Michael Schmidt’s Queen’s Park news conference video from Nov. 25th, 2015

Click here to watch video of Michael Schmidt’s Nov. 25th news conference.

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80 responses to “Michael Schmidt’s Queen’s Park news conference video from Nov. 25th, 2015

  1. Level Headed

    Good press conference!

  2. moosemeadows

    Wow it’s hard to imagine how such a hero , champion of all that is good in the world, should be constantly struck with such struggle. A man beyond reproach who has never deviated from high moral integrity. A man from which all who truly know him , love him, and non left to ponder.

    • Tom Johnston

      Huh? None left to ponder? Seems to me THAT is the bandwagon here… Blanket acceptance of whatever he says… Not because it makes sense, but because he is seen as championing that the consumer get their milk by whatever means… by right, or by regulations. The consequences of which are simply not pondered.

  3. moosemeadows

    The research by Nadine Ijaz clearly demonstrates that raw milk , as raw consumption, is In The low risk category. And it’s clearly misplaced in the high risk delineation. What is of interest, and that relates to what is being said here, is that the data from which much of the research is drawn comes pre-RAWMI standards. In otherwords the threat of an underground market is actually not very significant. Unlike the risk posed by back ally abortions from which the actual argument was championed

  4. Michael H.

    Thank you Michael for everything that you are doing.
    I am a raw milk drinker in Ontario. Can I join the class-action lawsuit?
    (I could not easily find contact information, and I do not have facebook, that is why I am posting here.)

  5. Franky

    As we can see, “there’s been a shift away from focusing on Michael Schmidt’s role in all this, and putting the focus instead on the farm share members”…

    • moosemeadows

      Haha, if only that were the case. Common farm ownership is a good idea, but the only one I am aware of that is in fact a commonly owned farm is in BC. Where a group of people took it amongst themselves to buy a farm and hire a farmer. It is totally doable. They determine the management of the farm and its production, and hold true shares in the farm as a co op where one share one vote is the value upheld. For an operation that has activity in the pubkic realm this may be reasonable means.

      • just a reader

        From what I’ve heard, at least 3 farms in BC now follow a legal model, one formed as a goat-share co-op years ago and likely the one you’re referring to, Moosemeadows, plus two recent ones following Justice Tetley’s instructions regarding how a “legal herdshare” must operate.

  6. Franky

    Underground raw milk is dangerous… Oh?

  7. Tom Johnston

    If the underground market is dangerous, is the request then for some regulations? And if the raw milk production/farm gate sales isn’t regulated, but merely exempt, how is it more safe than the current ‘black market’? If he is asking farm gate sales to be exempt, is that then a privilege? But what do we make of the declaration of rights that ‘everybody’ ceremoniously signed? A declaration doesn’t sound much like a request.
    Clarification would be appreciated (but, given Michael’s history, not anticipated).

    • rawmilkwar

      It is always sad when remarks like the above are accompanied by unnecessary and inflammatory comments.
      The points themselves are worthwhile to be clarified in case Tom is in fact interested.
      An excemption under the milk act and health act would take away the constant threat of law enforcement through bureaucrats. It helps to bring a certain amount of peace into the equation on both sides.
      The re-occurring witch hunt creates fear amongst otherwise brave farmers and opens the field to black market entrepreneurs without proper training or understanding of food safety.
      Yes raw milk is a low risk food IF……..
      The farmer knows what he is doing,
      The cows are healthy,
      The feed is according to the biology of the cow
      Tests are done on a regular base
      Basic hygiene is followed and farm, cow, herd share members have access to the farm and KNOW THEIR FARMER.
      To assume that raw milk is always safe ignores the fact that negligence, ignorance, lack of practical knowledge are all factors which can make any food unsafe for human consumption.
      Food freedom, yes!
      Responsibility, yes
      Michael Schmidt

      • Tom Johnston

        I believe it is equally sad that consumers don’t really care by what virtue they obtain their raw milk products… As long as they get it.
        The ambiguity about what is wanted is as old as this web site / blog is. it might be worth noting that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
        And so I make no apologies for my comments. IMO, it is about time someone stepped up and called the emperor nude. Perhaps the comment will cause him to finally sh&t, or get of the pot, so to speak, and define / state what is wanted. I believe his challenge is: Whatever he defines as being wanted will go against various previous positions, statements, and calls to action of his supporters. However, he should know most followers will be completely oblivious to the past positions and statements. It seems only those who are really thinking on the matter for themselves are already alienated from him anyway. So what’s to lose?
        So I would encourage him to have that courage he believes he has and take a position. And if his answer is another long winded round about answer (like his attempt to answer what the basis of the class action law suit is), you know he has not (like a good politician) been willing to defined it… yet🙂. He’ll play the ambiguity card as long as he can🙂

      • just a reader

        I agree with Michael. With freedom comes responsibility. Very few places where raw milk is legal – Europe or U.S. – does it go unregulated. There are standards for bacteria testing, licensing or registration of farms, inspections, etc. All in the interest of protecting the public — and even then, outbreaks keep occurring. As one example: Over a 10 year period from 2005 to 2014, Washington State had an average of 18 legally licensed raw milk farms (varying between 6 and 28 over time). Ten of those 18 licensed farms plus one illegal (unlicensed) cowshare were responsible for 7 disease outbreaks and had 11 recalls (where pathogens were found in milk sample tests but no-one got sick). In the 7 outbreaks, 59 people got sick, with 11 hospitalizations including 5 children. WA state has bacteria testing standards. Canadian government staffers look at statistics like these and shudder.

        Given this situation, we can’t continue to argue “food freedom” when governments argue “food safety” armed with solid statistics on illnesses and hospitalizations. We need to show how our own farmers will do things differently, to prevent outbreaks. What is the raw milk community in Canada – our community – willing to accept as conditions for legalization, to address the “food safety” issue? Testing standards like in Colorado and WA state? Mandatory training like the CQM training that Canadian commercial farmers must take? Inspections and farm licensing like in WA state? Registration of herdshares like in Idaho? What are we willing to accept?

        And, we need to be realistic: These will require drafting new laws (legislation and regulations) and/or amending old laws to exempt herdshares and set standards for raw milk production. Not just asking for some vague and toothless “policy exemptions” — policies can change as quickly as the weather. Getting the laws you want means working *with* government, not fighting against government. And there are some very bad laws out there in places where raw milk distribution is legal – see the restriction on herd size (2 cows) in Oregon.

      • moosemeadows

        Nobody likes a cow to shot in the parlour

      • Michael Schmidt

        Tom Johnston
        Whoever you are give me a call if I can help you to clear up whatever seems to be unclear or ambiguously. I am glad if I can be of help.
        Michael Schmidt

      • Franky

        Actually, Michael, there are several producers out there who would appreciate some clarity on what your agenda is. If you could share it with us all, that would be great. Thanks.

      • fugdacat

        Franky
        I do not have an Agenda.
        I help people if they decide to learn how to produce safe raw milk.
        Once upon a time we set up cow share courses. Wow did some people get their nose out of joint and accused me of wanting to take control of raw milk producers.
        Now it’s a one on one meeting with farmers who are serious about standards and proper testing and good testing results.
        RAWMI is our basic standard and accreditation but we in Canada have some extra measures to meet the scrutiny of the courts.
        I have NO agenda except that we find some peace and that the raids on “responsible” cow share farms stop.
        Like I said many times before, I do not look for confrontation but I will refuse to back down wen unjustly attacked from anybody.
        I have absolutely no interest in any cheap shot confrontation with online anonymous cowards who feel threatened and know everything.
        Cheers
        Michael Schmidt

      • moosemeadows

        Shocking display of amnesia. For one who goes about both leaving distinct ideas about people and even dissuading discussion and working relationships with others, perhaps some mental illness is at hand. If it were only true it is doubtful that 21 years would have gone by without such social communal distress. One on ones are great until they are put together and the story does not match up. It certainly sounds good, perhaps right it down and ask those around you to hold you to it, when that other Michael comes out

      • Franky

        Ok. You appear, in the eyes of many, to fight the government, and you appear, in the eyes of many, to lead some kind of raw milk crusade. In your own eyes, do you see yourself as leading a raw milk crusade? If not, “no agenda” makes some sense.

