Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

03/20/2020 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 160 FOREST LAND USE PLANS; TIMBER SALES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HB 16 SHARED ANIMAL AND RAW MILK/PRODUCTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ SB 194 ADVANCED NUCLEAR REACTORS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
** All Off Net Callers Must Hang Up Immediately
After Testifying to Keep Lines Open
- Continue to Access Meeting Through akleg.gov
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 130 SEAFOOD PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 130 Out of Committee
           HB  16-SHARED ANIMAL AND RAW MILK/PRODUCTS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:24:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL  NO. 16, "An Act relating to                                                               
shared animal ownership; and relating  to the sharing and sale of                                                               
raw milk and raw milk products."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE noted  that the sponsor submitted a  blank CS that                                                               
makes a  few changes, but  it will  not be distributed  until the                                                               
committee hears the presentation on HB 16.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:24:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN  TARR,  Alaska State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  sponsor of  HB  16, explained  that  the bill  addresses                                                               
economic  development  opportunities  and food  security  issues.                                                               
Alaska allows  raw milk consumption through  herd share programs,                                                               
but  it  is limited  to  fluid  milk products,  which  eliminates                                                               
opportunities for  value-added products  like cheese,  ice cream,                                                               
butter,  or  yogurt.  HB  16   would  open  the  opportunity  for                                                               
individuals participating  in the  herd share program  to receive                                                               
such products.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She referred to a document  from the National Conference of State                                                               
Legislatures that shows  a spectrum of raw  milk programs ranging                                                               
from  no raw  milk sales  to allowing  sales at  farmers markets.                                                               
Alaska is among  the most restrictive and only  allows herd share                                                               
programs,  whereas  the most  permissive  states  allow raw  milk                                                               
sales in retail stores. HB 16  seeks just an incremental step out                                                               
of safety concerns.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR explained  that the herd share  program has a                                                               
closed-loop system that  makes it possible to  identify where the                                                               
product comes from  and who is receiving the milk.  She said Suzy                                                               
Crosby, owner  of Cottonwood Creek  Farm, will show how  her goat                                                               
milk  operation  is able  to  pinpoint  the milk  throughout  the                                                               
process,  including specific  goats,  to  quickly address  safety                                                               
concerns. She said  Ms. Crosby's presentation will  help show the                                                               
hands-on piece of the legislation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SUZY  CROSBY,  Owner,  Cottonwood Creek  Farm,  Wasilla,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in support of HB 16.  She explained that the herd share                                                               
program is  legal in Alaska but  it is restricted to  fluid milk.                                                               
The benefits of herd share include  that goats help pay for their                                                               
food,  it accommodates  consumers  who want  to  eat locally  and                                                               
those individuals  who cannot digest pasteurized  milk from cows.                                                               
She turned  to the slide, Why  Goats? and pointed out  that goats                                                               
are  a good  size  for  a homestead  animal.  Some  say they  are                                                               
somewhere   between  a   pet  and   livestock;  they   have  good                                                               
personalities and are easy to keep.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CROSBY explained  that herd  share  is legal  in Alaska  for                                                               
fluid milk  only, and  is referred  to on  the DEC  website. Herd                                                               
share  is sustainable,  like  a  Community Supported  Agriculture                                                               
(CSA) system;  the milk  is distributed  with a  scheduled weekly                                                               
pick up and there is a  commitment formalized in a signed bill of                                                               
sale  and  herd  share  agreement with  each  consumer's  contact                                                               
information. The  money that is  exchanged is paid as  a boarding                                                               
fee. It is not for the purchase of the milk.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:30:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CROSBY emphasized  that herd  share is  not a  grocery store                                                               
where  someone goes  to  buy a  random quantity  of  milk. It  is                                                               
dependent  on share  owners picking  up  their milk  on the  same                                                               
schedule that the  goats are producing. Currently,  herd share is                                                               
only for raw  milk but HB 16 would open  the door for value-added                                                               
products such  as cheese, while  still staying within  the safety                                                               
net of the closed-loop system.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She  explained that  Cottonwood  Creek Farm  manages its  milking                                                               
safety and  sanitation by  separating the  barn from  the milking                                                               
