Big Year for Raw Milk in State Houses

Graphic: Real Milk Legal Map

Click here to view the updated Raw Milk Legal Map, color index, and state-by-state status

Over the past decade or so, a growing number of states have passed laws to either legalize the sale of raw milk and raw milk products or increase access to raw dairy; no year has been as productive as 2023. Resistance from the dairy industry and public health agencies is not as great as it once was, and demand for raw dairy products is increasing rapidly. Through either statute, regulation or policy, 46 states now allow the sale of raw milk for human consumption, the sale of raw milk for pet consumption, or the distribution of raw milk through herdshare agreements. The four outliers prohibiting any sale or distribution of raw milk are Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, and Rhode Island.

The states passing raw dairy legislation this year include:

  • IDAHO – Senate Bill 1036 (SB 1036) removes the limit on dairy animals that herdshare operations can have; under prior law, herds were limited to seven cows, fifteen goats, or fifteen sheep.
  • IOWA – Iowa became the 46th state to legalize raw milk sales or distribution when Senate File 315 (SF 315) passed into law. The bill allows the sale from producer direct to consumer on the farm or through delivery of any dairy product. There are testing, labeling and recordkeeping requirements.
  • NORTH DAKOTA – House Bill 1515 (HB 1515) legalized the unregulated sale of raw milk and any other raw dairy products from producer direct to consumer. Under prior law only distribution of raw milk and raw milk products through herdshare agreements was legal. HB 1515 originally allowed only Grade A dairies (who produce milk for pasteurization) to sell raw milk to the consumer, but those supporting raw milk sales by all dairies hijacked the bill, turning it into the version that passed.
  • UTAH – House Bill 320 (HB 320) legalizes retail sales of raw milk and any product produced from raw milk if a licensed producer has a majority ownership in the retail store. Licensees may also sell these products on-farm as well deliver and/or sell via refrigerated mobile unit. Prior law limited the raw dairy products licensees could sell to milk, butter, and cream. sell via refrigerated mobile unit. HB 320 marks the fourth raw milk bill since 2015 that the mother-daughter team of Symbria and Sara Patterson, founders of the nonprofit Red Acre Center, have been responsible for passing.
  • WYOMING – Senate Bill 102 (SB 102) allows the sale of any raw dairy products produced by unregulated producers in retail stores. Prior law limited transactions to direct-to-consumer. When it comes to food freedom of choice, Wyoming remains way ahead of the curve; allowing any raw dairy products produced by an unregulated farmer to be sold in a retail store would be unfathomable in any other state. How much raw dairy is sold in Wyoming retail stores will likely be determined by what stores’ requirements for a producer to obtain product liability insurance are; it is difficult enough for regulated raw milk producers to get a product liability policy.

Continue reading. . . .


1. WAPF, Raw Milk Legal Map and State-by-State Notes,latest update July 11, 2023.

2. Tony Leys “Public Health Has Lost the War – States legalize raw milk, despite public health warnings”, USA Today, July 3, 2023.

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