      • Tom Johnston

        What? No agenda? Then what was the hunger strike all about? Has your cry been just to be left alone? Sounded more like you wanted to change the law… To what? That was the ambiguity. Always complaining about what is (victim), but not being able to state what was wanted. Appears to me to be just be an attempt to diffuse the current call for clarity, because it is entirely possible that you rather like status quo.

      • just a reader

        As an innocent bystander to this argument, I just want to comment on the statement “.. but not being able to state what was wanted.”

        This is my point. What does the raw milk movement in Ontario want new laws, if any, to look like? What exact wording is wanted?

        Two years ago, one leader in this community said that she wanted “accommodation within current law.” Is this what is want wanted by all, or do you want laws to change? And if so then what specific changes? Don’t leave it to DFO and government to create raw milk laws – the results could be very very bad – not all places where raw milk is legal has it been done the right way (i.e. the 2-cow herd limit in Oregon).

        Current Ontario law does not contain recognition or regulation and hence legal protection of herdshares, meaning that health units will keep up constant harassment, as herdshares are seen by them as being sneaky “ways to get around the law” banning sales and distribution. This situation will only change once legal protection via recognition and regulation is provided by herdshares being enshrined in Law,

        Colorado is a good example of a place where sales are illegal but herdshares are legal (see the Colorado State Code, “Title 25. Health Products Control and Safety”, section 25-5.5-117. Raw Milk” which defines and regulates herdshares). Perhaps this Colorado law could be a model for new Canadian provincial law as well — what do you think?

      • Level Headed

        Tom, many of your thoughts are off base. Case(s) in point you said, “I believe it is equally sad that consumers don’t really care by what virtue they obtain their raw milk products… As long as they get it.” This is not true, so why did you say it?
        Another, “Clarification would be appreciated (but, given Michael’s history, not anticipated).” Clarification has been provided in many different avenues over many years. It has been explained already, but I’ll try from my own personal view.
        We see our rights being eroded with respect to the right to consume the food we choose to consume. It seems silly to me in this day and age that we are “free”, yet not free. Do you have the right to eat pasta, or fish, or spinach? Is it even a right, or is it just a circumstantial convenience, or even worse just a privilege? Do you have the right to grow your own veggies and fry them up for dinner (Monsanto and others disagree). What if you couldn’t grow and eat (inputting your own labour to do so) that which you need to maintain your health? When does “you can’t eat this (because they can’t sell it)” infringe on your rights as a citizen in this country?
        Possibly you are a very healthy individual who doesn’t need raw milk to maintain your health. Many are not, and raw milk when produced safely mitigates diseases. I do not generalize when saying this, I’m saying it cured my own. You can disagree if you like, but disagreeing doesn’t negate the truth of the matter.
        So I see the burden of proof on you — you must explain to the millions of people worldwide who see an incredible benefits of: 1) the liberty to make one’s own choices in life, including but not limited to what to eat, and 2) the liberty to sell, transport, buy, and consume anything including raw milk, and 3) the responsibility to ensure it is done correctly (know the farm and farmer, judge the quality of the operation)
        What problem do you have with sick people finding healthy alternatives? Maybe you think it is quackery, that’s fine, but you infringe the rights of others who are not causing harm to you or your own liberties.
        If you have a problem with it in Canada, why do you not have a problem with it in California (or other states), why do you not have a problem with it in Europe?

      • Peter

        @ Level Headed
        It seems to me that you’re suggesting the consumer’s right to choose has been, or is being eroded. However, I would suggest it isn’t the right to choose, as consumers, but the privileges, conditions and nature of products being available for sale to the public which are being mitigated.
        So, in effect, it seems that the consuming public has less choice. But in fact the right to choose has not been eroded at all. I’m open to suggestions about which law state that you cannot buy something… As best as I know, it always the selling/distribution of things that is restricted.
        In my opinion, instead of claiming that our right to choose has been mitigated, perhaps we can consider how we went from operating a business as a matter of right (vending at will) some hundred years ago to a situation where operating a business is now a privilege (licensed). Where and how did “the State” gain jurisdiction to convert a right (to sell our wares) into a privilege, subject to endless regulations?
        Whether milk is healthy or not is, imo, really a side issue here. I’m glad it was favorable for you (and many others).

      • Tom Johnston

        Personally I don’t believe my comments are off base. I also see that our privileges as general consumers being diminished. That is not lost on me. (in Quebec, you now have to register your fire place. You know where that is headed!)
        As I see/saw it, it all boils down to liability. If you produce food and consume it yourself, you are, by default, deemed liable for those actions. When someone sells/distributes something, the government is there to protect the consumer, and hence the government carries liability.
        So your ability to grow your own food and consume it is, as I see/saw it, a different situation (freedom/responsible) from when you buy your food from a producer (privilege/not responsible). I hadn’t heard Michael point this out before. Perhaps I missed it. Perhaps it is not significant.
        Perhaps I’m off base… again. If so, my apologies. I suppose I should reflect on Michael’s clarity and re-assess my perspective. Thanks for providing the feedback for further introspection.

      • Level Headed

        Good discussion, constructive dialogue.
        @Peter
        “Where and how did “the State” gain jurisdiction to convert a right (to sell our wares) into a privilege, subject to endless regulations?
        Whether milk is healthy or not is, imo, really a side issue here. I’m glad it was favorable for you (and many others).”
        I agree that technically milk is a side issue in a much larger battle of liberty, I think we all understand that food rights (whether it be defined as the right to sell OR the right to buy OR both) is part of a larger battle for liberty, but even so, this issue of MILK is a most prominent/loud instrument in this ‘royal artillery band’ of ours as we march steadfast towards liberty. Yes I agree completely with your sentiment, Where and how did “the State” gain jurisdiction to convert a right (freedom to sell our wares) into a privilege (but subject to endless regulations). It is not completely dissimilar to the fight to maintain the 2nd Amendment in the United States: the right to bear arms.
        @Tom Johnston
        “Perhaps I’m off base… again. If so, my apologies. I suppose I should reflect on Michael’s clarity and re-assess my perspective. Thanks for providing the feedback for further introspection.”
        Your original post, your response to Michael, and your response to me were at times interesting, at times chaffing. Others can read the dialogue for themselves, but I would say that yes I think Michael’s response is worth re-reading for it’s clarity, also I think it was apropos. His comments were pertinent and worth a re-read:
        “To assume that raw milk is always safe ignores the fact that negligence, ignorance, lack of practical knowledge are all factors which can make any food unsafe for human consumption.”
        “Food freedom, yes!”
        “Responsibility, yes”

      • Tom Johnston

        I understand that Michael throws around the word responsible as though he is cognizant of what he is talking about. I’m not being inflammatory. I’m just saying he uses it as political rhetoric, appearing to present as strong front.
        Who does he say is to take responsibility? The government? Michael Schmidt? CSC? RAWMI? The Farmer? The consumer? Who defines and rules on what is or what is not a “responsible” farm?
        I read Michael’s posts again, and they are as unclear and contradictory as ever. He appeals to the government over and over. For what? Exception? Regulation? Attention? What is it? It has been said over and over that the government cannot give us rights. Only privileges and regulations.
        I get that he ‘just wants peace, no more raids’, etc. That is the closest I’ve heard him ever articulate a goal.
        What should be humorous to objective observers is that he is leading a charge with no agenda. But it seems few are picking up on it. Honestly, I think people are as lost as ever about their rights, and the role of government.
        I’m not trying to be inflammatory. I’m just saying: Why do people support an undefined cause (sounds to me like the Occupy movement)? It seems it isn’t a cause. Just a big complaint band wagon with no direction. There is no stated goal. All these years and he’s still … I don’t know… throwing mud against the wall, hoping something will stick?
        To complain is easy. To state what is wanted is hard. I get that many people feel victim to the government. Pleading with the perpetrator (government?) to also be the rescuer is like asking the abusive husband to bring home some flowers. It only perpetuates government power over us.
        Insanity is said to be doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.
        In light of your post, and going through the exercise of re-reading Michael’s comments, I am more clear than ever that he doesn’t care by what virtue raw milk is made available. He just doesn’t want to fight anymore. Saying: Food Freedom, yes, Responsibility, yes doesn’t make things clear for me. Is he saying we want the government to give us Food Freedom? Is he saying we want the government to give us Responsibility? What law would the government enact to reflect this? How would that be worded (generally, and exactly)? Saying “Responsible farm share” doesn’t clarity what that entails? A regulator? Whether the regulator is private (RAWMI) or government doesn’t change the fact that a regulated farm is not in the exercise of liberty or in the domain of “responsible”, for then the responsibility rests primarily with the regulator.
        Throwing out terms that sound politically smart doesn’t mean they are well thought through. As a result, many producers are still left wanting clarity.
        As for food safety, that is an endless debate. That is where the assessment of risk vs reward comes into play. Who draws the line? What is acceptable? What is not? I suppose the question is: do the consumers and producers need to be coddled/protected/governed? And if so, who is to do the coddling/protecting/governing? And if so, then let us drop this rhetoric about food freedom, liberty, and rights.

