“BARABOO — Braving the increasingly blowing snow, more than 150 supporters of raw-milk farming gathered outside the Sauk County Courthouse on Friday as part of a two-day rally to support a Loganville dairy farmer charged with selling food and dairy products without a license.
The supporters traveled from as far away as Maryland and Canada to speak on the behalf of Vernon Hershberger, saying the ability to buy and drink raw (unpasteurized) milk is a constitutional right.
“We want the government to decriminalize raw milk,” supporter Liz Reitzig said. “My two older daughters are allergic to pasteurized milk but fine with raw.
“I can feed my children fast food three meals a day, feed them lollipops and Mountain Dew all day, but the state says I can’t feed them raw milk?”
Reitzig is a co-founder of the Raw Milk Freedom Riders and the Farm Food Freedom Coalition, based on the East Coast. She traveled from Maryland to help organize the rally.
She joined other protesters in signing a Declaration of Food Independence displayed by protesters outside the courthouse. The first line of the document states that “inherent in every individual is the God-given right to procure the food of one’s choice from consenting farmers and producers.”
Hershberger did not renew his Grade B dairy license and was operating a retail food establishment without a license, state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection officials allege in court documents.
Hershberger said he was operating under a private leasing system with members of his buyers’ club, called Grazin’ Acres, in which individuals lease the animals he cares for — therefore leaving him exempt from licensing requirements….”