What’s become of Raw Milk Farmer and Food Rights Advocate Michael Schmidt?

Regular readers of the Bovine may have noticed a dearth of stories about Michael Schmidt in recent months.

The Ministry of Natural Resources’ raw milk raid on Glencolton Farms was breaking news eight years ago in the Owen Sound Sun Times. Photo from Michael’s post-raid news conference.

A couple of weeks ago, the eighth anniversary of the 2006 raid on Michael’s Glencolton Farms passed with no fanfare, no demonstrations, and not even a commemorative post on The Bovine.

Michael Schmidt has just about disappeared from public view. There’ve been no trips to speak at faraway conferences, no rallies of raw milk supporters, no media interviews. It would seem Michael has quite consciously stepped back from his former role in the limelight as a public advocate for raw milk and food rights.

And aside from a smattering of stories in the press earlier this fall when Canada’s Supreme Court turned down Michael’s bid to have them hear an appeal of the case that began with that 2006 raid, there has been almost complete radio silence on the Schmidt front.

The last news we heard was simply that Michael’s request to appeal his case to the Supreme Court of Canada was turned down this past autumn. So what then?

But to recap the story, back in January of 2010, despite an earlier conviction for contempt of court in 2008, Michael was acquitted on all charges stemming from the Nov. 2006 raid on his farm. For a month or so, it looked like the start of a new era for raw milk in Ontario.

The Crown then appealed that decision, leading to a conviction in April 2011, followed by sentencing in December 2011.

Michael asked for and was given leave to appeal that reversal, which he did in Feb. of 2014. Michael lost that appeal as the appeal court upheld the prior conviction. That appeal court decision was announced in March 2014.

Which is why there was a request made to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear the case. The Supreme Court’s subsequent decision not to hear the case, as announced in August 2014, would seem to leave it at pretty much a legal dead end.

Chronology of the Case in Posts on the Bovine

November 2006 Raid on Glencolton Farms

October 2008 Michael Convicted of Contempt of Court

January 2010 Acquittal

April 2011 The Crown Appeals

December 2011 Michael is Sentenced

February 2014 Appeal to Ontario Court of Appeal

March 2014 Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Conviction

August 2014 Canada’s Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal

Early next year, however, Michael Schmidt will be back in court along with farmer Montana Jones in February and March of 2015 for a preliminary trial stemming from charges of conspiracy related to sheep-napping. Details here.

Eight years later, what progress has been made?

5 Comments

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5 responses to “What’s become of Raw Milk Farmer and Food Rights Advocate Michael Schmidt?

  1. So sad, how the Canadian justice system has betrayed personal rights.

  2. In the end, government wins.

    • We are the government! We allowed this to happen! We are responsible!
      We did not win we lost! “They” won by betraying us and Michael!
      Get off your ass and write a letter to that Pinko Commie Wynne!
      BAAAAAAAAAA
      Bruce

  3. Carol

    Sad to say you want raw milk BUY a cow or a goat, & milk your own, do not try to sell it the quota system has that all wrapped up & you can’t compete….

  4. Richard Barrett

    With the help of two sites : http://www.rawmilkinstitute.org and http://www.rawmilkconsumer.ca we are taking ground by educating the public. Even the Alberta Milk is giving help by adding a new section ‘Ask a Dairy Farmer’. One question was about the feed and are the cows fed GMO Feed. The answer was yes, corn, canola, soy, and sugar beets. The last question about Organic Dairy, you must click on the Link to leave the Alberta Milk web and go to two farms which do not feed GMO feed. Vital Greens is not Homogenized and is low pasteurized but raw milk from pastured fed cows is the best.

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