Daily Archives: April 14, 2010

Michael Schmidt’s speech from the second annual raw milk symposium in Madison, Wisconsin, April 10, 2010

Here are the notes from farmer Michael Schmidt’s opening remarks for the panel discussion at the second International Raw milk symposium in Madison Wisconsin last weekend. But by way of an introduction, first read this brief excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s report from The Complete Patient blog, for the excellent picture he paints of the context into which this speech was set:

Michael Schmidt with Jackie Stowers (of Manna Storehouse) and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures

“Michael Schmidt, the Canadian dairy farmer who’s been fighting the Ontario government’s campaign to put his raw dairy out of business for the last 17 years, came up with a seemingly humorous stunt at the Raw Milk Symposium Saturday in Madison. He decided to award Scott Trautman, the Wisconsin dairy farmer who lost his Grade A dairy license last fall in a battle over raw milk, “a grade A+ permit to provide raw milk.” Continue reading

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Canada passes on new Pacific region free trade agreement to protect Ontario and Quebec dairy supply management

Raw milk opponents sometimes imagine that raw milk is undermining Canada’s supply management quota system for dairy farmers. But really it’s international trade issues, such as the one described in this story, that pose the real threat to the dairy farming status quo in Ontario and Quebec.  Here’s an excerpt from the story in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, by John Ibbitson:

The prospect of Canada's conventional dairy farmers being hit with in-your-face competition from the likes of New Zealand is just a government decision away, as supply management systems come under increasing pressure from trade cartels like the newly formed Pacific region free trade agreement.

“Canada has been shut out of a potentially historic Pacific free trade agreement involving the United States and seven other countries.

When asked in 2006 to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations that only recently got under way in Australia, the Harper government refused, largely to protect the Quebec and Ontario dairy industry from foreign competition. When Canada changed its mind earlier this year and asked to join, we were told it was too late, according to several sources. Continue reading

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