      • Peter

        @Level Headed
        I agree that milk is a prominent instrument for liberty. I would like to remind you of Tom’s comment that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As such, I hope you recognize that proceeding without agenda/clarity may not bode well for us in that pursuit.
        If, by some remote chance, raw milk is made available by virtue of regulations, like Tom, I also doubt many consumers will complain. They’ll be overjoyed that they can get it, and will congratulate Michael for his great accomplishment. Given your passion to obtain raw milk, and your apparent concern about safety, implying the embrace of regulations, I also doubt you would be one to complain.
        And if that were the case, the pursuit of liberty/responsibility with milk as the mighty instrument will have been another opportunity and battle lost.
        As has been said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
        I’m not sure those who are frustrated with Michael’s conduct are without merit.

      • Level Headed

        Tom what do you mean Virtue? What do you refer to, the word, or the assault of an idea? Are you suggesting consumers would consume unsafe raw milk if they couldn’t get safe raw milk? Are you saying the breaking of unlawful laws (see below) is wrong?
        Some laws of our land do not reflect what is fundamentally right, some laws contravene that which we know to be inherently true (from America, the idea of “We hold these truths to be self-evident”). The gap between what we know to be self-evident, and what the law of our land has codified in legislative writ, this gap is destructive to a nation.

      • Level Headed

        If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then which road is paved with bad intentions? And is there another road?
        For someone who maybe purports to have a better plan, are you offering good intentions, or bad intentions, or something better?
        I appreciate criticism, it is helpful, yet I find many who criticize do so without offering anything positive and constructive. When the dust settles all that’s left is… criticism. It reminds me of kids playing with Lego, the one kid makes a beautiful castle, the other doesn’t and says “you never share, you hog the Lego, your design is dumb” and to seal the criticism smashes the castle.
        Tell me, who won that discussion, the one with the good intentions, the one with the bad intentions, or the one absent from the discussion who had positive constructive comments to foster a productive dialogue and a solution.
        Peter and Tom, in this analogy I wonder, which ones are you?
        If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, how much worse is the destination of the road of those with bad intentions?
        If you have a better plan, great! Publish it and push it, the world is your oyster! I mean no disrespect, but rather encourage you to offer a positive constructive solution instead of childishly smashing the other kid’s Lego.

      • Level Headed your line of query, means of approach, particular writing style, and seeming offense seem very familiar, uh-hmm. But I am not one to make such big issues, as others have, about needing to know who an author is, but it may be quite telling of others that may do so and then turn around and make use of anonymity. (little poke)
        I suspect we will wait for Tom to perhaps clarify the use of the word virtue, though I am not sure why he would feel compelled to, when the author requesting such clarification has themselves not offered any. This while, themselves, have been attacking Peter and Tom (in association with a random story of lego building, wait using a story of Lego breaking while Lego breaking, lol) for not “offer a positive constructive solution” Seems kind of off base, and typically a position of control “through questioning”, and frankly childish.
        Perhaps you yourself might enlighten us with some clarification of the overall “lego Castle”, first as Peter requested. And then, should such a “lego castle” be not in the interest of those affected (other children) maybe it rightfully should be broken up, so that all little children could play with Lego, instead of the big bully in the class.
        Perhaps, before there is talk of a better plan, or plan at all, we would do well to start by asking who is affected? And how? Essentially, who are the stake holders? and what are their stakes? We could first distinguish between non-stake holders and stakeholders, stake holders bearing risk and stake holders not bearing risk. Perhaps define those risks. What have been the different approaches? And how do those approaches create conditions that relate to outcomes. And most importantly what is common to all?
        Sounds familiar? Why would such an approach be hijacked and discredited? Anyway, moving on…
        Social organization, unless run by a facist (oh great leader), needs to have some terms of conduct, some values and principals from which are common, and where process and decisions can be made. Working from the idea, that there is a common stake, rather than the position of individual situation and self-interest.
        Is this the kind of constructive approach your seeking Levelheaded? And please, I invite you to participate, how might you add or edit this approach and why?

      • Level Headed

        moosemeadows, you didn’t answer one of my 3 questions at the beginning of my lego post. I encourage you to respond directly to my question(s). Recall that you said the road to hell was paved with good intentions, and I took issue with your equivocation-of-terms (you tried to rewrite the history of the raw milk movement as being an example of only “good intentions”, not action, when you quoted the ‘road to hell’ comparison).
        I then asked, “If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then which road is paved with bad intentions? And is there another road?
        For someone who maybe purports to have a better plan, are you offering good intentions, or bad intentions, or something better?”
        You didn’t address my question, rather you introduced a bunch of new rabbit trails — you have every right to do so, but certainly you do so to the loss of your own credibility here on this forum. I asked a question, and you kind of took the path of a politician as you avoided the question and added other verbage. Again, ok fine, but to move the conversation forward you should answer the question, no?
        Secondly, at the beginning of your post you used a greasy tone, yes I think that’s accurate, a greasy tone suggesting that I am someone of prominence or someone known to the raw milk movement. I reject this notion (even as greasy as it was of you to suggest it), and state that I am not generally known by the community, yet I am in it, and of it, and for it. If you searched for me in past years of photos you would find me. And so regardless of how much you may disapprove of my online anonymity, I intend to continue as an anonymous poster and at the same time completely reject any insinuation by you or others that I am somehow someone prominent ghostwriting under the guise of another name.
        Stick to answering the question moosemeadows, answer it head on, prove to us all that you are more than just one of never-ending platitudes. Or maybe not?

      • Peter

        @Level Headed
        You mentioned that some laws of our land do not reflect what is fundamentally right. There are many who make such blanket statements. On the face of it, such appears to be the case. However, may I suggest that sometimes a deeper and/or broader contemplation may reveal that they are not necessarily “bad laws”? There is a principle that suggests that the best mode of interpretation is to harmonize laws with laws. Another one suggests that everything is presumed to be lawfully done, until evidence be brought to the contrary. And so we exist in a society with statutory laws, as well as common law and natural law.
        If you are suggesting that the statutory law relating to raw milk is in violation of some “fundamental” law (common law? natural law), I would have to disagree with you. And if you can articulate how it is unlawful, I’m all ears.
        But Michael knows all this already. However, it’s not politically sexy. In Michael’s words way back when, he said “If we go there, we’ll lose people”. For Michael, it isn’t about right or wrong, but what gives him political leadership of the “complaint bandwagon”.
        As for the Lego castle analogy, I don’t even see a castle, Just a complaint bandwagon (with some boys holding pitch forks?), which appears to be aimlessly lost. I’m just suggesting that you reflect and see if you found yourself on it, and decide if this is a bandwagon worth riding or not.

      • It is a saying Levelheaded. First of all, I did not write it, you did not direct your questions to me. Secondly, it’s a saying and was used to infer a wisdom. Wiki explains it like this Meaning[edit]
        One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action.[4][5] This inaction may be due toprocrastination, laziness or other subversive vice.[6] As such, the saying is an admonishment that a good intention is meaningless unless followed through.[7]
        A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoings or evil actions are often masked by good intentions, or even that good intentions, when acted upon, may have unforeseen bad consequences. An example is the introduction of alien species such as the Asian carp, which has become a nuisance due to unexpected proliferation and behaviour

        How bout you give a try and answer your questions first! and then open it to others! That would be helpful.

        p.s. I have no issue with anonymity. And will offer some explanation as to why. It offer a better ability to view a comment on its own merits, rather then any bias associated to the person.

