Published on May 21, 2013
Quick update on an epic food freedom trial unfolding in right in my backyard- about 100 miles south in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Food co-op owner, Vernon Hershberger, is being prosecuted by the State for making raw milk available. The Big Agriculture bullies don't like that their monopoly on pasteurized milk is being challenged by a humble farmer, and are seeking to throw him in a cage for a couple of years, level heavy fines, and destroy his family & livelihood. The State, as always, is more then happy to assist in this, and have charged Hershberger on numerous licensing violations. A group of activists have gathered in Baraboo to show support for Hershberger, and have a week long line-up of events.
BARABOO, Wis., May 26 (UPI) -- The acquittal of a Wisconsin dairy farmer on the most serious charges for selling raw milk products is a "victory for the food rights movement, his lawyer said.
The case of Vernon Hershberger, 41, has drawn national attention from supporters of the raw, unpasteurized milk movement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday.
The Sauk County Circuit Court jury in Baraboo deliberated about 4 hours before returning a verdict of guilty on a 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 Journal Sentinel reported.
Hershberger could be sentenced to as much as a year in jail and fined $10,000.
Hershberger was found not guilty of the other three charges, which included operating an unlicensed retail store selling raw milk and other products and operating a dairy farm and dairy processing facility without licenses.
The trial's outcome will establish a precedent, said the Weston A. Price Foundation, a raw-milk legalization advocacy group.
"This is a victory for the food rights movement," said Elizabeth Rich, an attorney for Hershberger.
Wisconsin farmers generally may not sell unpasteurized milk directly to consumers, as it may contain pathogens that result in serious illness, the newspaper said. Many people believe unprocessed milk contains bacteria that support the immune system and provide other health benefits.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/05/26/Wisconsin-raw-milk-farmer-acquitted-on-3-of-4-criminal-charges/UPI-42191369596964/#ixzz2UUcnnNB8
By Jan Shepel
Wisconsin State Farmer
May 30, 2013 9:49 a.m.
Loganville farmer Vernon Hershberger was all smiles at the end of a weeklong trial when a Sauk County jury found him not guilty on three counts related to the sale of raw milk on his farm. He was found guilty on one count – violation of a holding order following a raid on his farm in 2010.
The prosecution – led by attorneys from the Department of Justice and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) – had presented its evidence first, resting their case at mid-day on Thursday (May 23.)
The Sauk County district attorney had declined to prosecute Hershberger, so the case fell to state attorneys.
The defense called as witnesses Hershberger’s father, Daniel, an Ohio Amish man, Hershberger’s wife Erma, several members of the buyer’s club he operates on his farm and Hershberger himself before resting its case late on Friday afternoon.
The jury deliberated until turning in its verdict at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning.
"I think they’ll think twice about bringing charges like this again," lead defense attorney Glen Reynolds told reporters after the verdict.
The "raw milk" trial ended up being contested over..............
Published on May 30, 2013
In what Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund vice president Elizabeth Rich called a victory for the food rights movement, a Sauk County jury acquitted dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger on three of four criminal charges for violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code after a contentious five-day trial.
Hershberger was acquitted on charges of operating a farm store without a retail food establishment permit, operating a dairy farm without a milk producer license and operating a dairy plant facility without a license. He was convicted of violating a hold order that Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) officials had placed on food in his on-farm store during a June 2010 raid; Hershberger removed tape that had been put on store refrigerators. Hershberger leases cows to members of a private buyers club and provides raw dairy products and other nutrient-dense foods to club members at the farm store. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.