Daily Archives: February 5, 2009

OLA votes to support Michael Schmidt

 MPP Randy Hillier and Ontario Landowners show their support for farmer Michael Schmidt.MPP Randy Hillier and Ontario Landowners show their support for Schmidt.        

The Ontario Landowners Association decided by a vote of its Board of Directors to support Michael Schmidt in his pursuit of the freedom to choose to drink raw milk. The vote was carried by a strong majority on January 31, 2009. Michael houses, feeds and milks his customers cows and delivers their milk to them. This is his customers’ choice.

 This decision to do “what is right” came after much soul searching and rethinking by many OLA members about the core values of the OLA. I encourage OLA members to show their support for Michael Schmidt by attending court with Michael at 9.00 A.M. on wednesday Feb. 4 in Newmarket. I will be there. Address: Court House, 465 Davis Drive – east of Yonge St., Newmarket. At the Tannery Building 2nd floor.

— Jack MacLaren   president    Ontario Landowners Association   613 832 3201

A few of Michael Schmidts Ontario Landowner supporters gather for a picture outside the court offices in Newmarket.

A few of Michael Schmidt's Ontario Landowner supporters outside the court.

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Raw milk friends rally ’round Schmidt

Here’s an excerpt from a recent story in the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Mr. Raw Milk in California, Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures was in town to speak at the International Raw Milk Symposium January 31, 2009

Mr. Raw Milk in California, Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy, shown here on the podium at O.I.S.E., was in town to speak in support of local farmer Michael Schmidt at his trial in Newmarket and at the International Raw Milk Symposium in Toronto, January 31, 2009

“Raw milk advocates have rallied around Durham-area Michael Schmidt as he stands trial for distributing unpasteurized milk in Ontario and pushes to change the law banning raw milk sales.

Among them is California dairy farmer Mark McAfee, who milks 350 cows, owns 10 distribution trucks and sells raw organic milk through 420 stores.

“I think a big part about this issue is the fear factor used by those who want to protect their markets,” McAfee said from Schmidt’s home on Sunday.

The demand for raw milk is “huge” in California, but there are other market forces that don’t want his products out there, said McAfee, who also sells organic cream, butter and cheese. Continue reading

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Schmidt must wait 4 months for ruling

According to this Torstar news report:

“…After it was all over, Michael Schmidt turned to his prosecutors, bowed at the waist and thanked the row of lawyers for their fair conduct at his trial. 

Enquiring minds want to know!

Enquiring minds want to know!

Then the dairy farmer from Durham, dressed in his customary country attire of black jeans, khaki shirt and dark, simple vest, turned to Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky and thanked him for his helpful guidance. 

“I’m happy to be going home to milk the cows,” he told the court with a wide, but weary smile.

The six-day raw milk trial wrapped up yesterday in a Newmarket court. But Schmidt will have to wait more than four months to hear whether he, his cows and his some 150 cow-share members will be permitted to continue their raw milk co-operative venture. 

Both Schmidt and the prosecution asked to see transcripts of the proceedings before preparing final written submissions. Schmidt has until May 19 to file his final arguments. 

Much of the second phase of the trial, which dealt with Schmidt’s constitutional challenge, was given over to a scientific debate of the health risks and benefits of drinking raw milk.”

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A Cowshare member reports on the last day of Michael Schmidt’s raw milk trial in Newmarket Wednesday Feb. 4, 2009

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt talks to the media outside the court office in Newmarket on the last day of his trial. 

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt talks to the media on the last day of his trial.

I was in court today with my two kids (let me clarify that: two adolescents, not baby goats). We were unable to attend all the court proceedings due to other commitments. In short I, along with my kids, am proud to be a cow share member, and especially proud that we can call Michael Schmidt our farmer.

Last Friday afternoon, I was able to attend court to witness the testimony of the crown’s expert witness, Dr. Manse Griffith, from the University of Guelph. Today, my kids and I were present to listen to the testimony of the crown’s second expert witness who was a professor in epidemiology and a veterinarian (or so I recall) from the university of Guelph. Two interesting facts about the crown’s witnesses were established. Dr. Griffiths who purported raw milk to be a hazardous food conceded that he has never suggested that raw milk be banned from human consumption (dairy farmers, or anyone who owns a cow may drink raw milk….and they do!). The second crown witness Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, although not currently consuming raw milk, drank raw milk growing up as a boy, since he was raised on a dairy farm. Interesting!

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