Subject: Act Now for Montana Food Freedom!

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Hi Friend,

Senate Bill 199 (SB 199), the Montana Local Food Choice Act, will have a hearing before the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee on Monday, February 22 at 3 p.m. To testify, you will need to sign up by noon on February 21.

SB 199 allows the unregulated sale of homemade foods from producers to informed end consumers including raw milk or cream if the producer keeps no more than 5 lactating cows, 10 lactating goats, or 10 lactating sheep on the farm for the production of milk. Producers can sell poultry under the bill if they slaughter and process up to 1000 birds during a calendar year. Producers can sell meat and meat products under the bill only if the slaughter and processing took place at a “state-licensed or federally approved meat establishment.”

Producers must inform the end consumer that the homemade food they are selling has not been licensed, permitted, certified, packaged, labeled or inspected per official regulations.

Sales and delivery under SB 199 can take place at a farm, ranch, home, office, “traditional community social event” as defined by the bill or another location agreed to between the producer and the producer’s agent and the informed end consumer.

Under the bill a state or local government agency cannot require “licensure, permitting, certification, packaging, labeling, or inspection that pertains to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, delivery, or storage of homemade food or a homemade food product under this chapter.” SB 199 does not prevent a state or local health officer from inspecting a producer selling homemade food under the bill if the “officer is investigating a complaint based on an illness or an outbreak suspected to be directly related to that homemade food or homemade food product.”

Please see action steps below and share this alert with friends and family in Montana.

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director

1. Call or email your state Senator asking her/him to support SB 199, especially if s/he is on the Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee. The committee members are listed at the end of this alert. To find your legislator, go to the Montana Legislature website

2. To testify in support of the bill, you can sign up to give testimony via Zoom until noon February 21 here:


1. This bill is important for small farmers and producers by allowing for sale of homemade goods, easing regulatory costs of doing so and thereby assisting small producers and the local economy.

2. Producers in other states under laws similar to SB 199 have a great track record for food safety. Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah and Maine all have food freedom laws allowing for the unregulated sale of most foods. There has not been a single foodborne illness outbreak attributed to a producer operating under a food freedom law in any of those states. Unregulated producers have plenty of incentive to produce safe food; one illness blamed on their food can put them out of business.

3. Passage of SB 199 will keep more of the food dollar in the community enhancing the local economy.

4. SB 199 will improve food security by increasing the number of local food producers and improving self-sufficiency in food production.

5. The bill will strengthen freedom of choice by expanding food sources for consumers and by expanding the types of foods consumers will be able to obtain.

Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee

For Legislator Contact Information for each committee member listed below, visit the committee page HERE and click the hyperlinked name.

Howard, David (R) Chair
Keenan, Bob (R) Vice Chair
Gross, Jen (D) Vice Chair
Glimm, Carl (R)
Hinebauch, Steve (R)
McGillvray, Tom (R)
McNally, Mary (D)
Molnar, Brad (R)
Sands, Diane (D)


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