Saturday, May 11, 2013

Farmer Faces Over 2 Years Jail, $10K Fines for Feeding Community

Activist Post

Things are heating up in Baraboo, Wisconsin as a long awaited food rights trial approaches.

Raw milk drinkers are outraged that Wisconsin DATCP is bringing criminal charges against a farmer who serves a private buying club. Do citizens have a right to contract with a producer and grow food to their own standards? That is what is at stake in this case. - Kimberly Hartke, Publicist Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Customers and Other Supporters to Attend Court with Farmer

Food rights activists from around North America will meet at the Sauk County Courthouse in this tiny town on May 20 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, whose trial begins that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land this husband and father in county jail for up to 30 months with fines of over $10,000...

The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly rejects this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations.

Hershberger says:
There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers -- this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.

A little more than a year ago, food rights activists from around the country stood in support of Hershberger at a pre-trial hearing. They read and signed a “Declaration of Food Independence” that asserts inherent rights in food choice. This month after the trial each day, many of the same food rights activists plus others will gather at the Al Ringling Theater across the street from the courthouse and hear presentations by leaders in the food rights movement. Notable speakers include Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, Mountain Man show star Eustace Conway, and food rights organizer from Maine, Deborah Evans.

Hershberger, and other farmers around the country, are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting individuals. In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to the food they depend on.

Vernon has faced a lot of pre-hearings and postponements already. Legal concerns are mounting. Printable flyers and an account from his May 7th hearing appear here.

This is a landmark precedent-setting case that could forever change food access rights. In addition, did you know that a Wisconsin judge who declared that we have no inherent right to the healthy foods of our choice retired and went to work for Monsanto?

Watch for more info and a recap on the battle:

Information about farm raids:

For additional information on raw milk:

URL for Event:

Press Release:

See our running story:

Pre-Trial Hearing Begins For Farmer Targeted by Raw Milk Police; Legal Concerns Begin to Mount

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Andy said...

If we don't stand with Vernon now they will surely come for the rest of our farmers that supply us with nutrient dense foods and fresh wholesome raw milk.

Anonymous said...

If there is anything we can do to help, someone show us a way we can help him and his family and his cause.

Anonymous said...

we don't need some farm food coalition, or some other potentially slighted organization to misguide the true merits of this case. Sorry, but i do not trust any coalition. If you want power and recognition....get as many people angry about this as you can.

Also....I really don't see what the big deal is. Hershberger should demand a jury trial. Wouldn't his peers from the local community be his best defesne???

It does not matter WHAT the law is or what MEANING the law has. A jury can override ANY law and commit someone as "innocent" if they so choose.

But, of course, we do live in the land of the gullible, lazy and arrogant. How sad. There seems to be only a few remedies for folks like Hershberger (and quite possibly YOU) against the tyranny of the US Gov, Inc. The only hope is that people wake up and get angry.

Anonymous said...

I am 77 years old and was brought up drinking wholesome raw milk as were my parents and our off spring. It certainly never hurt any of us or our neighbors that did the same thing.
We also butchered and processed our own meat with no problems.

brad said...

I think it would be germane to bring up a list of all the thousands of USDA publications - books, booklets, pamphlets, bulletins, etc. which not only teach one how to raise almost every kind of food, but how to also process, preserve, and sometimes market and sell the food you raised.

That means that the Fed Govt has acknowledged our rights to raise our own food. Inarguable.

The booklets i have seen include grains, chickens, milk cows, beef, tanning your own leather from your animal hides, root cellars, canning, all sorts of vegetables, growing varieties of fruits and nuts, berries, root crops, drying various foods, cutting lumber and building a solar kiln to dry it, and more.

That's just ME, and i grew up in the SW 'burbs of Chicago. Went to the cousin's dairy farm in Wisconsin a couple times/year if we were lucky, and homesteading in WVA w/out electricity for almost 10 yrs. Draft horse, milk cow - AND THE RAW MILK DID NOT MAKE ANYONE SICK AND WAS GREAT FOR OVER 2 YEARS YOU STUPID GOVT PUKES!

i bet there is a list somewhere that is really extensive. i just looked on the current USDA publications site, and it totally sucks. Just market analysis. Not only per US crop (pulse outlook, oil crop outlook, blah) but India, and grains from Russia, and . . .

The older pamphlets were so . . .Timmie and Lassie. Fukkem all. I'm growing my food and NOBODY has the right to stop me. It IS an inherent right or the human race would never have survived at all.

