David E. Gumpert  @  ChelseaGreen

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Ed Shank Celebrates Being Back in Business Selling Raw Milk, and Becomes the “Ambassador’ Scott Trautman Envisions

Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am by David E. Gumpert

Ed Shank of The Family Cow in Pennsylvania, reported “good news” to his customers  this afternoon.

“We just got the test results back from the lab literally minutes ago.  Both samples taken different dates came back negative for Campy!  Praise the Lord!”

Shank said he hopes to have milk back on the shelves tomorrow (Friday).

I just highlighted Shank’s unusual approach in an article at Grist.org, using it as an illustration of the trend of raw dairies to take the initiative on safety standards. I discuss in the article the efforts by Tim Wightman of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, along with that of Wisconsin dairyman Scott Trautman.

Ed Shank at his farm, The Family Cow.

I know a number of readers here have reservations about the practical usefulness of what Ed Shank did via his testing protocols. I can’t comment expertly about the science of what he did, but I can say with much more confidence that in terms of promotion and publicity, he did more via his actions to potentially help the various legislative initiatives I described in my previous post than any other actions likely could.

By doing what he did so publicly, he has potentially taken the air out of the fear balloon so frequently floated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its minions at ag and public health departments around the country.

You want to grab the attention of a legislative committees considering one or another of the proposals to expand accessibility to raw milk? Then excerpt from a presentation put together by Scott Trautman a few weeks ago for a pow-wow on safety standards held at his Wisconsin dairy. It’s entitled “Raw Milk Safety at Trautman Family Farm”.

I especially like the “Foundational Premises” slide, including these points:

* “Respect the entire raw milk system”
* “Sanitation not sterilization”
* “Healthy animals, healthy milk”
* “Quality is safety”

My favorite quote: “I owe it to all in the movement to be an ambassador.”

I’m big on rights, but increasingly I sense that the path to rights flows through the safety issue. The fight over access to raw milk, indeed, access to nutrient-dense foods overall, is a war over attitudes and ideas. Right now, the attitude that predominates is fear. The best way to fight fear is with reassurance that you understand the fear, and are taking steps to reduce risk. Ed Shank and Scott Trautman understand that reality very well, and I believe are taking important steps to help the community of raw dairy producers gain business advantage. Farmers are business owners, and like all businesses, must find the business model that truly works for them and their customers.

Read the original post on The Complete Patient.

rawmilkrevolution David E. Gumpert is the author of The Raw Milk Revolution.
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