From the Vernon Herschberger rights workshop — learning to deal with fear

David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

Michael Schmidt with Vernon Herschberger and Max Kane at the Food Rights workshop.

“If Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger goes to jail Friday, he can take comfort that his farm will be well tended to.

First, there is his family, including his wife and nine children. “I would not do what I am doing without having my family behind me,” he told about 60 supporters crowded into a “Rights Workshop” organized by his food club members and the Raw Milk Freedom Riders.

Then there are his members, and indications are that many of the 150 or so members would be willing to pitch in to help the Hershberger family. “There are a lot of farmers here who can help Vernon milk his cows,” one member told the attendees at the workshop. 

“You may have to compete with my sons,” said Hershberger, who seemed very upbeat, considering he is going before a judge Friday who could send him to jail for violating the terms of his bail, established in early January. The bail terms include provisions that he not provide his members with raw milk, or have other people run the farm for him.

Perhaps because of the uncertainty surrounding what might happen to Hershberger and to members of his food club committed to helping run the farm if he goes to jail, a number of the half-dozen speakers at the workshop focused on the challenge of countering fear.

“A big part of freedom is getting beyond fear,” said John Moody, the manager of a Kentucky food club, who last year successfully organized his club to resist the efforts of local public health officials to condemn raw milk being distributed to members. If farmers and consumers seek to resolve issues only out of fear, then the authorities have an advantage. “They get bigger and we get smaller.”…”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “From the Vernon Herschberger rights workshop — learning to deal with fear

  1. nedlud

    As this story of Vernon Herschberger gets the attention it rightfully deserves, I ask people to remember other small farmers too.

    The few farmers left that I know here in West Central Minnesota, who have struggled to stay small, all their faces are lined with pain and fatigue when you see them. One guy I know, who is about my size, and only two years older than me, is just a skeleton now, so shrunken. Another guy, a couple of years younger, can hardly do any work at all because of health problems. And yet another, an ‘organic certifed’ has asthma and allergies and also cannot do enough work and his kids have allergies too. This is successful farming today.

  2. nedlud

    All of the science/technology and industry–the economy and business–of today is ‘quasi-military’ as I mentioned in connection with Organic Valley on another comment elsewhere on this website. What this means is, is that ‘foot soldiers’ (us, we the people, the regular ones) are utilized, organized and; expended (ie.,deprived of life) for the purposes of the ‘High Command’. These ‘purposes’ may be nonsensical, illegitimate and entirely narcissistic in their expression, and in fact they are, but they go mostly unquestioned and are thought of, as ‘progress’. Because of this quasi-military state that is so allied with science and technology.

    • nedlud

      Fear and cultivation of fear is a major aspect of our present quasi-military order. But so is the cultivation of narcissism. The science and technology, the scientists and technicians and their followers of today, are literally teeming with this one thing–ego enhancing narcissism, This is why I get chagrined when I see Michael Schmidt or any other here, David Gumpert or whomever (Tim Wightman or any bureaucrat, agency chief), speak lovingly, infatuatingly, insinuatingly of some objective and positive ‘scientific method’. Scientific method has been hijacked! The tools of science are broken and poisoned. Get this!

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