location.  Goats receive  a pre-milking  sanitation spray  at the                                                               
milking parlor.  Cottonwood Creek Farm is  emphatic about washing                                                               
hands between touching animals and  food. Filtered milk goes into                                                               
sanitized, prechilled jars. Rapid  chilling is essential for good                                                               
shelf life and good product quality.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:32:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CROSBY  emphasized that  Cottonwood  Creek  Farm keeps  good                                                               
records  by numbering  each milk  jar to  identify which  pair of                                                               
goats produced  the milk. The  farm works on educating  the share                                                               
owners as part of their herd  share agreement on how to take care                                                               
of their raw milk.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She said Alaskans  have talked about food security  for years due                                                               
to the possibility  of supply line interruption.  She pointed out                                                               
that the  recent pandemic  caused people to  panic buy  and empty                                                               
stores of  dairy products. However, Cottonwood  Creek Farm's herd                                                               
share   owners   received   their  expected   milk,   a   graphic                                                               
illustration of the herd share program during the health crisis.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CROSBY  stated  that  HB   16  would  benefit  consumers  by                                                               
providing options besides  fluid milk as well  as digestible goat                                                               
product options for people who  have allergies. Consumers love to                                                               
buy unique  locally made artisan food  and HB 16 would  allow for                                                               
specialty  cheeses that  are not  available in  stores. It  would                                                               
allow  feta, queso  fresco,  and  chvre  cheeses  to  be a  legal                                                               
component of  a herd  share agreement. Precedence  for HB  16 was                                                               
already  set  by  states  that   allow  value-added  products  in                                                               
Wyoming, Tennessee, South Dakota, Missouri, and Maine.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:35:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CROSBY noted  that  raw milk  producers  would benefit  from                                                               
value-added products.  For example, each  gallon of milk  buys an                                                               
extra bale of  hay. Producers could use seasonal  surplus milk to                                                               
have  specialty products  available  during  low milk  production                                                               
periods.  The   safety  net  of  two-way   communication  between                                                               
producer and consumer would remain  unchanged. HB 16 would enable                                                               
product sales at markets, but with the herd share agreement.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MICCICHE   said  HB   16  is   important  and   noted  his                                                               
appreciation that Representative Tarr brought the bill forward.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL noted  that elements  in  the presentation  talked                                                               
about  the digestibility  of goat  milk and  that people  who are                                                               
immune are  particularly susceptible to food  borne illnesses. He                                                               
asked if value-added  products, like cheeses, have  a higher risk                                                               
of dairy related pathogens because the milk is not pasteurized.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:38:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  answered  that  Ms.  Crosby's  presentation                                                               
addressed   the   importance   of  proper   milk   handling   and                                                               
refrigeration. As  long as those safety  procedures are followed,                                                               
the value-added  products shouldn't be  any higher risk  than the                                                               
raw   milk.  She   said  it's   important   to  understand   that                                                               
pasteurization came  about during the pre-refrigeration  era when                                                               
consumers became more urban and lived further from farms.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL  stated that he does  not oppose the bill,  but the                                                               
cheesemaking  process   occurs  at  moderate   temperatures  with                                                               
additional steps.  He asked what  the comparative risks  are with                                                               
the additional time and handling for cheesemaking.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   answered  that  based  on   other  states'                                                               
policies  do not  indicate that  value-added  products present  a                                                               
higher  risk. There  has  not  been any  increase  in illness  or                                                               
anything  that would  lead someone  to  believe that  value-added                                                               
products are higher risk.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE  advised that the  committee will have  the Alaska                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation  (DEC) present to answer                                                               
questions at the next hearing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CROSBY  explained that raw  milk pasteurization was  a result                                                               
of  unsanitary conditions  that were  commonplace 100  years ago.                                                               
She said any  raw milk dairy would need to  be extremely vigilant                                                               
with regards to sanitation during the cheesemaking process.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:42:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked if  the herd  share agreement  requires a                                                               