      • Tom Johnston

        Michael’s perceived good intentions are without aim, and as a result without clarity. As “just a reader” said above “Don’t leave it to DFO and government to create raw milk laws – the results could be very very bad”. That is the hell I’m referring to.
        Intentions without a goal/clarity has this ability to lead to hell. As such, intentions are not enough. But perhaps in this case the phrase wasn’t used all that well. Perhaps the issue is that we don’t know what Michael’s intentions are in the first place. Perhaps his “no agenda” clarified that even he doesn’t know what his intentions are. If we did know, maybe there would be clarity.
        So thanks for posing the questions about the road of intentions.
        As for your lego analogy, it doesn’t resonate with me. I’m not here to destroy his castle. I’m just saying his castle doesn’t exist. It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s an illusion.
        I’m not here to “win” the discussion. Just calling things out for what they are.

      • Level Headed, for some time I have been sitting with these last comments and feel a sense of regret. Reading through the recent posts I was taken by offense, and lost myself to a sense and impulse to respond. It would be far wiser to have sat with such comments in contemplation for a time. (or at least not have my phone handy)
        I admit in an attempt to respond in a manner that in some way continues the conversation and respects all voices, while objects to the tone. An impulsive response carries a desire to reveal truth and harmonize, even if that means swinging wildly and over shooting the mark.

        Over shooting the mark, and being an Ass, can likely be a description of it too.

        In short, I respect that you Are saying, Though really not sure of the overall relevance. of what your saying, in the context of the conversation. And, find myself confused and alarmed by the seeming tone by which your directing these words specifically at some persons here (that both happen to be critical of Schmidt, or rather feel inclined to uphold other interests).

        But, considering the overall tone of many comments, it is not surprising that it colors the entire thread. and these last posts as well. of which I now regret

        Going back… I think we can say, that independent of the query of what to do with raw milk, it is clear that within those involved in raw milk, are some significant disparities and overshadowing conflicts.

        In what ever form a direction is presented, (news conference, where there is a clear lack of clarity, and failure to bring that before stake holders instead of public news) that may in any way affect others, that share common stakes, all those of such stakes may be justified to participate. The manner in which it is presented, the absence of due process, in consideration of the personal and philosophical conflicts/differences, warrants objectionable response. Simply, “please disclose”.

  8. moosemeadows

    Until Soneone is charged for raw milk , we can not be sure if this is in fact about raw milk or Michael Schmidt! What is somewhat shocking ( cough cough) is that just last week it was declared that the food rights declaration has nothing to do with Michael. And not a week hoes by before Michael is once again , by his own doing the centre of it all.. Control control control is what has long been the obstacle to progress for raw milk in Canada

  9. Tom Johnston

    BTW, that had to be the best line: The farm was raided close to 5 times🙂

    • Michael Schmidt

      Yes that is a funny line. However it refers to the successfully prevented last raid we had on the farm. So I consider it as a not successful raid.
      I hope that helps
      Michael Schmidt

  10. moosemeadows

    A standard itself might be a good idea, if raw milk were to be sold specifically for raw consumption to the public , like it is in California. As a food item, it is rather unique in this regard. Eggs, for instance, are sold raw with the position and expectation that they will be cooked before consumption. I have not heard of any egg producers suggesting their eggs should be eaten raw! It is widely known that some in fact do. And widely known that many each year become sick from improperly cooked eggs and meats. Yet, they are available raw to the public. But wait, eggs destined for Pubiic sales , in Ontario, are required to meet public standards in the form of grading. Yet, any public passer by can drive into a farm lane and purchase ungraded eggs under the “farm Gate” designation. If raw milk were to be available to the public through a farm gate umbrella , should there be production standards such as RAWMI? And who should organize it?

    • just a reader

      “And who should organize it?”

      May i suggest that an Ontario-specific non-profit association organizes and incorporates, similar to the “California Herdshare Association” or the “Raw Milk Association of Colorado” or the “B.C. Herdshare Association,” brings together the Ontario raw milk community to discuss and nail-down specifics of what the community wants a new model of legalization to look like, and lobbies and negotiates with the Ontario government to change the law in accordance with its vision and whatever the Ontario government states are its conditions for legalization?

      According to the newsletter posted on the BC Herdshare website, the BC government specified its conditions for legalization, and they are not impossible to meet — just a lot of hard work — i.e.. one of their demands is for training (think RAWMI) and certification of agisters so that the government doesn’t need to worry about more disease outbreaks. The Ontario government may have similar conditions they’ll spell out if you meet with them to negotiate.

      • moosemeadows

        Well that is sound advice. It certainly would have to be facilitated by a third party as the fragmentation in Ontario is based around court drama. Which seems to hijack any process of inclusion and participation. It’s been more about one on one loyalties , and high school esque social dramas,then common interests.

        But going once again back to the public private, and assessing potentials. It would seem to me that a framework exists within the “farm gate” delineation. What is noted about farm gate is that it has distinct public restrictions. A simple example is that signs can not sale or have a price. If a farm is selling farm gate eggs, they can only post a sign that says “eggs”. They can not advertise it market to the public ( which seems quite clearly to delineate between public /private). And in this sense, any and all raw milk can not be advertised or marketed to the public, which includes the marketing and sdvertising of cow shares ( like found on realmilk.com). Instead, other private means are sought, and in this way the legislative integrity of the milk act remains. In addition, the public position around preparation of milk consumption must be disclosed and labelled. And similar to chickens and eggs, a reasonable limit can established whereby a degree of non competition and infringement into the intent of the domain of the milk act is secured. Considering production minimums and Herd management milking 6 cows seems most reasonable. 6 cows will ensure that an even availability of milk exists through out the year and that there ha reasonable productivity to include value added services such as testing and consultation . And that is how I perceive a farm gate strategy to work . In this way associations such as the NFU can get behind it , food security agencies such as sustain ontario can get behind it and the legal framework and General srgument is there. Providing more opportunities to more farmers. More farmers more farm power and more local security!

      • just a reader

        moosemeadows, to allow farm-gate sales of raw milk, one needs to change both federal and provincial laws banning sales. Legalizing herdshares would mean changing provincial laws banning suppply and distribution of raw milk, not federal laws, and thus would be simpler to achieve. And I think we can all agree that we would like to raw milk to be out from under the control of provincial milk marketing boards and the quota system, to be able to be truly a free-enterprise activity without being restricted by supply management. As a free enterprise activity, herdshares should be allowed to openly advertise for new members, and grow to the size supported by the local market, limited only by market demand. Check out herdshare websites from Colorado and Indiana for some examples.

  11. kenin

    Michael, why is any act of parliament relevant? How is it that the government can make attempts to try and regulate business between private entities, especially when those on the farm own the cow? They have no jurisdiction! Do I have this wrong?

    thank you

    • just a reader

      Yes, Kenin, you unfortunately have this wrong. Welcome to Canada – unlike the U.S., there is no distinction in law between “public” and “private” commercial transactions. They are all regulated. For example, re food: every province has an act similar to Ontario’s “Farm Products Marketing Act” which regulates/controls all aspects of food production/distribution/transportation/processing from the farm to the plate. Canadians read American materials and then think that “private transactions” are somehow beyond the law in Canada, because the U.S. constitution differentiates such. Example: If I grow veggies in my back yard, it’s regulated under certain laws which generously allow me a “personal use exemption” or “small producer exemption” to grow them. Milk is even more tightly regulated.

      • moosemeadows

        If canada does not differentiate between public and private in jurisprudence , then what was Judge Kowarski referring to when speaking about opting out of public oversight? And in the way Farm Gates sales are managed? And in contract law? The only place where public and private is in fact absent is in Criminal Law, of which milk is not

      • just a reader

        “If canada does not differentiate between public and private in jurisprudence , then what was Judge Kowarski referring to when speaking about opting out of public oversight? ”

        As we know, Paul Kowarski’s ruling was overturned on appeal. He was also only a JP, not a full Judge, and thus didn’t have the experience and expertise that Peter Tetley brought to the case in 2011.

