Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/22/2019 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:02:33 PM Start
01:03:05 PM Presentation(s): Alaska Lng Project Update
02:32:17 PM HB16
03:01:57 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska LNG Project Update by Joe TELECONFERENCED
Dubler, Interim President, Alaska Gasline
Development Corp.
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HB 16 LOCAL FOOD PROCUREMENT; LABELING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
            HB  16-LOCAL FOOD PROCUREMENT; LABELING                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
2:32:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN announced  the final order of  business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR HOUSE  BILL NO. 16,  "An Act  relating to                                                               
shared animal ownership; and relating  to the sharing and sale of                                                               
raw milk and raw milk products."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  provided   a  PowerPoint  presentation  entitled,                                                               
"House Bill 16 Raw Milk Sales."   Speaking as the sponsor of SSHB                                                               
16,  she informed  the  committee  the bill  was  derived from  a                                                               
desire to  provide food  security in Alaska.   Her  background in                                                               
botany and sustainable  agriculture led her to  address the issue                                                               
of food security:   95 percent of food for  Alaska is imported at                                                               
a  cost of  over $2  billion; the  Division of  Agriculture, DNR,                                                               
reported  Alaskans   can  produce  more;  the   Alaska  Grown  $5                                                               
Challenge  provides  more  economic development  opportunity  for                                                               
farmers in Alaska (slides 1 and 2).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR,  in response  to Representative  Hannan, explained                                                               
the purpose of the Alaska Grown  $5 Challenge is to generate $188                                                               
million  into  Alaska's  economy.   She  provided  a  history  of                                                               
farming in Alaska:   at statehood there were  525 farms producing                                                               
almost one-half of the food  consumed in Alaska and dairy farming                                                               
was well  established.  There is  only one dairy left  in Palmer,                                                               
but  new  dairies  in  Kodiak and  Delta  Junction  are  underway                                                               
(slides 3 and 4).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:38:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  advised currently,  raw  milk  products are  sold                                                               
through   a  herd   share  program   authorized  by   the  Alaska                                                               
Administrative  Code.    In  Alaska,   the  commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department  of Environmental  Conservation holds  broad authority                                                               
over matters of food regulations  thus the herd share program was                                                               
established by regulation  and is not in statute:   18 AAC 32.010                                                               
- 18  ACC 32.060 restrict sales  of raw milk products  except for                                                               
personal  use.   She directed  attention to  a sample  herd share                                                               
agreement  included   in  the  committee  packet   -  noting  the                                                               
agreement creates  a contractual relationship between  a producer                                                               
and  consumer -  and described  features of  the agreement.   Co-                                                               
Chair Tarr  pointed out  the "closed loop  system" nature  of the                                                               
agreement provides  safety because  if an issue  arose, consumers                                                               
are known and can be contacted quickly.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR advised the first provision  of SSHB 16 would put a                                                               
herd share program into the  Alaska Statutes.  Comparing the bill                                                               
to  legislation in  other states,  she said  12 states  allow raw                                                               
milk  sales  in retail  stores;  some  allow  raw milk  sales  at                                                               
farmers  markets; some  allow  raw milk  sales  on the  producing                                                               
farm; some allow herd share programs;  some allow the sale of raw                                                               
goat  milk only  [supporting  document provided  by the  National                                                               
Conference  of State  Legislatures  entitled,  "State Milk  Laws"                                                               
included in the committee packet].   The second provision of SSHB                                                               
16  allows  producers  to  include  in  the  herd  share  program                                                               
additional value-added products such  as cheese and butter (slide                                                               
7).   This  provision would  help farmers  increase the  scale of                                                               
their businesses and increase  shopping convenience to consumers.                                                               
She directed attention to a  picture of raw milk cheese available                                                               
at a  retail outlet  due to federal  legislation that  allows the                                                               
sale of raw milk cheese that has been aged over 60 days.  Co-                                                                   
Chair  Tarr  concluded,  noting  pasteurization  of  milk  became                                                               
necessary to  address problems created  by the  improper handling                                                               
of milk and  a population shift to urban living  during the early                                                               
1900's; as it  took longer to transport milk  products from farms                                                               
to consumers, problems with illnesses arose.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:47:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZY  CROSBY,   Co-Owner,  Cottonwood  Creek  Farm,   provided  a                                                               
