By David Gumpert
The Complete Patient
For 18 years, Phil Haynes has been selling his ranch’s buffalo meat through a store at the ranch, Rocky Plains Quality Meats, outside the northern Colorado town of Dacono.
Over the years, he opened a second store in nearby Loveland and added pork and chicken from other area producers, along with locally-produced fish. And a little over three years ago, he added raw goat’s and cow’s milk, produced by a nearby farm under Colorado’s cowshare law implemented five years ago.
Everything was going fine, until early December, when a feature article appeared in a local paper, profiling the raw milk supplier, Jon Erickson, owner of R Patch O’Heaven Dairy. The article quoted Erickson as saying that raw milk isn’t necessarily for everyone, and noted that demand for Erickson’s milk has been growing. The article also mentioned that Erickson’s milk was available at Haynes’ farm store.
“It was a beautiful article,” says Haynes.
A beautiful article, except that it appears to have unleashed the wrath of local and state officials on both Haynes and Erickson.
Within days of the article, and with no hint of illnesses, both of Haynes’ stores were visited by county health department regulators. They noticed that in addition to milk, Haynes offered yogurt, kefir, and cream cheese from Erickson’s dairy. That led to an investigation by the county planning board.
Within a couple weeks of the article, Haynes’ Dacono store was shut down for allegedly selling non-USDA-inspected meat and for operating a retail store in an area zoned for agriculture. He was also ordered, in the Loveland store, to move the milk out of the public area of the store, to a back area. A cease-and-desist letter threatens him with criminal charges if he doesn’t resolve all the problems within thirty days.
As for Erickson, he received a cease-and-desist order from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, demanding he discontinue making raw milk products like yogurt, butter, cream cheese, and kefir; only raw milk was allowed under Colorado’s cow share law passed in 2005, the letter indicated.
Moreover, it seems at least two other Colorado dairies have been served with similar cease-and-desist orders in the last few months.
Read full post at The Complete Patient