Interview with Michael Schmidt on the eve of the Crown appeal of his raw milk victory in January of 2010

This just in from Michael Schmidt, a self-interview on the eve of the Crown appeal tomorrow in Newmarket:

Raw milk farmer and advocate Michael Schmidt, getting ready for an interview, outside the courthouse at 50 Eagle Street Newmarket, where tomorrow's appeal will be heard.

Searching for the tipping point and avoiding the breaking point

Unexpected I was able to connect with Michael Schmidt just a day before tomorrow’s Ontario Governments appeal hearing in Newmarket. It was a surprise because he is very hard to reach. Reflecting on his own future and role within the food rights and farming movement he is opening a door into his very private struggles about the certainty of the uncertain future. MS

MS

Michael as we have done many times before it is once again an adventure to sit down with you and ponder some questions many want answers to and many are too scared to ask.

As you know you are a very controversial personality and I assume unintentionally very intimidating; how to you deal on a personal level with this dilemma?

Michael

I do struggle. I struggle because of the discrepancy how I conceive to be and how others often think I am. It is a continuous struggle to balance or let’s say dance between these sometimes opposite impressions. The fact remains that one cannot change the impressions others have of oneself because it is a perceived reality for them at their stage of life and at the same time one is also in danger  of always looking at one self less critical.  The personal daily reflection about each and every step we take is a great tool to critical assess where you are and where you are heading.

MS

Let’s stay with that topic for the moment. If you consider yourself a pioneer exploring boundaries, challenging the status quo and creating visionary realities; isn’t that part and parcel of the process to be lonely and very often misunderstood?

Michael

I have always been fascinated about the fact what drives the human soul to explore the impossible. We are reaching new easy heights here on earth so it seems. Many now can climb the Mount Everest, everyone can fly, people jump out of planes and the search for more extreme adventures continues not alone but with the participation of thousand others through the internet.

The personal sacrifice is not a real factor anymore. Personal sacrifices are nowadays made on a different level. We sacrifice inner peace for 24 hour internet addiction. We sacrifice inner peace for 24 hour cell phone stand-by. We sacrifice inner peace for 24 hour entertainment addiction via I-pod, TV and radio.  We sacrifice inner peace because we are plugged in 24 hours a day. “Staying connected” has replaced the interaction on a very deep personal level and leads to misunderstandings and misconceptions about who we really are.

MS

You also have been very active with this new form of communication, be it face book or internet or cell phone.

Michael

Yes I have. Many things have changed because of this new reality so we think. Everything is faster; news and information can be distributed within minutes. New initiatives thrive internationally because of the internet.  I would also say that a new global consciousness has evolved because of the internet. Still we need to ask: Are we better off? I begin to wonder if the human soul is actually capable of dealing with and digesting this “fast track virtual reality”. Are we burning out human souls, are we destroying inner qualities? I am at the point where I am questioning the long term value of this technology as it relates to meeting the real I, the real human being.

MS

How does this relate to the upcoming raw-milk appeal?

Michael

My life has been extremely occupied with this new technology. It has uprooted me from what I was doing and what my calling was and is. I have been a farmer all my life. Farming as we practice here on Glencolton Farms has a deep spiritual nature and has always bridged for me the material world and the spiritual world. Living, breathing and working day in and out on this farm gives you strength and a profound understanding of the inner workings of nature. The incredible destructive events of the last 5 years do take their toll and have changed my own biography dramatically. The Government appeal itself has not anymore the perceived nature of fairness as we had in the first court proceedings.

The appeal of the Province only highlights the disregard of bureaucrats and Government for the individual freedom, the individual right, the individual dignity of the human being. It is nothing else than another act of violence without consequences for those who commit this violence.

MS

Indeed, but would you have reached so many people without these events and without the technology?

Michael

No the combination of all these realities have created a momentum beyond my own imagination. The question I ponder more and more is the following.

Do we reach the “tipping point” before we reach the “breaking point”

It is a race against time, a race against the human soul, a race against all odds.

MS

Please explain more about this interesting thought of breaking point and tipping point.

Michael

Government and bureaucrats deliberately use the breaking point as a tool to achieve what they want to achieve: complacency and fear. The lengthy legal procedures, the threats of fines and jail and the never-ending resources will drive you towards that breaking point unless you are committed to lose whatever you have and to risk your own security of comfort and conformity. Let me guess, 95% percent of the people might think they have no option, no choice to defend the truth, the rights and the principles of fundamental justice. That looks like bad news. However the tipping point in regards to massive change is not 50% or more what most think. NO the tipping point for change is in fact less than 10 % of the population. If more than 5% start waking up and begin to realize that we have the power to change the current destruction of society IF we are willing to stand up and resist.