    • just a reader

      One qualifier to this, kenin, is yes you are right that if we do own the cows then the government should keep their noses out of our business. But unfortunately, some herdshares (cowshares, goatshares, and sheepshares) still operate as “private buyers-clubs” with the farmer retaining legal title to the livestock and making all management decisions regarding the herd, and all that the consumer purchases is the right to buy product from the farmer, as indicated by a set fee per type and volume of product (e.g. $4/litre for fluid milk, $8/litre for yogurt, etc.). If someone is indeed buying/selling raw milk, then it’s a regulated transaction.

      I’m not familiar with how ARC operates, but my guess is that it’s like my own cowshare that operates in accordance with Justice Tetley’s decision, with members truly owning the animals and not buying milk by the litre (am I right?). This should therefore stand in court, that Michael and ARC are neither selling nor distributing raw milk and therefore not violating the law against sales and distribution of raw milk (but best if this didn’t have to go to court at all!).

      • kenin

        Well, I’ve seen case law where Government cannot actually regulate activity between private individuals or persons. I’m currently looking for it at the moment, although its probably been 2 years since I’ve looked at the case law and can’t remember the particulars, so its making it kind of hard to locate. But if I find it, i’ll post it for sure.
        And what about section 7 of The Charter, you know…..an individual’s autonomy.
        Anyways, I don’t believe this is being done for concerns of the public interest but more for tyrannical purposes. I also believe that Michael and others are being treated this way under color of law.
        No one has broken the law here. What we have is various government agencies imposing a public servant code onto Michael and others.
        I have yet to see a claim brought forward against Michael or others, and I mean a proper claim of injury or breach of contract. What we have here is consenting adults who have every right to self determine as they desire so long as harm to ones self or property hasn’t occurred.
        Unless there’s an agreement somewhere that obligates Michael to comply with an act/statute, I don’t see how those public servants have any jurisdiction.

        No one is breaking any laws here, so what the hell is going on?

      • just a reader

        Kenin, government can choose to regulate activity between individuals and do so all the time. Otherwise, for example, trafficking in illicit drugs would be well beyond the reach of the law as that is one person privately selling to another. If a province or the feds haven’t yet passed a law regulating a certain activity, then the court will rule that it’s beyond the scope of the law. As for us being protected by section 7 of the charter, Justices Weiler and pals unfortunately ruled against that in “R. v. Schmidt, 2014 ONCA 188” which concludes with “As I have found that there is no violation of s. 7, it is unnecessary for me to consider whether any violation is justified as a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1 of the Charter.” Even if a s. 7 violation was found to have occurred, the government could have invoked s. 1 of the Charter to uphold such a violation and it likely would have stood on grounds of “public health and safety.”

      • My understanding is that there is a difference between regulatory law and criminal law. Criminal law has the power, as you say to govern the acts of private individuals, as it is deemed necessary to breach into this realm in order to secure the freedoms and safety of all citizens. Criminal law requires a different legislative process as well. Regulatory law can be simply proclaimed by the appropriate commission with out having to go to senate of parliament, and this is likely so because it is primarily concerned with the public domain from which government has power. Unlike private rights, where only criminal law can interfere. The sale of illicit drugs is a criminal offence and not a regulatory one. Raw milk is a regulatory law and not a criminal one. So there is a substantial difference between the two.

      • just a reader

        moosemeadows: “My understanding is that there is a difference between regulatory law and criminal law. Criminal law has the power, as you say to govern the acts of private individuals, as it is deemed necessary to breach into this realm in order to secure the freedoms and safety of all citizens. Criminal law requires a different legislative process as well. Regulatory law can be simply proclaimed by the appropriate commission with out having to go to senate of parliament, and this is likely so because it is primarily concerned with the public domain from which government has power. ”

        No, this is not the quite model in Canada. In Canada, laws are laws. They are comprised of legislation, regulations, and case-law precedents set by the court as interpretations of the first two. Laws can for the most part be classified as either criminal law (i.e. under the Criminal Code of Canada, a federal law) or civil law. And you can also make a further divide of civil law itself into administrative and constitutional law, but that’s getting picky.

        Legislation (an Act) is passed federally by the House of Commons, and provincially by the Provincial Legislatures. Regulations are enacted by Cabinet Ministers for each appropriate Ministry under each related Act, and signed into power by the Governor General (federally) or Lieutenant Governors (provincially). Acts and regs though can grant powers to bodies (such as DFO or utility commissions for example) to make orders that are as binding as laws, and the Act or Reg will specify that the court can impose penalties for the order being violated. Still, an order isn’t strictly a law. And then there are also policies, and one has to be very clear that a policy is not a regulation, that it must be accordance with the law or can be struck down.

        “Unlike private rights, where only criminal law can interfere. The sale of illicit drugs is a criminal offence and not a regulatory one. Raw milk is a regulatory law and not a criminal one. So there is a substantial difference between the two.”

        Not quite. Examples of civil laws – all on the provincial level – which control personal actions are child protection, marriage, divorce, vital statistics, medical services, pharmaceutical service, and public health laws — all being civil laws which by their nature have immense power to govern the acts of private individuals.

  12. kenin

    ok, so in short: Michael and others are and have been targeted because of this presumption that the public is at risk? That’s bullshit!!

    1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

    Is Michael being tried as a member of the Democracy, because if so, then wouldn’t he only have the rights afforded to him by the democracy? Its written right there: “guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it”

    Just because the democracy exists, doesn’t mean that everyone every time is subject to its law. Exp: Should I be worried of government intervention if my friend may do a complete washroom restoration in my home and I feel that he should be compensated some how for his service…….. does this so-called “government” now have the duty to interfere because they suspect that my safety is a risk because my friend is restoring the washroom unregulated by a third party? aren’t I the public?

    As for the example you gave about illicit drugs: wasn’t marijuana once considered to be forbidden by law and now is sold on every corner, only now because they say so. That’s because it wasn’t a law, it was a policy of this democracy that persons within their society couldn’t have such a thing.
    Its arbitrary man!!! We’re not babies anymore, I don’t need someone looking over my shoulder trying to dictate every minute of my life.

    I want someone to prove to me that Michael and or others who are part of the farm share have broken the law. There’s still no injury to speak of, no damage to property or a breach of the peace.

    Presumption is not enough, not to me it is.

  13. The federal Food and Drug Act controls what is done in every Canadian Province. It states that no person can ‘sell, barter, or give away’ milk to anyone unless it is pasteurized. The only exception is to a regulated processor. The farmer and his immediate family may consume it for their own consumption. In Alberta, a person must ‘own the land, own the cow, and take care of the cow themselves’ to legally consume it. The exception is if a group is living on the land (religious) where the cows are on. I have been told that if I owned the land, cow, and cared for it that I could bring it to my house in a different municipality. We (the raw milk community) with the aid of Raw Milk Institute need to draw up a proposed Raw Milk Act which would exempt the Raw Milk Farmers by adding an amendment to the Food and Drug Act. It will have to surpass the present milk Act and Regulations. It should contain some or all of RAMP. All exempt farms must be Certified. The lowest price must be at least twice that of what the Quota System offers to Dairies because someone on the Ontario Dairy Board told me on his farm that he fears of haveing a raw milk farm every 5 miles. Ask your MP and member of Provincial Parliament if they would even examine this if we did all the work. Contact me if you get one positive response. fuwmilkalberta@gmail.com Phone: 403-210-4854 Thanks!

    • just a reader

      Fuwmilkalberta, just one correction: the Food and Drug Act, Food and Drug Regulations http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.%2C_c._870/page-87.html#docCont only ban sales:

      “Division 8 – Dairy Products – “B.08.002.2 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall sell the normal lacteal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of the cow, genus Bos, or of any other animal, or sell a dairy product made with any such secretion, unless the secretion or dairy product has been pasteurized by being held at a temperature and for a period that ensure the reduction of the alkaline phosphatase activity so as to meet the tolerances specified in official method MFO-3, Determination of Phosphatase Activity in Dairy Products, dated November 30, 1981. “(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to (a) cheese; or (b) any food that is sold for further manufacturing or processing in order to pasteurize it in the manner described in subsection (1).”

