Vernon Herschberger v. DATCP raw milk fight goes nationwide — Rally is planned at the State Capitol, Mar 1, 2

From Richard S. Gubbe, in the Rock River Times:

Vernon Herschberger with raw milk fans. From Proverbs 31 blog. Click image to go there.

“Vernon Hershberger had a big week last week as his fight for small-farming independence has gained national attention. His schedule this week is packed, while the fight for raw milk supporters will reach the State Capitol building with a rally Feb. 22.

Despite a mandate from state court that inspections of his farm be allowed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Hershberger turned away three state officials at his farm Feb. 9. The refusal of access is in direct violation of the court order issued the week prior at a county hearing stating Hershberger must abide by the following, “No impeding, obstruction or interference with any Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) inspection.”

The bold move was captured on video and aired on YouTube.

The state Department of Justice has stated Hershberger cannot sell any food products without a proper license. He claims he is not a business, but rather a group-owned co-op. He says he is just the caretaker of the animals and the land on the farm west of Baraboo, Wis. The state also said he may not manufacture or process any dairy products, nor sell any without a proper license. The state said he also may not have anyone else operate his farm or work in any room or building on his property.

“Jackie Owens (of the DATCP) asked for permission to inspect the retail store, the barn and the milkhouse,” Hershberger said. “They called me on a speaker phone, and I told her that I could not give her permission because we do not have a license from them, therefore they lack jurisdiction to do something like that. After she tried in vain to explain that according to statutes, they do have jurisdiction, they left after about 15 minutes from the time of arrival. We do not know if they will come back with a warrant or not, but we do think that it is a good possibility that they are wanting more evidence for the case.”

Hershberger, who has been pondering whether to retain counsel, has made a choice to go without a lawyer.

“We did make a tough decision to kindly tell the lawyer Glen Reynolds that we will not use his services at this time,” Hershberger said. “I am sure that a lot of you can’t really see what we mean by doing it that way. With a lot of thought and prayer over the matter, we have decided that this is the way that the Lord wants us to go in order to bring out a message that rings almost as loud and clear as the liberty bells after the Revolutionary War.”

The raw milk and Hershberger co-op crusades have drawn the attention of national civil rights backers Sheriff Richard Mack and Indiana Sheriff Brad Rogers.

Mack, the former Arizona sheriff, will be attending a dinner for Hershberger Feb. 15. The dinner will feature Sheriff Mack’s talk about “The Power of the Sheriff in the Emerging Strife for Real Food and the constitutional oath that all public servants have taken.”

Mack is a retired sheriff from Arizona now living in Texas and running for the U.S. Senate. This will be his second visit to Wisconsin to back the small farmer. Although he says he doesn’t usually drink milk, Mack visited Madison, Wis., in 2010 to speak to raw-milk supporters at the State Capitol after state regulators raided Hershberger’s farm. It was then he drank his first glass of raw milk.

As a sheriff, Mack resisted an interim provision of the federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required him to conduct background checks. In a victory for states’ rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

“Sheriff Mack called and said he wants support in any way that he can. Also, Sheriff Brad Rogers called and agreed to get in contact with our sheriff, Chip Meister,” Hershberger said of his busy week. “It is a tough time to go through, but if we all stand together and with the mighty hand of God on our side, I am sure that we will prevail.”

Elkhart County Sheriff Rogers intervened on behalf of a farmer in his county, advising the Food and Drug Administration to stay away or risk arrest if the agency continued to harass raw milk farmer David Hochstetler….”

Read it all in the Rock River Times.


Filed under News

24 responses to “Vernon Herschberger v. DATCP raw milk fight goes nationwide — Rally is planned at the State Capitol, Mar 1, 2

  1. I sure admire Mr Hershberger for the intestinal fortitude to stick to his
    constitutional rights as a private citizen.

  2. If you follow the link, be sure to read the letter in the comments section by Gayle Loiselle — simply beautiful! The sheeple are awakening!

