The conflict between raw milk farmers and consumers on the one-hand, and DATCP regulators on the other, seems to be intensifying in Wisconsin. Here’s the latest update from David E. Gumpert’s “The Complete Patient” blog:
“Vernon Hershberger, the Wisconsin dairyman who last week broke the seals placed on his raw dairy fridges and freezer by the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, this afternoon received a visit from two agency inspectors and a few sheriff’s deputies.
The agents requested a look at his store. He told them, no warrant, no look.
His expectation is that the agents will be back Wednesday or another day this week, this time armed with a search warrant.
As word spread about the agent visit, Max Kane, who has his own case of civil disobedience over refusal to hand over lists of his enterprise’s suppliers and customers, arrived at the Hershberger dairy and filmed the events. It seems DATCP inspector Jackie Owens wasn’t real thrilled to be appearing on film. A clip should be available on YouTube shortly. In addition, a couple of television station reporters appeared. Also, Augie Augenstein has launched a fund-raising campaign for the Vernon Hershberger resistance via Facebook….
And here’s an excerpt from Augie’s update from yesterday on the “Journal of Natural Food and Healing” blog, which includes a quote from Ontario raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt:
“Much has occurred since the raid of Grazin’ Acres Farm last week in Wisconsin. Outrage by those in the farming community, customers who like to eat off the farm, and those that caught wind of it on all the local television, radio and newspapers continues. Many have been encouraged to phone/fax/email into state and local offices to register complaints.
The Journal had gotten so many hits that our story was ranked in the top 100 in the global WordPress community. The timing of this raid came right after the Wisconsin Governors veto of a bill to make it legal (under conditions) to sell raw milk followed by the Organic Valley decision to terminate contracts from farmers who offer raw milk. What is so unique about this episode is that Vernon Hershberger is ignoring the orders and going about his business as usual. (This is what people seem to like so much about the story–and makes them willing to stand behind him more than ever– and may be a standard response to farm raids coming: just ignore them.)
Also a fundraiser for the Hershbergers was annnounced today– and any Facebooker can donate online. It is being sponsored by the Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale– a web-based group for farm food freedom.
Michael Schmidt is a well-known figure in North America in the raw milk movement, having defied Canadian government orders to stop his dairy operations for 15 years. Here is what Schmidt wrote for the Journal readers about the Hershberger situation:
Farmer Vernon Hershberger has changed with his act of defiance the entire dynamic in the raw milk battle in the US .
What Max Kane has done for the consumers, Vernon Hershberger is doing right now for the farmers.
Finally we have a farmer who openly challenges Government bureaucrats with courage and determination. It will be of utmost importance that those who truly believe in individual rights and fundamental freedom to rise up and join Vernon Hershberger.
His act of open resistance will become a milestone in this battle for food rights and fundamental freedom.
Everyone is called upon to stand behind the Hershberg Family in anyway possible.
The next weeks will be extremely crucial: this will of defiance will spread like wildfire.
It is not about you and me this is about our children and our future.
Thanks Max Kane and Vernon Hershberger
Regards Michael Schmidt…”