“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.”…”