This latest release from the desk of Kimberly Hartke should clear up any misunderstandings about the newly forming raw milk alliances:
Alliance for Raw Milk Launched in U.S. and Canada
Rally Scheduled for Date of Schmidt Verdict Announcement
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (January 18, 2010)– In response to the increasing government offensive against raw dairy farms, U.S. and Canadian Alliances for Raw Milk (ARMs) were launched this month.
These Alliances for Raw Milk (US ARM and Canadian ARM) and Family Farm and Food Freedom plan to promote connections between natural farmers and dairies and families who want fresh, wholesome and healthy natural food choices, based on their nutritional education and food traditions.
The ARMs and their members have declared they have the right and freedom to choose the foods they deem to maintain and restore their health and the right to farm their own land and trade/share the produce with others. The Alliances also come at a time of unwarranted and rapidly increasing legal, regulatory and enforcement actions by state, provincial and federal agencies against small natural, sustainable and organic farms and food operations, especially in the dairy arena.
The Canadian ARM is already organized in Ontario and British Columbia. In these two provinces raw dairy cow boarding programs are beset with regulatory harassment. These private agistment or cow boarding arrangements by their very nature are outside of the retail marketing system. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, works to defend the rights of these private contracts, with their built in transparency and accountability to unregulated free trade.
Ontario farmer, Michael Schmidt, of Glencolton Farms, will face sentencing for criminal charges of selling raw milk, on January 21. Last year, Schmidt went before the judge and served a notice of Constitutional question. The judge is also expected to rule on the constitutionality of the raw milk prohibition this week. British Columbia farmer Alice Jongerden of Home on the Range Farm, has recently had her milk accused of high bacteria counts in the press by health officials. A California dairyman, Mark McAfee, who himself has suffered losses due to regulatory abuse, claims that Health Canada’s findings show disregard for established lab standards, old fermented milk, and show the presence of good bacteria and not bad bacteria.
In the U.S. the states of Wisconsin, California and Ohio ARM’s are well underway with thousands of members and more states are pending. Sources in major U.S. raw milk groups say that a UK group is forming and there is strong interest for the EU and Australia and India to join forces in the Alliance.
Michael Schmidt, internationally known farmer and co-director of Canadian ARM, said:
“Forming local state, federal and international alliances of concerned individuals is of utmost importance. What has to be burning in our soul, is the urge to be free and the determination not to be returned to a modern form of slavery. Blinded by wealth, comfort and convenience we are in grave danger of unconsciously consenting to the takeover of our well being by Government. This battle about raw milk is a battle about food freedom and our individual rights. This is not an isolated battle, this is a global issue beyond our imagination.”
Michael Schmidt, a degreed Canadian biodynamic dairy farmer and teacher has become a well-known North American icon in the food freedom battle. The first joint event of the ARMs will be held the day of the verdict in his case is handed down.
Alliance for Raw Milk Rally
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Time: 12:00 noon – 3:30pm
Location: 465 Davis Drive Old Tannery, Newmarket Ontario
For more details see event posting.
Alternately, if you don’t have a Facebook account, the info on the court date and rally are on the Bovine’s Events page.