  3. Reblogged this on The Sassy Republitarian and commented:
    TIME: 7:15PM
    ADDRESS: 1728 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA, 90291

    Oath Keepers of LA: Food Freedom & the Rawesome Food Raid

    Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012, 7:15 PM

    1728 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
    1728 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 Venice, Ca

    33 Oath Keepers Went

    ATTENTION!!! LOCATION CHANGE FOR THIS MEETING AT LIBERTY HQ!!!Oath Keepers of Los Angeles has been invited by coordinators at Liberty HQ to hold our February meeting at their headquarters in Venice.  This invitation by Oath Keeper and veteran Bryan Matthews is proof to the providence of the freedom movement, as at the time of his invitation we had…

    Check out this Meetup →

    On the local level we will present on the Rawesome Foods co-op raid in Venice, which occurred on August 3, 2011. This issue is now pressing as owner James Stewart is facing 13 state charges ranging from improper food labeling to conspiracy. His court hearings begin at the beginning of March.

    Nationally, we will cover other food freedom cases including Constitutional Sheriff Brad Rogers of Elkhart County, Indiana who has vowed to protect the citizens in his county against the FDA’s unconstitutional search and seizure infringements.

  4. nice bit of irony there = the contradiction in the photo = an Amish man in his great big broad farm hat and full beard but, of course, no hair above the lip because tradition dictates a mustache is too “militaristic” juxtaposed with the digital cash register, full of “the devil’s money”, ie. paper currency.

    there is no money in dairying … you can make a comfortable living at it but you won’t get rich. Vern found out that the $$ is in the delivery. His competition – participants in the Babylonian mercantile system – resent him horning-in on their turf, without paying his dues. At bottom, all that’s happening is = they’re playing hardball. Maybe he can skate, but if he were to suit-up and step on the ice in an NHL hockey game, the Flyers would blow by him like he was standing still. Same with his adversaries = it’ll take him a decade to get up to speed with the shysters wearing the uniform of Black Robe.

    Mister Hershberger’s real problem is not with the tyrant central govt., rather : confusion about the boundaries within his denominational doctrine. Explain to us what an Amish man is doing, so entangled with “the World”, ie, “the English” ?

    • Dear Gordon
      Whatever the believe structure is of anyone. It is hard to bear and read the constant sometimes spiteful remarks.
      Whatever the reason might be for Vernon it cannot be up to us to judge and criticize his actions of defiance.
      Just like your own way of defiance, I respect your current approach in regards to the contempt charges. Even if you are right and everybody else is wrong, the fact alone that there seems to be a profound disrespect for the approach others have been taken will only isolate your ideas and may be even valuable concepts.
      It is much harder for an Amish to take ths road of defiance for the greater good than for us.
      I sat at Vernons table, we prayed together, ate together and all he wants is to stand with inner integrity for what he and his family are doing.
      We do not all have to agree but you need to remember that your comments seem like a knife in the back, which is worse then police or inspectors trying to shut you down.

      • First of all : is he Amish or not? That matters because my criticism focusses on his stance to do with licencing, at all. His position is untenable. He’s dug himself into a hole … The sooner he finds that out, the better

        People are being misled to believe that this is all about supplying raw milk, when that’s a sub-issue. Mister Hershberger is just a business-man whofigured he could get away with not playing by the rules of the local club … so they’re teaching him a lesson

        Sure I sympathize with the precept of the sanctity of private contract. But that one was lost in the 1930s when the Supreme Court of the US ruled that a contract with a ‘gold clause’ was not enforceable in the face of FDR perverting the law to expropriate the personal property – gold – of individuals

        In 1988 and on, we saw 104 people go to prison in BC (shoe-horned by 3 top-flight lawyers) consequent to conviction for contempt of a civil court order which prohibited interference with a business. Many more were imprisoned over the next decade, as we attempted to use the Courtroom as a stage for a piece of theatre for their religious political issue. Judges were insulted and hammered us.

        When some tactic doesn’t work the intelligent person goes away and regroups. Environmental activist Betty Krakowitcz has been to gaol for a couple of years now, total, for breaking Court orders … UNable to learn. My friend Linda Gibbons was in the Supreme Court of Canada last December on this very issue – after spending over 7 years (total) in gaol = contempt of Court. Courts WILL NOT allow a collateral attack on the order itself. If Hershberger doesn’t learn that fast, he’s going to find himself roadkill on the information highway.

