Bill would aid dairy farmers

Bipartisan legislation that passed 38-1 in the House this past week and is now before the Senate for consideration would add to the state’s food security by offering new opportunities for dairy farmers.

House Bill 22 would increase access to raw milk and raw milk products by moving the successful Herd Share Program from regulation to statute, adding permanence to the highly successful program, supporters say. The bill also would create a new business opportunity by allowing value-added products like cheese and ice cream to be sold through a Herd Share Program.

“Alaskans love Alaska Grown and the opportunity to buy local,” said Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, the bill’s sponsor. “HB 22 would allow for more products made here in our state.”

“The temporary food shortages last year should amply demonstrate Alaska’s need for food security and increased self-sufficiency,” said Rep. Kevin McCabe R-Big Lake.