In that context I am embracing the new technology with the hope to reach the tipping point, to be able to wake people up and at the same time sacrificing for a limited amount of time inner peace.

MS

Where do you see your role in the future?

Michael

That is what I am trying to figure out in the near future. The conscious step towards “stillness” might be an option. Never underestimate the need of stillness to be able to hear whatever responsibility you are called upon.

MS

Michael, thank you.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Interview with Michael Schmidt on the eve of the Crown appeal of his raw milk victory in January of 2010

  1. Sibernie

    Michael,
    I wish you and Karen Selick the best of luck – and logic – at tomorrow’s appeal. To quote Anne Frank,”How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start to improve the world.” You are improving the world. Inner peace can only follow when you know what you’re doing is right, and when you know you are not alone in this struggle to change unjust, unconstitutional laws. We need to have laws based on reason, common sense, justice, liberty, equity, and freedom. Your personal sacrifices are not in vain. Slowly, more and more people are waking up, but it will take time to reach the tipping point.

  2. We thank Michael Schmidt for an accurate account of what the tipping point and breaking point mean. He is a man who loves farming and knows it well, yet he is called to help us. He has pointed us to the fact that we are now also looking at the uses and abuses of high-talent manpower/people power in the world today. And not just Canada or the United States.We must analyze and change the ways in which our countries, our communities, educate and employ its brighter men and women. How do members of the specialized professions adapt to changing demands? What benefits does higher education give to its graduates, as well as to a society? Are we educating and using our lawyers, doctors, engineers, farmers, politicians, and scientists – our talented people from whatever profession – to achieve the social and individual goals that have the highest priority? Obviously, we have not. We are not. People like Michael are. An analysis of the labor market imperfections and of the lack of fit between the formal system of education and the economy’s occupational requirements is extremely illuminating. Of particular importance is the analysis of much neglected imperfections on the demand side of the labor market. Selfishness and monetary greed and political corruption are the culprits which must be stopped.

    We think there is a need for specialists and professionals to take action. Or from those that have the same heart without formal training. We know of such men and women. They are consumers. And now participants. Perhaps one problem is this; specialists and professionals are the kind of people needed but they are not part of the total population that is now of most immediate social concern. For very sound reasons, American society and others are giving much more attention than it ever has in the past to the impoverished, the disadvantaged, the victims of racial discrimination, the members of minority groups, and others who have not shared fully in the affluence and advantages of the American, Canadian, or systems of other countries.

    We are not going to follow this theme. We do not disagree with it: we applaud it. We would all be far better off if more than a hundred years ago we had been aroused to the concern we now feel, but this is not our topic. We shall not, however, forget these groups, for within them are young people whose high potential talent never fully develops, and we will have to pay attention to that point. It is a darn good thing that men and women like Mike Schmidt exist and work at what they are doing now. The same holds true for David Gumpert, Mark McAfee, Sally Fallon, Pete Kennedy, and others.

    Our emphasis will be on the people who are bright regardless of family background, the people who get educated whatever their parent’s education, the people who work at responsible positions in the professions and specialized fields. A Farmer, a Community Health Official, a Milkman, a Nutritionist, a Veterinarian, a School Teacher, and more.

    Institutions, customs, and policies. The systems we are operating with and in are due for changes. Faults, there surely are, and some are glaring. Yet the faults are not so fundamental as to abandon the whole system. It has proven its flexibility by correcting earlier faults and by adapting to past changes. It can do so now.

    In considering the forces that determine how we educate and utilize men and women of high dignity, it is necessary to distinguish between the point of view of the individual and the point of view of society. In 1776, when adam smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and causes of the wealth of nations, he emphasized the role of education, competence, and skill as the basis of national wealth. He was ahead of his time in taking this position. Later economists were more impressed with physical capital than they were with human capital. What will impress “them” today? What will impress us? what are you all impressed with? Yourselves or each other?

    Yes, knowledge has become the principal resource in advanced countries, but is it not as important and is it not time to really take care of places like the farm, the land, the sea, fresh water, the air? And our right to eat good foods.

    “Of all the sciences and arts one of the greatest is the feeding of animals and human beings.” – Henry Wallace, Secretary Of Agriculture USA. 1939

    Thank you.
    Milkmen USA

  3. Judith McGill

    We are now facing the point that has no parallel. You captured it so well. We will now face consciousness at the point of knowing itself like never before. Some will lead. Some will fall. In gratitude to your leadership.

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