It was a dark and rainy afternoon in Thornhill — a sleepy northern suburb of Toronto — when around 2 pm yesterday Sept. 29th, five York Region health department officials and two police arrived at the church parking lot where Glencolton Farms Farmshare members have been coming each week to collect their milk and other dairy products from their farm.
Glencolton Farms and Michael Schmidt
Glencolton Farms has been closely associated, since the mid-1980s with farmer and raw milk food rights advocate Michael Schmidt, though in recent years it has been reconstituted as a cooperative with shareholders, each of whom have invested $2,000 to buy a legal joint-ownership share of the entire farming operation.
The logic here, is that just as no one questions or takes any issue whatsoever regarding the widespread practice of farmers and members of their household drinking raw milk from their own farm’s bulk tank, so also this group of urban raw milk fans should be able to own a farm together and drink the milk from their own farm’s cows.
Last Tuesday’s Raid
According to Michael’s wife, Elisa, the officials arrived right at the start of the distribution and at first wanted to seize all the milk. They were eventually persuaded to just take samples. However, Elisa told them they would not be allowed on the van without a search warrant.