      Nothing about banning barter or gifting. Nothing banning supply or distribution either – but various provincial laws also ban these two in different places.

      Changing federal law banning sales is a great goal, but one also has to then change provincial laws banning sales as well. Sales are a different issue from herdshares — although unfortunately many herdshares are actually selling and not actually herdsharing, using “herdshare” as a euphemism for illegal sales — see Tetley’s decision for his opinion on this type of operation. It is possible to change provincial law to legalize actual herdshares, without changing federal and provincial laws banning sales.

    • just a reader

      Fuwmilkalbert, the Food and Drug Act Regulation only says “shall not sell”. It does not ban barter or giving:

      ” Division 8 – Dairy Products / B.08.002.2 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall sell the normal lacteal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of the cow, genus Bos, or of any other animal, or sell a dairy product made with any such secretion, unless the secretion or dairy product has been pasteurized by being held at a temperature and for a period that ensure the reduction of the alkaline phosphatase activity so as to meet the tolerances specified in official method MFO-3, Determination of Phosphatase Activity in Dairy Products, dated November 30, 1981. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to (a) cheese; or (b) any food that is sold for further manufacturing or processing in order to pasteurize it in the manner described in subsection (1).”

      There are parallel provincial laws also banning sales – every province has separate legislation banning sale. Hence, to legalize sales will require changing both federal and provincial law. It will be easier to legalize herdshares. Unfortunately, some herdshares are still illicitly selling raw milk, not herdsharing – using “herdshare” as a euphemism for sales. Justice Tetley in “R. v. Schmidt (2001)” gave his opinion on this model, but luckily also described for us the alternative, of how a “legal herdshare” must operate.

  14. Peter

    Wow. What a diversity of comments. Nice to see.
    But has Michael fallen silent again?

    • George

      Michael is in the process of inspiring the raw milk community to begin the process of hashing it out for themselves instead of it being all about him. See? It’s working. Even bad comments are useful.

      • Peter

        That’s beautiful. Well played.
        Hopefully 3rd time really is the charm.
        Again, are you new to all of this? No disrespect. You just come off as being a bit emotionally charged, and perhaps a little naive. Not that it’s a problem. Just my perception.

  15. I received a letter from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, John Knapp, Deputy Minister dated April 17,2012. The Dairy Industry Act defines “sale” to include trading, bartering, and giving without expectation of compensation.

    • just a reader

      Yes, fuwmilkalberta, the Alberta-specific “Dairy Industry Act” does also include these: “(z) “sale” includes trading, bartering and giving without expectation of compensation.” (http://www.canlii.org/en/ab/laws/stat/rsa-2000-c-d-2/latest/rsa-2000-c-d-2.html). The federal law does not though. Legalizing raw milk sales in Canada will require changes to both federal and provincial laws, which requires our community organizing and starting some serious lobbying.

      Herdsharing – as long as the term is not being used as a euphemism for sales – is a different issue from sales. But most herdshares in Canada still likely follow the “cow-leasing” model that Tetley ruled still involves sales. There is one new alternative that is being pioneered, a “livestock co-owner model” that has been developed specifically to meet Tetley’s requirements, but it takes a completely different mind-set and way of operating.

  16. kenin

    “The Charter does not reach private activity within a province. … There has been no delegation of power by Parliament, nor have any powers been granted by governments. Neither of the respondents in conducting their activities can in any way be said to be doing so as some form of governmental agency or exercising a governmental function: Blainey v. Ontario Hockey Association et al., (1986), 26 D.L.R. (4th) 728 (Ont. C.A.); leave to appeal refused (S.C.C., June 26, 1986).”

    Another thing to note: be very careful when using the phrase “In Canada”. If you’re “IN CANADA” then you are subject to its laws by consent. Just like some dummy policy enforcer once said to me “you know driving in Ontario is a privilege” Stupid for him, cause I know what that means and he’s actually right, the only thing was….. I was travelling on public roads in the real Province of Ontario and some body politic. But! prove it! prove that i’m not “At” Ontario vs his presumption of “in” Ontario. Sounds absurd doesn’t it? well, blame them they made it up- that’s word magic for you.
    IF YOU DO NOT REBUT THEIR CLAIMS PROPERLY…….. THEN THIS IS WHAT WE GET, THIS CURRENT SITUATION WE’RE IN. Although these thugs are notorious for not giving a damn and rely on deception and force as their formula.

  17. kenin

    I assume The Bovine is not taking and posting comments anymore???
    Posted several days ago maybe more and haven’t seen it yet. Are comments being filtered?

    • Level Headed

      Kenin I think what you are noticing is simply a delay in the moderator’s approval. I have also noticed a delay, but all my comments were eventually published.

  18. kenin

    What the hell are you people ranting about? stop referring to all things CANADA. Acts/statutes…. any legislative nonsense- that’s all CANADA!
    Get the facts first and ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Is it true or not that HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN is a foreign corporate democracy created out of the Parliament of Westminster?
    2. Not a single living Man or Woman born on this land is subject to any of CANADAS CODES UNLESS YOU’RE EMPLOYED AS AN AGENT,OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OR SIMPLY BY CONSENT.
    3. There must be a paper trail that provides proof that Michael has a legal obligation to comply with such codes.
    4. Is there any evidence to suggest that Michael has committed; in the process of or has intentions of doing anything criminal?
    5. How is being in contract with well informed consenting adults of sound mind for raw milk purposes unlawful??????
    6. And NO! the government cannot regulate activity between private individuals. If they could, then what would be the purpose of handshakes or written contracts? The right to contract is intrinsic.
    7. Regardless of where you are located (America or Canada) a mans birthright is a mans birthright, unless of course you choose to forfeit that right, hey its your inheritance …..that’s up to you. Last time I checked, anyone “IN” CANADA does exactly that.
    8. I don’t know Michael, nor do I have all the facts about this well contrived assault by agencies of HER MAJESTY, but in any case I don’t care. Unless you have consent, its just another socialist democracy.
    9. keep running around in circles with your eloquent writing style and irrelevant English, trying to survive in their scheme of things and see what results you warrant. The Law of God is the only one that matters:

    Do no harm and honour all agreements.

    • Peter

      You make some very valid points to which I cannot disagree. However, it appears you lack some perspective… Specifically “their” perspective.
      Your rights are only as good as your ability to defend them. At the end of the day, the biggest gun wins. So… do you have a bigger gun than CANADA/HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN has? I don’t, and I don’t believe Michael has one either. So birthright or not, right or wrong, you either play by their rules, or you don’t.
      Some elements of certain points you make will hold up in court, but points 2, 3 and 8 are in error (I know… you’ll argue with me🙂
      Anyway, hope it all works out for you.

      • kenin

        Hi Peter

        I appreciate your input. Although if I may….
        “their gun” is slowly but surely running out of ammo. There are plenty of examples of how they will exhaust themselves into oblivion, and with every moment that they are involved in some assault, theft or coercion……. just brings them closer to the end. Even those within (public servants) although not many, but still more than 10, 20 or even 30 years ago are starting to see how this “Nation” has let them down on numerous occasions. Its been all to often that politicians, cops, lawyers and those within the military breach the public trust. Way too many wars waged on innocent people overseas etc. People can’t fart without a bylaw officer knocking at the door. So, what’s the use of HER MAJESTY? They can’t be trusted!

        And yes, I think Michael does have a bigger gun. That gun is the people. The more information that is shared, the more people stick together and defend against this ultimate immorality, the harder it becomes for them to keep up this theatrical performance. Its all force and deception-that’s all!
        As for points 2. 3. & 8.:

        Well 2 is fact. CANADA would only have jurisdiction over their own. Its been proven before that they cannot regulate all commerce. Canada has plenty of codes, codes for the dumbest things. Does that now been Michael is subject to every piece of legislation. Its been proven in many cases of the past and its logical regardless of case law. (again statutory needs consent) So if someone is born here, they are automatically defaulted into the rules of the Nation? That’s no different than being forced into complying with ESSO Gas station code of conduct- regardless they’ve both been entrusted.
        As for 3, why is this an error in your opinion.
        And for 8. I assume you believe the part about consent is in error?
        CANADA (Her Majesty) is a socialist democracy. Lenin said it himself: “Democracy is indispensable to socialism” Residents/citizens forfeit all property to CANADA, its now part of the collective for the greater good of the collective.

