This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. Aug. 27, 2014.
The Idaho dairy industry group that sent a letter to its members urging them to deny media tours and on-farm interviews now says it never meant to deny access.
Tuesday, after the Associated Press reported the letter was sent to 500 dairies, a public relations firm followed up with this statement from United Dairymen of Idaho CEO Karianne Fallow:
"In hindsight we understand how our Aug. 13 letter to United Dairymen of Idaho members might make someone think otherwise, but it is not the intention of the United Dairymen of Idaho to deny media access to Idaho dairies. In fact, our dairy farm families often host dairy tours for media, school students, health professionals and others. We welcome requests for dairy tours for the purpose of educating the public about our industry and, in fact, organizing on-farm tours is one of our primary roles. Our goal is to do so in a coordinated way and provide assistance to our farmers in support of the Gem State’s dairy industry." - Karianne Fallow
This story was originally posted Aug. 26, 2014
An Idaho dairy industry group has sent a letter to all its members urging them to deny media requests for tours and on-farm interviews.
The letter from the United Dairymen of Idaho was sent anonymously to the Associated Press late last week. In it, co-chairs Tom Dorsey and Tony Vanderhulst advise dairy producers that there's been an increase in requests from media groups seeking to film on-farm footage in the wake of an Idaho law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.
The letter says that for the protection of the Idaho dairy industry, people seeking tours or interviews should be turned down or referred to United Dairymen officials or another industry group.
Spokeswoman Cindy Miller confirmed the letter was sent to about 500 dairies.