WI farmer Vernon Herschberger “not getting sucked into the [DATCP] game”; he says Michael Schmidt inspired him

The latest from David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

Farmer Vernon Herschberger. Photo from David E. Gumpert at The Complete Patient blog.

“I wanted to meet Hershberger in person, because I admire his courage in challenging the Wisconsin authorities in their campaign to deny people access to healthful foods. He said at that time he was fine with me writing about him, which I hadn’t yet done by the time Judge Fiedler made his decision. Since the decision came out, I checked in to make sure he wasn’t afraid to be quoted in light of the harsh decision.

Being the humble man that he is, Hershberger told me it was okay, “But I don’t want to be boastful. I only want to encourage the consumers and farmers.” He didn’t say it, but fear seems not to be part of his makeup.

His advice to other Wisconsin farmers: avoid getting sucked into legal proceedings of any sort with state regulators. He said that when his legal problems began with DATCP last year, he was advised by some to establish a limited liability corporation, or herdshare, and “do tons of paperwork” that could be submitted to DATCP. A few farmers warned him that he was risking his farm and its 35 cows by challenging DATCP and its warnings of a $5,000 fine for each violation of the order.

He decided then and there he wasn’t going to have anything to do with lawyers or DATCP hearings or judicial proceedings. “I just feel very strongly not to join in their game. That’s what I call it. When they came here to close us down, they were trying to get me to join in their game. Get a lawyer. Try to release my products.”

Instead, he says, “I didn’t play. I just kept on providing product. Once they get you in their game, they’ll suck you dry.” Moreover, everything is out in the open, no under-the-table stuff on his part.

He’s been inspired by the example of Michael Schmidt in Canada. He, too, was threatened with huge fines following three raids by Ontario authorities–fines that had become so large the judge who ruled in Schmidt’s favor in early 2010 said they couldn’t even be calculated….”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

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