The South Dakota Department of Agriculture keeps harshing raw milk producers' mellow. SD-DOA sends the Legislature Senate Bill 45. For the most part, SB 45 appears to be clarifying definitions and rules. However, Section 3 includes this rewording:

Section 3. That § 39-6-3 be amended to read as follows:
39-6-3. The provisions of § 39-6-2 do not apply to milk or goat milk Raw milk for human consumption may besecured or purchased for personal use by any consumer at the place or farm where the milk is produced or to any active farm producer of milk, selling and delivering the producer's own production direct to consumers only, if the place or farm where the milk is produced has a license or permit issued by the department pursuant to § 40-32-4 or 40-32-10.1. The containers in which any unpasteurized milk is sold shall be clearly labeled by the producer as "raw milk." the milk may be delivered directly to the consumer by the producer. No raw milk for human consumption may be secured or purchased at a farmers' market or farmer owned retail store that is not located at the place or farm where the milk is produced.

What?! Dairy farms can produce raw milk, but we won't let them set up their own off-farm store or set up a table at the local farmers' market to sell that raw milk?

Correct me if I'm missing some essential point of law, marketing, or public health, but the mission of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture is to "promote, protect, preserve and improve South Dakota Agriculture." It would seem farmers' markets exist specifically to help farmers sell more product. Selling more product would seem to promote and improve this area of South Dakota agriculture. But the Department of Agriculture is supporting regulations that block dairy farmers from certain business venues where they could more efficiently reach their customer base.

That is part of why the South Dakota Department of Agriculture has overseen a decline in the number of dairies in South Dakota for 30 straight years.

p.s.: Section 5 of SB 45 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate rules concerning dairy customer records. What: not satisfied to harass raw milk producers, Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch wants to gather data on raw milk buyers so he can ban them from farmers' markets, too?