Kentucky bill would allow herd-sharing for raw milk products

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A bill allowing people buy into a dairy herd in order to receive raw milk products is awaiting a decision on the Senate floor in Kentucky.  

A vote on the “cow-sharing” bill was delayed last week but a decision is expected this week after agricultural groups have a chance to share concerns. Owning a share of a dairy is not currently illegal, but the bill would officially recognize the practice.

The bill is sponsored by State Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, who identified the trend of people eating healthy and knowing the source of their food.

Maury Cox, executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, doesn’t disagree with the herd-sharing program, but argues the health risks associated with unpasteurized milk.

"This is a step closer to the legitimizing the sale of raw milk to consumers, which we're against," Cox told

Cox says consuming raw milk can be dangerous for children and the elderly, potentially causing tuberculosis, brucellosis, E. coli and salmonella contamination. Even with the dangers, Cox acknowledges cow-sharing programs can be very lucrative.

"Some dairy farmers want to sell it because they can sell it at a premium," he said. "Because this is emotionally driven, people will pay considerably more than for other milk.”

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