Wyoming

Tremendous Victory for Wyoming's Bipartisan Food Freedom Act

"The free market is suddenly hip on the farm again."

|

Wyoming became the first state in the country to adopt a "food freedom" law last week. The Wyoming Food Freedom Act (FFA) is a dramatic law that serves to deregulate many direct-to-consumer food sales. It will be a boon to the state's consumers and to many of the state's smaller farmers.

Advocates are cheering its passage. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund's Pete Kennedy told me the FFA is a "major step in the movement back towards a time when the government left farm to consumer direct commerce alone."

Notably, the FFA passed with bipartisan support. Earlier this week, I emailed Republican State Rep. Tyler Lindholm, who co-sponsored the bill with a handful of others, including Democratic State Rep. Stan Blake, and asked him about the bill.

Reason: Who drafted and sponsored the FFA?

Rep. Tyler Lindholm: The bill was originally drafted by the late Representative Sue Wallis who passed away last year. I had followed this piece of legislation in the past as a supporter, and was happy to pick up the gauntlet during my first session. Representative[s] Blake, Hunt, and Senator Driskill co-sponsored the bill with me.

Reason: What was the inspiration behind the FFA?

Rep. Lindholm: Individual freedom, nutrition, local support, the list goes on. This bill touches on so many issues that are paramount to a truly free society. While we have a long road ahead of us, Food Freedom is a big step in the right direction.

Reason: Who supported and opposed the FFA?

Rep. Lindholm: Representative Blake is a Democrat and a cosponsor of this legislation, and all Democrats in the House supported this legislation. The freedom of choice is a bipartisan effort and one that was recognized in the great state of Wyoming. We saw the large majority of opposition stem from special interest groups that require labeling and inspection for their product, and a bipartisan group of legislators that honestly believe raw milk will be the demise of our society. I would be remiss not to mention the statewide papers in Wyoming all wrote editorials condemning this effort, specifically for children's safety.

Reason: Did Wyoming already have in place a Cottage Food Law? If so, how does the new Food Freedom Act enhance the rights of producers?

Rep. Lindholm: Wyoming's cottage food law specifically dealt with non-profits and decriminalized their sales, as an example religious institutions, and youth groups. I found that laughable as there is no difference in a product, whether its being sold for-profit or not and Wyoming's existing law, whether it meant to or not, stated that. The Cottage Food Law is still in place, much like herd shares, but with the Food Freedom law in place now we have effectively made them a very moot point.

Reason: What are some foods, if any, that aren't protected under the FFA?

Rep. Lindholm: The sale of processed meat, except poultry, is not allowed under the Food Freedom Act. The reason for this is USDA regulations and the threat of the state possibly losing its status under the USDA because of this act. We have to find a workable solution to this issue and you can expect to see legislation in the future dealing with this issue so that ranchers and farmers can also sell beef and pork directly to consumers also. This is just the beginning.

Reason: The FFA shifts some liability from producers to consumers, including children. How will that work in practice?

Rep. Lindholm: Buyer beware. Producers are still liable under this act if they sell a bad product to consumers, so the free market will handle this situation better than any amount of government interaction ever could.

Reason: Does your family have a connection to farming/ranching? If so, please explain.

Rep. Lindholm: I grew up on my family ranch and still live there with my family now. We raise beef cattle primarily, but my wife also has laying hens that she sells eggs from in town. Her sales amount to enough money to pay for feed for the chickens, basically we're not getting rich off of her eggs.

Reason: What are the implications of the FFA's passage? Have you heard from legislators in other states who might want to copy your efforts?

Rep. Lindholm: This legislation is literally a game changer for Agriculture in Wyoming. In the weeks since its passage I have already heard radio ads for milk and other products. This was not happening before in the open, and due to the bill's passage these producers are able to sell their product as more than just a hobby. Decades ago farms and ranches used to subsidize their income utilizing these practices, but due to heavy handed regulation in years past, they have not had the opportunity to do so. Small operations have disappeared, started to subsidize their income through the federal government, or taken jobs in town just to make ends meet. It is my hope and belief that small farms and ranches will have the opportunity to reject these practices and help their community turn back to its roots by giving them the opportunity to purchase products locally. Needless to say I am very excited for this summer's farmer markets. The free market is suddenly hip on the farm again.

Advertisement

NEXT: Hillary Clinton's Excuses For Her Use of a Personal Email Account While At State Are Falling Apart

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I would be remiss not to mention the statewide papers in Wyoming all wrote editorials condemning this effort, specifically for children’s safety.

