Enthusiasts say milk that hasn’t been pasteurized contains more nutrients; opponents say it may contain dangerous germs. Although it’s currently illegal in North Carolina to purchase raw milk for human consumption, the Small Dairy Sustainability Act would establish statewide standards for its production.
While tractors and mechanized farm equipment have now largely replaced draft animals, a small but passionate contingent of farmers in Western North Carolina continues to rely on them to help with the daily work around their farms and as a source of extra income at times.
Raw milk comes straight from the cow — it hasn’t been pasteurized (heated to high temperatures for specific lengths of time to kill potentially harmful pathogens). Though both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn against unpasteurized dairy products in no uncertain terms, the product remains in high demand.