“The Michael Schmidt case boils down to this. Is a cow boarding program a scam, or is it a legitimate, legal means of exercising one’s rights to consume a legal food, in places where it is illegal to sell it?
Judge Cary Boswell, who found Schmidt guilty of contempt, acknowledged that his ruling “had nothing to do with whether or not people have the right to consume raw milk.” Canadians have the right to consume raw milk, yet its sale is prohibited by law. Is it not logical for citizens to find a legal way to exercise their rights? And, should it not be the role of government to secure those rights?
Schmidt of Glencolton Farms is not the only farmer who sells his cows to shareholders. Numerous farms in British Columbia offer cow shares. In the U.S., 28 states allow raw milk sales in some form. In the remaining states, where sales are banned, there are hundreds of cow-boarding programs.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) was founded in the U. S. in 2007 to protect rights of farmers and consumers involved in direct farm-to-consumer trade. This September, the FTCLDF began teleseminars to help farmers develop cow-boarding programs. Already over 50 American farmers have enrolled in the class.
According to Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, “These farmers are not trying to skirt the law; this trend is driven by consumers trying to exercise their rights to consume raw milk, which is legal. Farm families have ready access to raw milk, but those who don’t have land for a cow or farming experience need to seek other means. Cow boarding or leasing programs fill that need.”
What is behind the increased demand for raw milk? Many American health experts endorse it, a number of whom hail from California, where retail sale of raw milk is legal.
Dr. Diana Schwartzbein, a prominent California endocrinologist, recommends raw milk in her popular book, “The Schwartzbein Principle”.
Kevin Trudeau touts raw milk as a healthy food in his #1 NY Times best-seller, “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About”….”
Kimberly Hartke is a publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation www.westonaprice.org,a nutrition education nonprofit with 400 local chapters and 10,500 members worldwide. WAPF has 17 chapters in Canada, seven of which are in Ontario. Read Kimberly’s blog at http://www.hartkeonline.blogspot.com/”