Minnesota mom faces off with MDA regulators over allowing her garage to be used as a raw milk drop off site

Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer and her daughter, Amanda, stand in the garage that is used as a monthly drop site for Sibley County farmer Mike Hartmann’s raw milk products. Photo and caption via Daily Planet.

“For north St. Anthony Park resident Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer, it all comes down to the health of her 22-year-old daughter. “To protect [her] access to raw milk,” says Chan-Muehlbauer, “I’m willing to go to jail.  But to be jailed for something like this—it’s just wrong.”

Chan-Muehlbauer is reacting to the latest development in a long-running dispute between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and families like hers, who believe so strongly in the nutritional and curative properties of unpasteurized milk that they’re willing to risk legal sanctions in order to get it.

In April, the MDA issued a formal warning that Chan-Muehlbauer and her husband, Gary Muehlbauer, could be subject to criminal prosecution unless she stops using their garage as a drop site for distribution of raw milk shipments from Sibley County farmer Mike Hartmann.

It’s a 90-mile drive to the Twin Cities in Hartmann’s refrigerated truck. When the milk arrives at a pre-arranged time, it sits in Styrofoam coolers in Chan-Muehlbauer’s detached garage until the approximately 20 families in her network pick up their allotments.

“Sometimes people wait overnight” to pick up their milk share, says Chan-Muehlbauer, but “we’ve all agreed that this is what we want.” She stresses that, aside from purchasing her own share of the milk, she’s not involved in “any financial dealings” with other families. “I just open my garage.”…”

Read more on the Daily Planet.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Minnesota mom faces off with MDA regulators over allowing her garage to be used as a raw milk drop off site

  1. Remember Martin Niemöller’s poem? The moral here and that you get from the poem is that even if real milk WAS dangerous. We should still stand by and for peoples right to choose it.

    • Concentration camp survivor Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem:

      “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me. “

  2. Beverley Viljakainen

    You two are such fine examples of how individuals can make a difference . . . and you are not alone! It’s happening all over and will enable more people to wake up to what has happened while we’ve slept. Be well and enjoy your milk!

  3. You are my hero — I stand by you 100%. My one request is that we stop “villifying” people who make something off of organizing the herdshares and using their property as a drop site. I am paid as the admin of our group, not much at all, I can assure you; everyone knows it and is ok with that. I simply can’t afford to spend my time on these efforts for free. We are struggling to get by like many people.

    The bigger question is: does the money arrangement have anything at all to do with the right to drink raw milk? No! Let’s stop mentioning it as though it did. Because then TPTB will make it illegal to pay an admin which will limit access. I don’t know a single buying club admin who doesn’t make something to pay for his/her time which is substantial.

    Thank you for all you’ve done. As an admin for the Weston A Price Facebook page, the Nourishing Traditions page and the Raw Milk Symposium page, I am following and sharing your story everywhere!

  4. You go girl! There are millions of people from around the world standing behind you!

  5. The servants now think they are our masters.

    “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

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