person to sign a waiver,  if farms provide information to educate                                                               
the public, and if these things are required by regulation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CROSBY  explained that  part of the  DEC herd  share document                                                               
requires  a  person to  establish  a  legal contract  to  clarify                                                               
ownership  of  the  animal.  The  document  includes  a  two-part                                                               
signature page  for the  bill of sale  and herd  share agreement.                                                               
The document  also contains information on  proper milk handling.                                                               
An  individual initials  that they  have  read and  agree to  the                                                               
terms of  the agreement. One  line states that an  individual has                                                               
done  their  own  research  regarding raw  milk  safety  and  are                                                               
willingly choosing to drink it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  asked  if  the   herd  share  agreement  is  a                                                               
requirement within State law or regulation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CROSBY   answered  that  the   agreement  is   a  regulatory                                                               
requirement. She  said the DEC regulation  requires an individual                                                               
to establish a  legal contract to clarify  animal ownership prior                                                               
to removing milk from a premise for personal consumption.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI remarked that people  sort of know what they are                                                               
getting into with the information provided before they buy.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CROSBY replied  correct. She said Cottonwood  Creek Farm does                                                               
not crusade  for the benefits  of raw milk. The  farm's clientele                                                               
are people who have done their  own homework and arrived at their                                                               
own conclusion.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE asked if she would  be willing to share the farm's                                                               
agreement information with the committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CROSBY answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MICCICHE  said the  sanitation  and  safety inquiries  are                                                               
important for DEC to respond to as well.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He remarked that HB  16 is the first bill that  he has heard that                                                               
fits  with the  COVID-19 situation  and the  food security  issue                                                               
that  Alaska faces.  He  noted that  the state  used  to grow  50                                                               
percent  of its  food 60  years ago,  but only  4 percent  today.                                                               
Alaska  faces exposure  if Canada  shuts commerce  down or  other                                                               
issues  occur. Alaska  needs to  do  more for  food security  and                                                               
taking advantage of employment opportunities, he said.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:47:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CROSBY thanked  the committee  for supporting  local Alaskan                                                               
agriculture.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR summarized that  agriculture is the good news                                                               
story coming out  of Alaska. The agricultural  industry in Alaska                                                               
has shown  more growth  than other  states, provides  an economic                                                               
opportunity, and addresses food security.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE noted  that the committee will bring up  the CS at                                                               
the next hearing for HB 16.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE opened public testimony  and said public testimony                                                               
remains open for the next committee meeting.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE held HB 16 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 130 Draft Amendment v. M.1.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 130
SB 160 v. A.PDF SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
SB 160 Sponsor Statement 2.04.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
SB 160 Fiscal Note DNR-DOF 01.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
SB 160 Timber Sales Briefing Paper-FLUP 3.20.20.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
SB 160 Written Testimony AK Forest Assoc 03.19.2020.PDF SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
SB 160 Draft CS v. M.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160
HB 16 ver. U.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Sponsor Statement Version U 3.20.19.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Fiscal Note DEC-EH 03.13.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Supporting Documents - Suzy Conrad Presentation 03.20.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Background Documents on Herd Shares compiled 2.04.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
HB 16 Written Testimony combined as of 03.19.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 16
SB 194 v. M.PDF SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Sectional Analysis ver. M.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Fiscal Note DEC-CO 03.02.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Presentation by Sponsor 03.20.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Presentation-NEI 03.20.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Supporting Document PBS Article 02.12.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Written Testimony NEI 03.12.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Supporting Document NEI Road Map Microreactors Report 10.04.2018.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Written Testimony NuGen 03.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Written Testimony OKLO 3.16.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Supporting Document CATF Advanced Nuclear Energy.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 194 Supporting Document NEI Cost Competitiveness Report 04.15.2019.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 194
SB 130 Written Testimony PSPA 03.04.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 130
SB 160 Written Testimony RDC 03.20.2020.pdf SRES 3/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 160