This just in from Ray Kruse, Little Brush Creek Farm in Buffalo, KY:
“If you are unaware, there is an effort underway to get a bill through Frankfort to provide legitimacy to herd shares, and to put into legal terms the ability of a farm producer to enter into private contract with an end consumer for products produced on the farm, without interference by any department or agency of the Commonwealth.
You can read the bill text here SB 47 (BR 294): [www.lrc.ky.gov/record/12RS/SB47.htm]
The current status is that the bill has passed the Senate and will be sent to the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee, Chaired by Tom McKee. Chairman McKee has indicated that he sees no benefit in the bill and won’t bring it before the committee unless he is convinced otherwise. One way would be his receiving letters from small farmers who have received any kind of interference from Commonwealth agencies (such as the Milk Safety Branch) in relation to herd share agreements. If you were on the www.realmilk.com website last year you may have received an ‘intimidation’ visit.
If you would like to help pass this bill, we need you to contact Chairman McKee with your story. I can send you a copy of my letter as an example. Just contact me by email.* Thanks for your help.”
*You can also reply to this email and I will forward to Ray. If you want to write a letter and send to me, I will drop off to Senator McKee’s office later this week.
My phone message to Chairman Tom McKee this morning:
“Please bring SB47 up for a vote in your committee. KY farmers and consumers have the right to privately contract and we need this bill to remind certain authorities that they have no jurisdiction to interfere.”
I left the same message for my House Representative Susan Westrom, who also happens to be on the Ag Committee.
How To Call Your KY Legislature:
Call 800-372-7181. Leave a message for your Senator or House rep re. the bill you are calling about. A short message is better but say what you need to say. The operators are used to taking long messages – don’t be shy. Your tax dollars are paying them to relay your desires to your reps! You can also leave the same message for “all House Reps” or “all Senators”.
The LRC phone line is open M-Th 7a-11p and F 7a-6p, closed weekends. After the first time you call, it’s so easy to do again and again!
You’ve done a mammoth job already getting this passed in the Senate — nobody believes that would have happened without all of your phone calls.
We’ll keep you updated. As always, let us know what you are working on, what you would like to see happen in Frankfort that is not happening now.