        Vernon Hershberger spouts Scripture as his rationale for what he’s doing. Presenting himself as a Christian, he opens himself to correction from his co-religionists. My Christian duty is to educate him concerning the nature of the maelstrom he’s in. People who love you, are the only onew who will tell you the truth. My tone – deliberately that blunt – is how the prophetic type speaks when the situation warrants it ; he needs to be treated like a grown man, not a little kid.
        Jesus Christ said “settle with thine adversary in the way, lest you be hauled before the Magistrate and made to pay the utmost farthing”
        I do NOT say there’ never a time and place to resist evil. What I say to him is that this is not that time nor place. This one’s un-winnable as it sits. IN THIS INSTANCE, the thing to do is ‘get a licence’ so the REAL MILK keeps flowing. No such licence available in Wisconsin, you say? Well, the lawyers love that idea … common law requires ‘accomodation’ according to changing circumstances. If Wisconsin already allows for ‘incidental sales’, then the health risk is not in question. The State is obliged to come up with a solution. Bundle-up the question and put it in front of someone whose responsibility it is. George Gordon explains how to do it.

  5. Bill Anderson


    Vernon’s Amish credentials are somewhat flexible. After all, he seems to have no qualms appearing in a photograph… quite contradictory to fundamentalist Amish belief systems.

    Though we ought to respect his Christian beliefs, I think it is important to encourage him to respect the role of his wife. Women’s work is just as important as the work of men.

    Regardless…. Vernon is just trying to help his customers. Unfortunately, we all have to play the game of the “Babylonian mercantile system,” in some way or another. It is just how modern corporate capitalism works.

    I hope that Vernon can achieve a jury nullification. He will need to engage with “the English” (just as he does when he sells his milk) if he wishes such a nullification.

    • nedlud

      Exactly right on the photograph issue. Amish will allow themselves to be photographed, but generally only if their faces are hidden from view. They seem to allow their children to be photographed with facial views, however.

      I’ve never tried to take their pictures, but that seems to be how they do it.

  6. A personal friend of Vernon

    Vernon Herschberger is not Amish and I wish people would stop assuming that he is just because he has a beard and wears a straw hat. Come on people, check the facts.

    • nedlud

      There are a great number of Amish in Wisconsin, as well as in Minnesota, where I live. Herschberger would be a surname that is generally Amish. However, Amish people resent or I guess I should say, find it against their religion, to have their picture taken, particularly a picture showing their face(s). So it makes sense that Vernon Herschberger (this Vernon that we are discussing) is not a practicing Amish person, though it would seem likely his ancestors were. I also notice there is a Stoltzfus commenting, which would be another typical Amish surname. No Amish would use a computer however. At least, none that I know of.


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  8. Mister Anderson : I told you on the other raw milk forum, that when it comes to “jury nullification”, you’re pathetically ignorant of how what really goes on in the meatgrinder operated by the cult of the Black Robe

    a charge of contempt of Court does not allow for a jury. The ONLY way to get out from under the reverse onus of a charge of contempt, is to play the child – that he didn’t appreciate the gravity of what he was doing. I’ll vouch for him on that one

    on the issue of providing REAL MILK, I do support him. Depending on whether his doctrine allows that I = outside the Amish fold = am his brother in the faith, then as a Christian I have the duty to correct him by telling him the truth, painful as it may be to find it out this late in the game, vis : You cannot serve God and Mammon

  9. Pingback: Food Rights Network » Raw Milk in the News

  10. Bill Anderson

    Gordon, I am fairly certain that Vernon is not facing any contempt of court charges (unless I missed something here?) He is facing criminal charges for distributing raw milk, breaking the DATCP seals, and operating a dairy plant and retail store without a license.

    I think that a trial by jury will be Vernon’s best bet. He lives in an area with a large number of dairy farms (though not nearly as many as a generation ago). I actually did my cheese maker’s apprenticeship at the cheese plant where Vernon used to ship his milk.

  11. Gordon S Watson

    My understanding is that in order to get out of custody, Vernon Hershberger signed a piece of paper, thereby signifying acceptance of the terms of being balied-out. One of which was : he not sell raw milk.