        Register your car-boom! its now Ontarios car. They now have beneficial interest in that property. Its their tags “in” Ontario.

        its to long and complex, but in any case it ain’t good. you will not find remedy in their courts citing their codes….. they don’t care, theres no honour.

  19. George

    Wow! Talk about throwing Michael under the blue bus!

    Tom – you are completely wrong when you say; “I believe it is equally sad that consumers don’t really care by what virtue they obtain their raw milk products… As long as they get it.”

    This does not happen where Michael is involved which is why his leadership is even more valid today than ever. He and Elisa go out of their way to engage and educate all who visit the farm or own part of it. He wants to know how they are, what they are doing, and how he can expand their knowledge about real food. He inspires others to be involved and informed. Every week I “say hello to the girls”. Ever done that? Don’t know what it is? Guess what? – I don’t think you deserve to know.

    “Consumers” don’t care where they get their white liquid as long as its available in stores at the cheapest possible price. There! – Fixed that for ya!
    Raw milk advocates DO care where their milk comes from. That’s why they are advocates in the first place!!
    If you choose to paint everyone with the same brush, let those who read these comments understand that you have less than nothing of value to say; you just like saying it.

    While I’m on the subject, everyone should also know that if you thought Michael did have an agenda, you would complain that he had a personal agenda. Nothing could be clearer or more impartial than what Michael said and believes; “I help people if they decide to learn how to produce safe raw milk.”

    • Tom Johnston

      I guess Michael hasn’t ever thrown you under the bus… yet? Are you new? Just asking. You sound like you think for yourself. It’s only a matter of time. Watch your caboose. Many have left that farm in tears.
      Enjoy petting those cows. They are beautiful in deed.
      As for producing safe raw milk, establishing those standards is his agenda. Not “Food Rights”.
      I guess I like saying it…?

    • Tom Johnston

      The vast majority of people simply don’t know the difference between products that are dispensed as a matter of right, as opposed to those that are dispensed as a matter of privilege. As such, they wouldn’t know to even complain that they obtained it as a matter of privilege, rather than as a right.
      This is exactly the issue here… Consumers would be just as fine obtaining raw milk in the free market as they would from a regulated market. Of course, the latter abridges the right to liberty… Just not the liberty of the consumer, but rather that of the farmer. So if consumers cared about the farmer, they might ask for the unregulated stuff. Note that in the regulated market, consumers don’t have to carry the burden of responsibility. Where nature seeks the path of least resistance, the regulated product is the (unconscious) preferred product for the consumer, even if it is at the expense of the farmers’ liberty.
      Also, you appear to confuse product with experience. Connecting with someone, like a farmer, can be a very rewarding experience. And that they need their milk makes for a great reason to go out there and do that. Are they coming for the milk, or the experience? Now ponder this… If Harmony had raw milk on the store shelf, what would the frequency of visits to the farm look like then? Hopefully Michael still has his beautiful farm, and friendly personality to accommodate Farm Tourism. But I would suggest that you not conflate Farm Tourism with the need to have a product in your fridge.
      People buy labels. So of the milk on the store shelf said “Michael Schmidt approved”, I bet you wouldn’t care if it came from a farm near Timbuktu that you have never seen.
      But then I’m just making a point that I’m sure is less than nothing of value (sounds like something Elisa might say). Like you said, I just like saying it. Perhaps I am in deed entirely without perception, merit or substance. You probably even think me ignorant, naive or small. If so, I hope it serves you well. Be well. Watch your back…

  20. George

    Peter: You said “If you are suggesting that the statutory law relating to raw milk is in violation of some “fundamental” law (common law? natural law), I would have to disagree with you. And if you can articulate how it is unlawful, I’m all ears.”

    The fundamental law that is being violated is the right to choose. The reason Michael often uses the word “responsible” is because it addresses the heart of the matter. We make hundreds of choices every day of our lives; not just because we can but because it is essential to survival to learn this skill. We reject the notion that utopia consists of being increasingly “protected” to the point where responsible choice is virtually eliminated.

    The public has fallen asleep to danger because choice is being denied. We are being taught to remain dependants for our whole lives now instead of just until we are kicked out of the nest. Responsibility is discouraged in favour of ignorance and the “dumbing-down” of society is relentless in it’s pursuit of power over us. There is an event horizon beyond which we cannot escape except by revolution and it is because we are gradually giving up our right to learn how to choose responsibly.

    Two examples illustrate my point.
    I was in my car at a red light waiting for the light to change. To my right, on the side-walk was a woman with a stroller, apparently impatient to cross. Her eyes were glued to the Walk/Don’t Walk sign. When it changed she bolted forward pushing her baby into the busy intersection oblivious to anything except her trust in the word Walk.
    I stopped behind a rural school bus with lights flashing and barriers swung into place. Two young girls jumped out, giggling and making faces at each other as they checked their cellphones and ran down the street. A boy in a hoodie wearing earphones slowly sauntered across the lanes of stopped traffic bobbing to the music. None of the five I watched exit the bus ever even glanced at the traffic.

    We are raising a whole generation who do not know enough to “look both ways before you cross the street”. We have traded instilling responsible choice for external controls and, quite frankly, I don’t see how we can ever repair the damage we are inflicting on the next generation simply because we are too lazy to assert our right to choose.

    The real public safety hazard that politicians are advocating is personal irresponsibility.

  21. Seeing that this self Interview, if it can be called that, is a response to much of the commentary here, and possibly an attempt to move attention away from these comments, I am taking the liberty of posting this here where is it really seems to belong.

    • About the focused attempt to get Michael behind bars

      About the courage of Cow-, Herd-, Farm-Share members

      About internet rants worthy to take note of

      About moooving forward against all odds and signing the Food Rights Declaration

      M.S.

      In February it will be 22 years since you got attacked the first time by health officials and enforcement police from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

      You have seen all shades of grey in this battle about white, real milk; do you think it will come to some kind of resolution this time around?

      Michael

      I was always hopeful that at some point common sense would be kicking in, instead of the repetitive anti-raw milk propaganda and very expensive lengthy legal procedures. Not to speak of lengthy undercover sting operations and expensive raids.

      The raw milk research is expanding rapidly, the demand is increasing dramatically even without smart advertising campaigns.

      The campaign FOR raw milk is unintentionally driven by the aggressive anti raw milk lobby.

      Every time a farmer gets attacked more people wake up, more people ask for raw milk, more people condemn Government interference in very personal matters of choice.

      Battling 22 years for the right to make that choice has not hurt us, it rather strengthened our resolve.

      m2-500_zpshobw4qzu

      M.S.

      The nature of the latest attempts by Government agents to attack the flow of raw milk had a different character. First there are spy cameras close to Glencolton Farms. Neighbors and friends get involved because of the apparent intrusion of privacy. Then the local police force start acting strange.. Then the rather unprofessional raid in York Region happens and shortly there after the botched raid at Glencolton farms. What do you make of it?

      Michael

      It all seemed very uncoordinated and confusing. However when we started to put one and one together we realized that a much bigger agenda started to emerge. There are people involved who had been involved in the 1994 milk raids and the 2006 raids. There are some indications that the CFIA had been involved since early 2006 and have a great interest to at least help to make life really difficult for me.

      Remember the whole sheep-napping case. The CFIA is in charge of the Scrapie eradication program and can make drastic decisions based on suspicions, like kill orders for whole flocks of sheep or even cows.

      The problem starts when you challenge them. We are supposed to follow orders; we not supposed to challenge their authority.

      Like I said before there is validity to disease control, but there needs to be accountability as well.

      After 4 years of pre trial proceedings in the sheep napping case and over 15,000 pages of disclosure, patterns begin to emerge which raises serious questions about the validity of actions and the competence of people within the CFIA?

