposed the ban,oops I mean 8:42

Anonymous said...

@3:55 - I like your idea. That's gold.

@4:11 - The wild game in Mississippi are considered assets of the citizens within the state, so it'd be difficult to "deregulate" the prohibition on the sale of processed wild game. Frankly, my opinion is the entire purpose of consuming those foods is to have harvested them personally.

Anonymous said...

8:42 He owns a damn dairy farm. What else is needed to reflect a conflict?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Pigott just add some goats to his farm?

Anonymous said...

I realize such a question isn't fashionable, but does anyone have any idea what Pigott's side of the story (even if it is the "public" one) might be?

If read the proposed bill correctly, it wouldn't allow anyone to sell any "raw" "dairy" milk, be it from goats, cows, or kangaroos ((I didn't look up the MS legal def of "dairy," but I'll guess it means from an animal).

Plus, it isn't evident on its face why Pigott would get too worked up over raw goat's milk from a competition-to-him standpoint because folks buying that raw goat's milk would not replace it with Pasteurized cow milk anyway. Put another way, it seems like making untoward accusations against Pigott in this regard are like accusing a legislator who happens to be a pig farmer of attempting to regulate Halal foods so he could attempt to gain Muslim customers.

Anonymous said...



@4:11 and 8:53 regarding 'assets of the state".
MS allows crappie fishermen from Missouri, Illinois, and other states to come to MS and take the fish back to their state to sell. Go to any campsite during the spring crappie season and you'll see freezers plugged in and their buddies coming to pick up fish to take back home and they continue fishing for weeks.
And another thing...the corp of engineers is quick to tell people the lakes, (Sardis, Enid, Grenada) are not fishing lakes but FLOOD control lakes. They raise and lower the lakes regardless of the effect on the crappie season. If that's the case, why are the game and fish people measuring fish to the "inth" degree? and no I've never been written up by game and fish..I play by the rules, just wish they made sense

Anonymous said...

OK, so not a single person can offer up an explanation of Pigott's "side" of this thing, yet, lots of folks can bitch about it...yep, Mississippi and its politics on display.

Anonymous said...

this ia a classic example of the mississippi legislature doing what it does best..............solving a problem that does not exit.

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