PowerPoint presentation  entitled, "Cottonwood Farm  Before House                                                               
Resources  3/22/19."   She  directed attention  to  a picture  of                                                               
goats  and explained  herd share  is legal  in Alaska,  helps the                                                               
goats "pay  their way" and  connects consumers with  producers in                                                               
order  to shorten  the food  chain,  which is  desired by  "loca-                                                               
vores."   She  restated  herd share  is legal  in  Alaska and  is                                                               
applicable  to fluid  milk only.   Herd  share is  sustainable in                                                               
that  consumers make  a commitment  to pick  up their  milk on  a                                                               
schedule (slides 1-4).  Through  the herd share program, the farm                                                               
is not a  grocery store and farmers do not  sell milk, cheese, or                                                               
other dairy products  (slide 5).  Ms. Crosby  noted the provision                                                               
of SSHB  16 that  would allow  farmers to  make cheese  and other                                                               
products is  important because goats  produce excess milk  in the                                                               
summer, which  could be made  into chevre  and frozen for  use in                                                               
winter.   She  turned to  aspects  of safety  and sanitation  and                                                               
advised the milking  location should be out of the  barn and in a                                                               
clean space.  Goats are cleaned  before and after milking and fed                                                               
so  they remain  standing  after milking;  she further  described                                                               
methods  for  safe  handling  and processing  of  the  milk,  for                                                               
complete  recordkeeping,  and  for educating  consumers  on  milk                                                               
safety (slides 6-8).   Ms. Crosby stated SSHB 16  would allow the                                                               
herd share program to include  value-added products such as Queso                                                               
Fresco, feta cheese, and chevre (slides 9-12).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:53:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  KENNEDY, Attorney,  Westin Price  Foundation, informed  the                                                               
committee the  Westin Price Foundation  is a  501(c)(3) nonprofit                                                               
and is the biggest  raw milk advocate group in the  U.S.  He said                                                               
he also  works for the  Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense  Fund that                                                               
has a mission  to protect the rights of farmers  and consumers to                                                               
engage in  direct commerce.   Mr. Kennedy confirmed  [herd share]                                                               
agreements  are closed-loop  transactions  that  create a  higher                                                               
degree   of  transparency   and  traceability   than  any   other                                                               
arrangement.    He  opined the  majority  of  food-borne  illness                                                               
outbreaks blamed on raw milk  consumption are false; in two cases                                                               
where  milk  distributed  through  a  herd  share  agreement  was                                                               
responsible  [for   illness],  affected  parties   were  notified                                                               
without public notice.   He referred to a report  included in the                                                               
committee  packet  related  to  raw  milk  safety  and  said  his                                                               
experience is  that the  demand for raw  milk has  increased, but                                                               
incidents of  illness have not -  or have decreased -  due to the                                                               
better  education of  dairy farmers  and consumers  [document not                                                               
provided].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:57:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KENNEDY opined  there are  three built-in  safety incentives                                                               
that  ensure the  safe  production  of raw  milk:    the milk  is                                                               
consumed by  the producer;  the small  herd share  dairies cannot                                                               
afford an outbreak  of illness; raw dairy products  have a better                                                               
track record for  safety than fluid raw milk.    From an economic                                                               
standpoint,  raw milks  sales encourage  consumers  to visit  the                                                               
farm  and make  other purchases.   Finally,  he advised  there is                                                               
case law supporting  herd share farmers who  distribute raw dairy                                                               
products to their consumers.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 16 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Alaska LNG Project Update House Resources Committee 3.22.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
AGDC LNG Update
HB 16 Version U Sponsor Statement 3.20.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Version U 3.14.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Version U Sectional 3.20.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Fiscal Note DHSS 3.15.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Fiscal Note DEC 3.15.19.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - Tarr memo re Herdshare Property Rights.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - NCSL Milk Laws.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - Herdshare Agreement Sample.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - Existing Alaska AAC.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - CDC outbreak map.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - ADEC Raw Milk.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Letter of Support - Denise Statz.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Document - Suzy Crosby Testimony Slides.pdf HRES 3/22/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 16