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LETTER: Time to rein in Department of Ag

To the Editor:

Despite statements to the contrary, the Department of Agriculture seems to be well on its way in trying to discredit raw milk producers and put them out of business.

Recently, the SDDA violated its own rules to shut down Jersey Dale Farms, a small raw milk producer. The department’s reaction was based on a positive test result for a bacterium. It turned out to be listeria innocua, a strain harmless to humans that actually defends against harmful strains of listeria.

The department violated its own rules by not doing a specific strain test prior to the shutdown of Jerseydale. This bears out what raw milk advocates and producers have been saying all along: that raw milk has its own built-in, natural safe guards.

It’s time to rein in the loose cannons in the SDDA and make the state government one of less interference, which the governor said he wanted in his State of the State address.