    If newspapers are so keen to think of the children, why aren’t the funny pages up front?

    1. You don’t find much humor in the political news on the front page?

      At least they keep the overt political endorsements out of site of tender eyes.

    2. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,
      http://www.jobfinder247.com

    3. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do
      http://www.work-mill.com

  2. Happy pi day! I think I’m going to run around in circles for a while.

    1. Sarcababy, run some fibonnaci spiral in that pi and your sine will wave like a little baby in box of jello.

    2. mmm.. pecan pie with a scoop of ice cream. I’m gonna have to run around in circles to burn it off too.

    3. Too bad you didn’t post 12 minutes later.

      1. I know. I didn’t think of that until it was too late.

  3. I would be remiss not to mention the statewide papers in Wyoming all wrote editorials condemning this effort, specifically for children’s safety.

    Same article line struck me also, FoE.

    One would be fucking naive not to notice the connective tissue here between so-called higher education and the organically oppressive nature of the goddamn person who ‘cares’ through governance.

    This same oppressive grandiose goddamn theme of Concerna Dictatorus runs through many an advocacy group run by other elites such as physicians, corporate leaders, attorneys, and others of the post-grad ilk.

    There is clearly no greater endeavor than to forge the brain with knowledge but just as clearly knowledge is no goddamn guarantor of common sense and reverence for individual rights.

    1. Here’s a quick explanation by Thomas Sowell

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TANKw6eUMP4

      And here’s

      1. the last link is a longer video of Thomas Sowell on intellectuals.

    2. Some people use education to make themselves stupid. A great many achieve total idiocy.

  4. “Buyer beware.”

    Good for Rep Lindholm for introducing this measure, but lovers of liberty should never, ever use the phrase ‘Buyer beware.’ It conjures up extremely negative connotations. Very few people want to return to a marketplace where one must be on ever vigilant alert for bad actors, remember that for Locke the reason why people might cede the liberty if their natural state is to provide some protection from the downsides of such an arrangement. As the Rep notes free markets will still place civil and criminal liability on bad actors, and markets punish such actors, so it’s really ‘bad actor beware.’ We’d just not have all the unnecessary regulatory mess we have today.

    1. ‘Buyer beware’ is never bad advice.

    2. Well that’s a new flavor of Botardation.

    3. Bo

      What about caveat emptor?

  5. BTW, the guy needs lessons from Shrill:

    ” my wife also has laying hens that she sells eggs from in town. Her sales amount to enough money to pay for feed for the chickens, basically we’re not getting rich off of her eggs.”

    What kind of politico is THAT?

    1. It also pays for their eggs and potentially harvesting some of the birds (several breeds such as Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red do well as both layers and meat birds).

  6. Speaking of “buyer beware”, the DemocratsandRepublicans are in power in Wyoming just like anywhere else. The only reason the Party would pass legislation for free markets, is if the BeefPACs haven’t been paying their campaign donations.
    I googled “Beef Industry political donations in Wyoming” and 2012 was the last year available. (that I clicked on, anyway) Donations were down by about 50% then, from the entire 80’s decade. It could be that the industry has shrank, and can no longer adequately support political donations…
    Which makes more sense than the RepublicansandDemocrats enacting a free market in Wyoming because of a sudden bipartisan gush of the love of freedom.
    The caveat is that we KNOW their lips are moving, We KNOW what that means, it’s just that this time, they appear to be doing us favors. I’ll take it! Imagine a free market in the US. This would be a big deal if it weren’t the Party doing it.

    1. If youre looking for PAC’s associated with AG in Wyoming, you’re not gonna find them unless you know what youre looking for. In Wyoming and other small population states, you won’t find the big PAC’s on a regular basis, only if something draws their eye. Instead, we have the Stock Growers Association and if you dig deeper you’ll notice that they did indeed donate to a lot of candidates last session. If you keep digging, you’ll also notice that the Stock Growers endorsed the bill, as did the Farm Bureau.

      Basically, not everyone involved in legislation at the State level is inherently evil. Some of us are just like you and took a chance by running for office. Some of us win.

  7. my neighbor’s step-sister makes $68 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her pay check was $12106 just working on the internet for a few hours. check here…………………..

    http://www.Jobsyelp.com

  8. Is cannabis a food? Can I put it in salads?

    1. Yes. sure is good in brownies. I never tried it in salad.

  9. This is a good law to protect consumers
    http://www.defafalkhleej.com/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.