Farmer Michael Schmidt reflects on the judge’s verdict:
I have been reflecting on the reality of the judge’s ruling. I like to note, that the importance of his ruling is NOT in the acquittal but in his reasoning for the acquittal. I was glued to his face, not because I was hoping for a positive ruling, but to hear, how he would acknowledge our 16 year long struggle for justice.
As I followed his dissertation, his artfully legal composition, I began to feel the heavy burden of responsibility on our shoulders. This was not a ruling to open up the raw milk market; this was a ruling based on a very specific and sophisticated cow share operation built on 32 years of bio dynamic farming experience.
The judges ruling endorsed fully our due diligence in every aspect of our operation. It is important to point out, that he also recognized the consistency of our actions and messages, which have been the same since 1994.
It is of utmost importance to realize that most likely we received the judge’s attention, because he was able to sense our sincerity and our commitment to society, to culture and the current legal frame work.
I tireless pursued the path of approaching the legislators to look into changes of the current legislation in order to accommodate the needs and wishes of an increasingly educated segment of society. Yes, it seemed hopeless for most of us. Not for me.
However the days after the ruling I experienced a profound sadness, that we had failed to communicate to those in power, to those in office our sincerity and openness to work together.
Why do we fail in so many ways to resolve small and big problems through the art of communication? Why did this process take 16 years and still we had to enter the court room to ask somebody to rule, on the issue at hand?
To enter into a dialogue is for many an admission of weakness and loss of control. For me it is opening up the world into a third dimension — the dimension of understanding each other and therefore the ability to move forward together.
With this ruling we received justice without the third dimension.
That’s what is so sad and that’s the reason, why we are not where we should be.
Our responsibility is now to take this decision with utmost respect and demonstrate to the other side that we are acting respectfully and responsibly, so that eventually they can accept what we had asked them for: Respect for our individual rights, which we never lost but gave away too quickly and too trustingly.
This ruling is not a green light for raw milk; this ruling is an acknowledgement of the difference between public and private.
Cow sharing is caring. Caring for the farm, the cows and the people, who want the milk. Cow sharing is an immense responsibility.
Warm regards Michael