Farmer faces a possible 3-year prison term for feeding people; customers and other supporters stand with the farmer

From Liz Reitzig at the Farm Food Freedom Coalition

Wisconsin raw milk farmer Vernon Herschberger.

Baraboo, WI—Food sovereignty activists from around North America will meet at this tiny town on March 2 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000.

The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products. DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly denies this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations. “There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers,” says Hershberger, “this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.” 

At a pre-court rally scheduled for 11:00 in front of the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo, food rights activists will read and distribute a “Declaration of Food Independence” that asserts inherent rights in food choice. A signing ceremony will be part of the rally. The signers expect the declaration will inspire a growing food sovereignty movement. Speakers at the rally will include members of Hershberger’s club.

Hershberger and other farmers around the country have been and are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting customers. In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to their food.


Filed under News

16 responses to “Farmer faces a possible 3-year prison term for feeding people; customers and other supporters stand with the farmer

  1. Alim

    I admire Vernon’s courage and will pray for him, but rallies aren’t going to help him. The rogue, out-of-control public servants must be brought back in line. Best advice is to study up on Glenn Fearn’s information at that will explain how to get them to back off or be removed from office.

  2. Renae

    The Government Sucks!!!

  3. Jessica

    It would probably help quite a bit if these farmers would get an attorney. Defending yourself in court is never a good idea–even if you are not guilty so to speak. They are not doing others a favor either because once they loose, the courts/system can use that as a stepping stone and base the next case on this one.

    I don’t believe he should be guilty, the FTCLDF could and probably would help.

    Even the judge in the PA case told the farmer he did himself no favors by not having an attorney.

  4. Mike Lanigan Farmhouse Garden

    He could take on an attorney at $250-$500 per hour…How long would it take until the lawyer would own his farm? I have tried to barter beef and veggies for professional aid and it never got me very far. One day, maybe, it will swing the other way….

  5. John

    This is just another way for the government to try and exercise “control” over this free country. If these people are prosecuted for this, and found guilty, then we as american’s should stand up and say “NOT NO, BUT HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE need to pull the reigns in on all of our elected officials, from the President down to the Judges that sit on the benches. This is just total stupidity on there parts. Or is it just another way for them to make money to give themselves a bigger salary, while the rest of the country suffers.

  6. Summer

    Come Like our community page on Facebook and help out in support of Hershberger:

  7. Martina Peterson

    What happened to America , Land of Free Home of the Brave Government that’s what . If they would do what they are suppose too, Like running the country, Instead . of running the country in the ground . Let people live and make a living . Or should we all be on welfare so we can be taken care of . and vote democrat . so we get our pennies . and be under there thumbs .? People Make a Stand . Take Back our Country Get rid of the trash .

  8. Jack

    If I didn’t have to work that day I’d be right over there protesting.

  9. sue

    Isn’t it sad that the people promoting this action have nothing better to do with their time except take away people’s right of choice. Sounds more like Russia than the land of the Free !

  10. entertaind

    They know the law before they skirt the law and whencaught gripe about the law, wonderful marketing gimmick!

  11. shocked

    “Sounds more like Russia than the land of the Free !”

    No, in Russia you can buy food from local farmers.

  12. you’re so right, entertaind … the comical thing is, it’s entirely unconscious thus, authentic, and so it works better than any advertising campaign we could dream up = every time we go through one of these rounds, all the media attention educates more people to the truth about REAL MILK ; demand soars!.

    Plus = people wake up to what parasites the apparatchiks are.

    Vernon Hershberger will come out the other side of this furore, a wiser man for the lesson. His take on Romans 13 will be quite different than the pew-warmers down at the local Baal-barn. He gets to find out who his real friends are. Those who appreciate REAL MILK will find a way to keep it flowing in Wisconsin, and all over America the Beautiful

  13. Kathy C.

    this is insane, people have no rights anymore! this shouldn’t be an issue, its just the government controlling us again!

  14. Aaron

    O.m.f.g. another example of the gross abuse of power from our government to stomp out any chance of the little guy actually getting ahead. our government makes me sick. Just a bunch of liers cheats want thieves. But gob forbid you try and stand up for your self. They’ll just lock uor away aa tearorist for the rest of your life.

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