From Kimberly Hartke:
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund Files Appeal in Wisconsin
Vernon Hershberger appears at the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo in May. Photo Gary Porter. Via JS Online. Click image to go to post in which this photo originally appeared.
Falls Church, VA–July 3, 2013–The absolute right to private, unregulated, direct trade with a local raw milk producer is being fully tested in the heart of “America’s Dairyland.” The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund decided to appeal the jury verdict of farmer Vernon Hershberger in the recent case, State of Wisconsin [Plaintiff] v. Vernon Hershberger [Defendant]. The appeal was filed in District IV of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Likely, the case will be reviewed by a three-judge panel. Continue reading
From Kimberly Hartke at the Weston A Price Foundation:
But please jail the sustainable farmer who humanely raises his animals and provides the best of chemically-free, nutrient dense food…yeah, throw that criminal in jail! — picture and caption via Farm Food Freedom Coalition, on FB.
Baraboo, Wisconsin—June 3, 2013 —Less than a week after the jury acquitted him of three criminal charges, Eric Defort and Phillip Ferris, attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), move to have the judge revoke the terms of the bond and jail Vernon Hershberger.
In January 2012 Vernon Hershberger was arraigned at the Sauk County Courthouse on four criminal misdemeanor charges for violations of the state food and dairy code; after appearing before Judge Guy Reynolds, he was released on a $500 bond with the bond containing conditions he was not to violate. Continue reading
From Rick Barrett, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Image via Peace News Network. Click pic to go there now.
Baraboo — Dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was acquitted on three of four criminal charges early Saturday morning in a trial that’s drawn national attention from supporters of the raw, unpasteurized milk movement.
Jurors in Sauk County District Court deliberated about four hours, until nearly 1 a.m. Saturday, before returning a verdict of guilty on one charge of violating a holding order placed on products on the Hershberger farm, following a raid on the farm in the summer of 2010.
The 41-year-old farmer faces up to a year in jail and $10,000 in fines on that conviction. A sentencing date will be announced later, said Judge Guy Reynolds. Continue reading
Photos and captions by Rosanne Lindsay. Update from Vernon Herschberger via Liz Reitzig.
Pre-Trial Hearing on Right to Use Religous Freedom Defense — at Sauk County Courthouse.
Vernon Herschberger was in court Monday to address issues related to his ongoing case regarding supplying raw milk under private contract to informed individuals. The DACTP has issues with that, and so we get into lawyers and court cases. See David Gumpert’s article for a good analysis of these minutae. Continue reading
Via the Activist Post:
“Update (2/22/13): We would like to encourage readers to take 1 day out of their busy schedules to show your support for Vernon Hershberger by attending a pre-trial hearing that is now set for March 18, 2013 at 1 PM at Sauk County Courthouse, 515 Oak Street Baraboo, Wisconsin.
A flyer can be downloaded here, courtesy of foodfreedomusa.org, printed out and shared with your friends, posted around town, or plastered on the university bulletin boards. Get active and raise awareness to the plight of this peaceful farmer who never injured anyone. Get started waking up people in your neighborhood with this flyer and the article below which provides details of Vernon’s case and other updates about the legal proceedings. Continue reading
David Gumpert isn’t the only one who sees the Vernon Herschberger case as a bellwether. From Margo Redmond in the Baraboo News Republic:
“…The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is an advocate of corporate farming. Two years ago I spoke with Jeff Lyons — now second in command at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection — while he was assigned to the raw milk issue at the Bureau. I asked him if the Bureau represented the interests of big and small farmers. He replied that small family farms need to become corporate farms, as that is the only realistic kind of farming today.
I could tell he considered me silly for saying I missed seeing cows grazing on Wisconsin grass. But it is practical to prefer milk from truly contented cows that graze on grass because it nourishes them and, in turn, us. I do not apologize for using animal products and even eating them, but I believe they are owed, in return, a natural, decent life. Continue reading
In a comment on an earlier post, Inalienable Wrights wonders whether the widespread use of fracking is not more about destroying the countryside and rendering it unfit for habitation than it is about accessing buried natural gas. And one might well wonder the same about the predations of regulatory agencies like Wisconsin’s DATCP. Are they really more about destroying the rural economy than protecting anyone’s health or well-being?
From David E. Gumpert, on The Complete Patient blog:
“Last February, a Wisconsin judge imposed a temporary injunction prohibiting Arlin Bender from slaughtering cattle and pigs on behalf of neighboring farmers, at the request of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). In July, the judge followed up by extending the injunction for a year.
At a hearing on Monday, the judge will hear arguments that his orders have been a serious violation of Wisconsin law. Continue reading
The Zinniker farm, in Wisconsin, has been one of the flagship biodynamic farms on this continent for some 70 years. They’ve been dairying for decades. It’s sad to read about their apparent defeat on the raw milk front, by agents of the DATCP, in spite of what sounds like great support from their community of customers. David has the story.
From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:
“Strong community support can be undermined by the realities of life, unfortunately. Mark Zinniker, owner of a Wisconsin farm together with his wife, Petra, recounted during the panel discussion just how that can happen. The Zinnikers were among the plaintiffs in the now-famous ruling by Judge Patrick Fiedler in 2011, in which he declared that Wisconsin residents don’t have the right even to own a cow, or if they do, to drink its milk. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on The Complete Patient blog:
“The principle of private food should get a test in front of a jury of ordinary citizens when raw dairy farmer Vernon Hershbeger goes on trial in Wisconsin on Jan. 7.
I should say the principle should get a test, because initial indications are that the state will work like the dickens to sidestep that issue in favor of a ton of fear mongering designed to scare the jury that raw milk is too dangerous to distribute publicly, privately, or any which way, and thus seek to justify both the state’s ban on raw milk sales and its relentless prosecution of Hershberger, a farmer who provides raw milk and other food to more than 100 members of a private food club around his town of Loganville. Continue reading
Falls Church, VA, Aug. 28, 2012 ( GlobeNewswire ) – Wisconsin dairy farmer, Vernon Hershberger of Loganville, has retained the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) to represent him in his upcoming criminal trial on four misdemeanor counts for alleged violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code. The trial was originally supposed to take place on September 25 in Sauk County Circuit Court in Baraboo but Judge Guy Reynolds has postponed the trial until January 7. The judge has set aside five days for the trial.
Hershberger had been representing himself since the criminal complaint was filed against him in January 2012. FTCLDF vice president and Wisconsin attorney, Elizabeth Rich, will be litigating the case. Rich has over twenty years experience in the Wisconsin courts. Continue reading