    As much as I know about his case – sitting here 3000 miles across the continent getting my info from the internet – he thereafter proclaimed very publicly that he’d reconsider and revoked that promise made to the Court. If he is actually involved in selling raw milk since he got out of jail he will be breaching his bail conditions Whiich is the nature of contempt of Court. Won’t be no jury trial for that count, I can tell ya

  12. Gayle Loiselle

    Gorden. Please don’t answer publicly, but do ask yourself why you left the exact same comment on the blog of a 16 year old girl. A young person intelligently expressing her support for Vernon, her views on raw milk and her faith, someone displaying integraity and the leadership shills our society is so lacking? You should not let your bitteanyone else.

  13. Gayle Loiselle

    that is…Gordon, don’t let your bitterness destroy anyone else.

  14. I posted my opinion on her website, first,after following the link from the Bovine. . It looked so professional, I thought it was a much older person as webmistress. If Tessa is old enough to go on the internet without a note from her mother, she’s plenty mature enough to handle what I said. Have you gone back and seen how I qualified my remarks?

    Was the Apostle Paul “bitter” because his style was so pointed? No, he himself said that he was more terrible in letters, than in person. your problem is that you’ve been paddling-around in the puddles of warm milk of modern Churchianity, that you aren’t up to speed on the seriousness of this issue.

    do you see how comical it is for you to criticize me across cyberspace, impugning my character … then direct me not to respond?! YOu remind me of the moderator of the Bovine! My email is available if you want to speak to me in person at my website

    did you miss the part where the 3 most prominent leaders of the Campaign for REAL MILK, call it “war” ? I’ve been to war a few times, and I’m in the thick of it now. I don’t apologize for using this kind of language in this context of “war”. This is politicking of the first order, and this is what it looks like as it’s happening
    consider Harry Truman’s advice = “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” ,

  15. Bill Anderson

    Harry Truman, the man responsible for dropping Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The only time nuclear weapons have been used on civilian populations in human history?

    I guess Truman must have been a “communist” then, hey Gordon? Wait no… he was trying to intimidate the “communists” in the USSR by dropping those bombs…

  16. I made the mistake of clicking “Notify me…” at the bottom, and I don’t want to see all this negativity. How do I get off this acrimonious thread?

    (PS: if you argue with a troll, you’re no better. Deny them attention, and they go away. As Mark Twain wrote: “Never argue with an idiot. A bystander can’t tell the difference.”)

  17. Gordon S Watson

    Mister Anderson = I offered-up President Truman’s famous quip, apropos criticism of the tone of my expression
    . all you’ve proven so far is that you’re one of these people who are “hard of thinking”
    every time you open your yap, tossing another red herring, you give away that you’re not focussed on getting raw milk into the hands and bodies of those who need it. Rather, you’re hijacking the energy of this movement to further your long-discredited utopia. Red fascism didn’t work in Soviet Russia and Americans are rejecting it, … the Hershberger scenario being a classic example

    why don’t you trundle-on over to Vernon Hershberger’s farm, and help out around the place? send me a photo and I’ll post it on my website, entitled “God loves you and there’s still time to change”

  18. Bill Anderson


    I offered to put on a cheese making workshop at Vernon’s farm, with my friend Willi Lehner who taught me how to make cheese. Willi is a second-generation cheese maker (his father moved here from Switzerland), who has been making cheese in Southern Wisconsin for decades. Willi consistently wins awards for his cheeses (many made with raw milk) at national competitions.

    Vernon turned down my offer, which is fine. I’m not going to send you any photos, though. Wisconsin today is in the heat of an intense class struggle on many issues, and Vernon’s case is but one part of it. The capitalists are on the offensive, trying to take away all of our rights — from the workplace, to paving over wetlands, and polluting the environment, to the attacks against small farmers — but Wisconsinites are fighting back.

    It is ironic that you accuse me of being a “red fascist”, when the only one advocating Fascist ideas around here is you, with your racist nationalism and anti-communist paranoia. For the record, my socialism is based on the centrality of the class struggle to achieving freedom, and the defense of democratic institutions. I am not a Leninist. I am an anarcho-eco-socialist with a strong respect for Wisconsin’s long tradition of insurgent progressive populism.

  19. CCone

    The Cato Institute has written about Milk Madness and says it all so please go to this site and read to educate about the battle Vernon Herschberger is in for. Big milk monopolies or cartels are in full force and have mega bucks to fight those who dare to come against them. see

    Click to access tbb_0707_47.pdf

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