Thanks to the many speakers, farmers, consumers, guests, and media who took time out of their busy lives to convene January 30th, in Guelph, for yet another in what’s become a long series of raw milk symposia that began not long after the infamous 2006 raid on Glencolton Farms. In this brief report, we are not going to try to cover all the great information that was presented during the afternoon, but rather to give a flavour of the proceedings.
First speaker on the agenda was farmer Mark McAfee (shown speaking in the photo above), who, together with his wife Blaine, came all the way from California to participate in this symposium and to share with Ontario raw milk producers and consumers a bit of the wisdom he’s gained running what is now the biggest raw milk farm on the continent — with some 550 cows and 500 acres of pasture. Mark is also involved with the RAWMI standards group, and he shared some intel from that work as well. A video crew from TVO was on hand to record much of the proceedings.
One big difference from past symposiums of this sort, is the low key role played by Michael Schmidt, seen above sitting in the audience with his wife Elisa, and lawyer Karen Selick. Unlike Elisa and Karen, however, Michael did not make a speech, although he did ask a question from the floor at one point. Continue reading