What are these regulations for? Both sets of regulations supercede existing regulations that did not specifically cover goat (or water buffalo or sheep or other mammal besides cow) milk. Goat milk and dairy products have heretofore not existed in Virginia in substantial numbers and have been unregulated. They still do not exist in substantial numbers, but apparently the larger dairy lobby finds them a threat. These regulations will effectively shut down the small goat dairies because the regulations' onerous demands for equipment and facilities are way beyond the means of anyone except an already wealthy person doing this as a hobby. Since the regulations are 106 pages there is not room here to list all the requirements, but Christine Solem has estimated the cost of compliance, including equipment, new buildings, and landscaping could easily reach around $50,000, even for existing dairies, not to mention individual owners who do not sell to the public, or who provide goat or cow shares. The cry that these regulations are for "public safety" is not justifiable. Aside from the fact that these dairies have operated for years without incident, laws under the Food Code already provide for the oversight of food manufacturing if the foods are sold at retail food stores or restaurants and small dairies have had to operate within these codes. Not one recorded incident of illness caused by these dairies exists. Clearly they have not been "dangerous." If VDACS believed these dairies were dangerous, they would have closed them down years ago. Christine Solem and John Coles (two of the founders of VICFA) have been selling their Satyrfield Farm fresh goat cheese at the Charlottesville City Market for 21 years with not a single incident of illness of any kind related to their cheese. The regulations are accessible online, in an Adobe Reader document, at: http://townhall.state.va.us/intro.cfm?list=actions You will have to follow the links on that page to get the actual regs. (As you read them, remember, there are two separate sets of regulations, and the "dairy farm" definition in the cooling regs is different from the "dairy farm" definition in the manufacturing [cheese] regs). As citizens of a representative republic we do not have to passively accept the fascist efforts of our civil servants to tyrannize our lives. We can act. Please write to the Governor, call your county registrar and find out who your state senators and representatives are and contact them, talk to your friends and neighbors, and keep asking yourself, "What do I want?" and act on it. Following is contact information for Governor Warner: Website: www.governor.state.va.us Email: email@example.com U.S.Mail: The Honorable Mark R. Warner P.O. Box 1475 Richmond, VA 23218 Phone: 804.786.2211 Fax: 804.371.6351 There is a substantial body of people out here deeply upset about these regulations and the efforts of VDACS and Governor Warner to deny consumers the right to purchase foods of their choice. This body of people is growing and increasingly aware and active. And we are not going away. Footnotes: 1. The New Yorker, issue 11/29/2004, The Talk of the Town, article: Contraband Psst! Got Milk? by Frederick Kaufman 2. http://www.realmilk.com/ A Campaign for Real Milk, a Project of the Weston Price Foundation 3. A goat or cow share is an arrangement of shared ownership. Individuals can purchase a share of a dairy animal, pay a monthly maintenance fee and receive from her production in the form of a gallon a week of milk, or whatever is commensurate with a share. This article first appeared in the January 2005 issue of VICFA Voice, the monthly newsletter of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association. Copyright notice: The preceding document is copyrighted by Deborah Stockton, 2004. I hereby give permission to quote, copy, and circulate this document freely under the following conditions: If you make any such use of it, you must attribute it. If you copy it, the document must be copied in its entirety, including this copyright notice. If you pass it on to others, no charge may be made, other than the actual costs of copying, if any.