Writing as a guest on Kimberley Hartke’s blog, Farm to Consumer Foundation president Tim Wightman talks about how the Michael Schmidt case is a wake-up call for society and how we’ve got to stop hitting the snooze button and open our eyes to the sorry state of our food system. Here’s an excerpt:
Farmer Michael Schmidt raises a glass of the good stuff in a toast to supporters outside a Newmarket courthouse where he was tried in October 2008
“When was the last time it happened to you?
Your alarm goes off and some how you reach over without reaching over, hit snooze or even turn it off. And you lay there, not awake, but aware of what’s going on. Nothing seems pressing you to get up, even though there may be…
Maybe a job awaits you, tasks and people depending on you to get up…to be responsible.
But you just lie there in the void between the comfortable unconscious and conscious.
Some people are pretty good at it..so good that the practice tends to be carried out in their daily life.
Admit it, we all have…and we all know those whom have perfected it, being noncommittal, walking a very narrow path of directives, rules and complacency. A comfortable void….nothing seems pressing, you’re warm, you’re safe, it can wait. Continue reading
What are they saying about raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt in the media these days? Well, here’s an excerpt from a letter from an Owen Sound Sun Times reader who argues with Michael Schmidt’s recent rebuttal of Bill Mitchell’s earlier published statements, from the Toronto Sun:
Is raw milk renegade Michael Schmidt endangering his countrymen and wasting public funds to pursue his own "agenda"? A Sun Times reader takes him to task. Photo above: Michael Schmidt talks raw milk to a Toronto audience.
“….One aspect of the letter which bothers me is the general tone that there is a direct persecution by parties having a vested interest in stopping him from carrying on the legitimate business of farming and providing safe local products.
He castigates his opposition as being driven by a vested interest in promoting their own agenda and failing to be open minded about any opposing views.
Mr. Schmidt, do you not have your own agenda here? Are you not also opposed to the view of your opponents?
Mr. Schmidt states that “society and the educated media have said yes to raw milk.” Sorry Michael, but I don’t recall being asked that question. Despite a traceable 300- year history of family farming which included myself, I must admit to some concerns about your position. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from a great new story from Julia Moulden, from the Huffington Post titled “How small farmers are saving the world …“:
Tim Wightman, speaking at the International Raw Milk Symposium in Toronto, January 2009
“….In the 1970s, hippies like me “went back to the land”, taking up residence on small farms across the continent. Refugees from cities and suburbs, we had visions of Arcadia. Only we were going to do it our way – friends called their cow Hamburger, on the theory that it would make it easier when it came time to turn her into meat.
Now, for reasons the same and new – but with more urgency – people of all ages are looking for ways to get back to the garden. Or at least be able to eat from one. And this time, we have pioneers like Tim Wightman to help lead us.
Tim’s family were farmers in Wisconsin, where his childhood intersected with the low point in the history of family farms. While his father lost interest in the whole business and moved on, Tim was bitten.
As a student and young man, he worked freelance on farms across the state, heading west to take part in the wheat harvest each fall. By the fall of 1979, when he was ready to try farming on his own, the economics had changed so dramatically that it just wasn’t possible. “Money was being handed out to consolidate the industry. Family farms were dying left and right.” Continue reading