      This plays no doubt in my mind into the whole dynamic of these latest raids as well.

      On top of it we have the experience that the local police force suddenly act like bullies and lay charges but do not providing sufficient disclosure for a proper defense.

      M.S.

      It is difficult to stay on top of all these legal challenges. What would you say is the common theme of all the court cases you have been involved with?

      Michael

      Almost all cases could have been resolved without court if those involved had followed the common sense procedures of dialogue instead of power tripping.

      There have been many cases of power hungry and obsessed bureaucrats versus farmers. The very sad part is that too many times farmers decide not to fight because it is easier to plead guilty. They would rather cut a deal with the prosecution than to endure the stress of lengthy and costly court proceedings. This is understandable under the circumstances. We are experiencing an unprecedented abuse of power, a total infringement of fundamental rights and a court system which seems to have lost its proper function. It simply appears to be the executive arm of Government and limits itself to case law rulings if convenient but rarely steps beyond that to render justice in the truest sense.

      m3-500_zpsjqlwztpt

      M.S.

      You have lost more cases in court than you won. Why keep fighting and digging your hole deeper and deeper?

      Michael

      That’s true. I should be totally depressed and discouraged looking at the rulings, not to speak of the fines and costs connected to these proceedings. I am sure there are many out there trying to figure out how to stop this.

      There has been repeated comments made by investigators and police that all they want is to see me behind bars. I am already out on bail on three different charges and cannot travel unless I get permission by the authorities. They have confiscated my passport and could theoretically jail me until these different trials. They have not pursued that option yet, but I assume it well get much more ugly before it will settle down.

      M.S.

      What are the current charges?

      Michael

      There are the charges of conspiracy to commit an offence against the state.

      Charges of breaking the quarantine.

      Charges of defrauding the public.

      They all relate to the Sheep-napping case.

      Then there are the charges for theft of surveillance cameras, which I have reported to the police in the first place.

      Then there are the charges of obstructing a peace officer during the stand off here at the farm.

      Almost all of them carry a potential jail sentence.

      M.S.

      Are you not worried?

      Michael

      Why should I be worried? I am more worried about the complacency and apathy of the general public. We are so easily scared into complacency and so quickly intimidated by authorities that we have lost our rightful standing in society. We might as well just do what we get told and comply. Lets get immunized, lets eat GMO foods, lets get fooled by the courts perceived authority, lets get legally drugged by big pharma, especially when it is paid by the Government. Lets get fooled that bombing other countries will solve our problems and lets get fooled that elected politicians are allowed to act truly in your interest or even have the power to bring about change. Why should I be worried going to jail? At least I know then that I have done something right.

      M.S.

      You have been battling in court for over twenty years. Are there any rewards so to speak off?

      Michael

      I have attended many court proceedings here and in the United States. All of them had to do with farmers versus regulatory agencies. I was over and over again fascinated by the contrast of very often self righteous bureaucrats with evasive personalities doing their job. They have such a difficulty looking straight into your eyes and keep giving repetitive pre-scripted answers. And then you watch farmers, coming in with their whole family, children, grand parents, brothers and sisters and it breaks your heart. All they want to do is grow the food for people who want the food. I am thinking of Vernon Hershberger in Wisconsin, Alvin Schlangen in Minnesota, the Zinniker family in Wisconsin, Max Kane in Wisconsin, Alice Jongerden in BC, Mark Tijssen in Ontario, Judith and Eric in Edmonton and Montana Jones in Ontario. But there are many more struggling in the same way without support and will give in because the toll on the family is too great.

      Being in court gives you the opportunity to face off with those who claim to protect us from our selves or claim to protect the state. It’s a dirty game which is played unless you have a judge with courage, a judge who is engaged and not lazy, a judge who understands the principles of common law. A judge whose role is to serve justice and not to protect injustice based on the amount of money one or the other side has to argue the case.

      m4-500_zpshtbna0y1

      M.S.

      At the latest raid on the farm the dynamic of confrontation apparently changed. What happened?

      Michael

      I think everybody was caught be surprise how quickly people gathered to witness the raid. Thanks to the internet and smart phones. I just send out one message for people to come to witness another raid. Postings multiplied very quickly. Liz Reitzig, a dear friend in the US heavily involved in the Food Rights Movement was on standby and kept posting the happenings at the farm.

      It was also fascinating to watch the change in dynamics amongst those who came watching the raid how they felt empowered to defend their farm. Nothing was organized , it was a swell of courage which led into peaceful defiance. Kids played around hot cider was served and the people stood like a wall looking straight into the faces of the invading investigators.

      We received thank you letters from around the world for the simple act of courage to resist.

      The same happened a couple days before in York Region where the mothers stood up to defend their food. It was remarkable to see the determination in the faces of those mothers defending their food and the faces of those violating these rights by order of the state. Here at the farm no investigator would look into your eyes. They all had sunglasses and weren’t allowed to communicate with anybody.

      Police state comes to mind.

      Nevertheless it was incredible to see how people felt empowered and were willing to go to jail in defense of their farm.

      M.S.

      Shortly thereafter West Grey Police laid theft charges against you for removing spy cameras. And a week later 5 people got charged for obstructing a peace officer.

      None of the women blocking the drive way, none of the women arguing very expressive with investigators got charged. What do you make of it?

      Michael

      The people charged have been picked very selectively. In my opinion the prosecution will have challenges to prove their case without facing accusations of malicious prosecution.

      The trial itself might become a nightmare for them at the end.

      But at the same time do not underestimate your enemy. Arresting moms for defending their food would not be wise. They rather make criminals out of outspoken farmers in order to justify shooting them.

      M.S.

      Talking about enemies, reading some of the comments on Bovine blog by anonymous writers, appears to show a deep division in the raw milk movement.

      They very often get right down and dirty in their comments. Why are you not responding?

      Michael

      No sense responding to on line rants by anonymous individuals. I sometimes think I can identify the people behind these rants in the way they are writing. But anybody can hide behind these posts in order to create chaos, confusion and distrust. How do we know that these individuals are writing on behalf of government bureaucrats or the CFIA. At the end it does not matter. Any destructive and derogative commentary speaks for itself, people can express their opinion if they wish but at the end aggressive commentaries do not lead to any resolution or any constructive face to face dialogue. I don’t put any weight on these comments and think may be it is even therapy, rant therapy I’ll call it. People get tired of it anyhow.

      In regards to division in the raw milk movement I agree. There are those who love to do things underground hoping to evade authorities and then there are those who have nothing to hide.

      I still prefer to go the route of openness and transparency. Hey do you want to see the farm? Come over we have nothing to hide.

      I pulled back from the Cow Share Canada concept because too many raw milk noses got out of joint and that’s fine.

      I still firmly believe that standards for the production of raw milk are helpful and necessary. They are the responsible thing to do.

      I still insist that people have a right to choose, what they put in their mouth.

      I still believe that there is somewhere an ounce of common sense to actually sit down together to built a road, which clearly protects the rights of people so that we all can walk in the spirit of freedom without fear.

      M.S.

      Considering the hostile environment you are living and working in, how significant is the Declaration Of Food Rights which got signed at Queens Park?

      Michael

      We heard many times from the courts that food rights are not protected under the Charter

      If we leave it up to the courts to decide what freedom is then we going to lose all our Rights. The Declaration of Food Rights is powerful and gives people a way to express, that they are affirming a fundamental right. This is a right which cannot be granted by a regulatory, judicial or parliamentary authority.

      We are on our way.

      People are waking up. Authorities will have to face more and more resistance.

      This is, for us, not about power, this is about nourishment and health.

      Thank You

  22. thebovine

    In response to some people’s questions and comments, I would like to point out that we do have a comments policy. See https://thebovine.wordpress.com/comment-policy/

    Lately — in case people are wondering — we mostly don’t publish comments that are spam — ie attempts to create links to other websites for purposes of marketing or promotion.

    There is a trend on many websites nowadays to do away with comments altogether, probably because of the quality of the commentary and the work involved in reading and moderating them all.

    Some websites suggest that people should make their comments (in association with a link to the story) on some social media site.

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