This just in from Michael Schmidt, who is reporting on his visit to Princeton New Jersey, where he was a keynote speaker at the recent Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) conference:
I just returned from New Jersey where I was asked to give the closing keynote at the NOFA conference at the prestigious Princeton University.
This has been my second time that I had a chance to exchange ideas, thoughts and challenges of the raw milk movement with Joseph Heckman professor at Ruttgers University.
As insignificant it seems, as amusing was our journey in order to find Elsie’s grave. Elsie was the best well known, well travelled Jersey cow from the famous Walker Gordon Farm which had pioneered the ROTO -LACTATER , a rotary milking parlor for 2000 cows, starting around 1920 till 1972 as I recall. The significance of this operation is, that they produced raw milk for human consumption.
It was the right instinct and the determination of Professor Heckman, which enabled us to pay tribute to this American promotional icon.
The farm itself is gone replaced by subdivisions, just the road names keep reminding the ever increasing non farmers that once in the dark ages the was a farm.
Elsie’s grave is not far away from Princeton, one of the few prestigious universities in the US.
Yes I lectured in Princeton about life as a farmer, a law breaking farmer, a rebellious farmer, not satisfied with the ever increasing complacency of society. I spoke about the reality of sacrifice and passion to create a renewed vision for Agri -Culture.
Joseph Heckman is a professor deeply grounded in the science of the soil.
He keeps plowing the ground for more and more scientific clarity about the scientific facts about raw milk.
Remember the old song from experts, from politicians, from health dictograts and civil servants towing the part line.
THERE IS NO CREDIBLE RESEARCH ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF RAW MILK, LALALA
THERE IS NO CREDIBLE RESEARCH THAT RAW MILK IS SAFE TO DRINK, LALALALA
THERE IS ENOUGH RESEARCH EVIDENCE WHICH SUPPORTS MANDATORY PASTEURIZATION, LALALA LALALALALALA.
Hold on my friends. Professor Heckman has been and still is uncovering the existing but ignored scientific evidence. He is creating a database which will be very useful and critical in the future debates and court cases.
From the ground up. He will be part of uncovering the truth Elsie took into her grave.
RAW MILK IS, WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE INHERENTLY SAFE IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
As the raw milk dispenser machines are continue to pop up all over Europe the battle about our fundamental rights continues to rage.
My friend Vernon Hershberger faces times of uncertainty and hardship.
May we all rally behind every farmer who follows his consciousness and not his fear.
Sunday morning I attended the service in the magnificent chapel at the Princeton campus to honor another great individual who was battling and dying for justice in the world.
Martin Luther King came in 1960 to give one of his great sermons in this chapel. Yes he broke unjust laws, yes he went to jail many times, yes he died for the cause but he was on top of the mountain and had no fear.
After that Joseph and I went to see an exhibition tracing Albert Einstein in Princeton. Yes he became famous but he also was relentlessly searching for truth and justice.
We can learn from the past, we can also bow our head in honor of man like Einstein and Heckman. Both do or have done what scientists do best, search for the truth even in the face of constant adversity or when it is just Elsie’s grave.
The young man in the picture with me is Samuel who wanted to meet me and who came to listen to my presentation. A young soul in search of ideals and beauty.
I was deeply honored that he came apparently because of who I am.
As Joseph Heckman said several times during our time spent together trying to find Elsie’s grave;
Science will not decide the fate of the raw milk movement, science will help to create a better understanding why drinking raw milk is not playing Russian roulette.
Elsie was created in the 1930s to symbolize the “perfect dairy product”. For a time in the mid-1940s when she was voiced by Hope Emerson, she was better known than some human celebrities, and Elsie the Cow remains among the most recognizable product logos in the United States and Canada.
Elsie and her calves were featured in Elsie’s Boudoir at Freedomland U.S.A. from 1960 to 1963. Freedomland was a theme park depicting America’s history, located in the Bronx. A live cow representing Elsie appeared on stage at the Borden’s exhibit in the Better Living Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, in a musical revue with a score by the Broadway composer Kay Swift.
The first Elsie, “You’ll Do, Lobelia,” was a registered Jersey heifer born at Elm Hill Farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts. The most alert cow at Borden’s World’s Fair “Rotolactor” (the first rotary milking parlor) exhibit, Borden purchased Elsie from her owners, family farmers from Connecticut, and promoted her as their mascot. For the rest of the season, this particular Elsie, dressed in an embroidered green blanket, was put on display twice each day for all to see.”