State House panel cuts funds to inspect Alaska's last dairy
During its review of more than 100 amendments Thursday, the state House Finance Committee removed funding to inspect the state’s last dairy farm – the Havemeister Dairy in Palmer.
House Rep. Kelly Merrick, R-Eagle River, successfully advanced the amendment to cut the $180,000 expense from the state’s budget.
Last month, Ty Havemeister told KTVA he was not sure how the farm would continue without the funding and the inspections. He said state inspectors come to the farm four times a year; milk gets tested in a lab once a month.
“There are federal regulations. I cannot inspect myself, I cannot pay someone to inspect me. The state has to do that,” said Havemeister, a third generation dairy farmer and manager of the dairy’s on-site creamery.
Thursday's decision is not the final word for the Havemeisters. The 40-member House can still amend that cut next week when it is expected to begin debating the bill.
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