Anonymous said...

the farmer and the people are right working for nature and life who do these people sorry corporation lackys think they are telling us what food we can and cannot eat they are sickening they are the criminals that should be in court if the people let the government tell them what food and medicine they take in there body there body will soon be in the state as of the souls who liv under tyrony

Mark McCandlish said...

If you take a look at all the folks who used to work at Monsanto who are later wound up in key positions in government, you would be shocked at what I see as a gradual and nearly complete takeover by one corporation of all aspects of American human health, safety, science, commerce and agriculture. It is a multi-layered strategy for monopolizing our food production and controlling who grows it, what they grow, how much, when and which crops or products are given preference in the U.S. and foreign markets.

Here is a partial list: David Beier, Monsanto Head of Government Affairs, then Chief Domestic Policy Advisor under VP. Al Gore. William Conlon: Monsanto Lawyer, then: assigned to DOJ. Sam Skinner: Monsanto Lawyer; then: DOJ. Robert Fraley: Monsanto Executive VP & Chief Technology Officer, then: Advisor to USDA and other agencies. Michael A. Friedman: Senior VP of Clinical Affairs at G.D. Searle (merged with Monsanto), then: Acting Commissioner of FDA. Marcia Hale: Monsanto Dir. of International Gov. Affairs, then: Asst. to Pres. Clinton & Dir. of Gov. Affairs. Arthur Hull Hayes: Monsanto Public Relations firm, then: FDA Commissioner. John L. Henshaw: Dir. ESH Quality Compliance, then: Senior Advisor, U.S. Secretary of Labor. Rob Horsch: Monsanto VP of Product & Technology Cooperation & Gates Foundation, then: Advisor to National Science Foundation & Dept. of Energy. Michael Kantor: Monsanto Board of Dir. & Lawyer for; then: U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Gwendolyn S. King: Monsanto Board Member, then: Commissioner of SSA 1989-92. Robert J. Mahoney: CEO Monsanto 14 years, then: Dir. of U.S., Soviet, Japanese and Korean Trade Councils; Member U.S. Trade Policy Committee. Margeret Miller: Top Monsanto scientist; oversaw approval of rBGH; then: 1991 appointed Dept. Dir. FDA. George Poste: Monsanto Board of Dir. & Animal Specialist; then: 2002, appointed Head of Bioterrorism Div. of DHS. William D. Ruckelhaus: Monsanto Board of Dir. then: 1970, Chief Administrator EPA, later Dir. FBI, later, U.S. Deputy A.G. Donald Rumsfeld: CEO Searle; successful legalization of Aspartame; then:Sec Defense in 1975 and again in 2000. Suzanne Sechen: Monsanto-fund rBGH research at Cornell; then: FDA Reviewer of Scientific Data. Robert B. Shapiro: COO Monsanto, Chairman & CEO Nutrasweet, Chairman & CEO Monsanto, then: President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and White House Domestic Policy Review of Industry. Islam Siddiqui: VP CropLife America, representing Monsanto, then: Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of U.,S. Trade Representatives. Michael Taylor: Monsanto Atty and head of D.C. Office, then: FDA Deputy for Policy; 2010, appointed Sen. Advisor to the FDA Commissioner. Dr. Charles Thomas: Researcher in charge of the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb, later Monsanto Chrmn of the Board, then: consultant NSC and U.S. Rep. to United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. Clarence Thomas: Monsanto Attorney, then Justice in U.S. Supreme Court, casting decisive vote in election case that put G.W. Bush in office. Anne Veneman: Board of Dir. Calgene, a Monsanto biotech subsidiary, then: 2001 appointed head of USDA. Jack Watson: Monsanto atty in D.C., then: Chief of Staff, President Jimmy Carter. (Among others.)

Food for thought. (No pun intended.)

Anonymous said...

This IS the circle of exploitation. This IS the circle of abuses of power.
When animals are viewed as products, commodities, cows as "beef" or "dairy" cows, who are forced to be impregnated, carry their babies to term, to have them abducted by humans who think nothing of stealing the calves nourishment for their own, that same mind set ends up being used against humans. When governments impose "laws" on people that are passed by a powerful few, it is the same power grab humans use to force animals to be their property. READ The World Peace Diet, by Will Tuttle, or Eternal Treblinka, Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust, by Charles Patterson, or Sister Species, by Lisa Kemmerer. The mind set of humans for the past ten thousand years, that animals are ours as property, now comes full circle in the corruption of governments that treat human life for what, like animals as units, it can provide to that government. We TOO, are numbered, like "chattel." If you don't like a government messing with your "rights" STOP forcing female cows, pigs, birds, so called, farmed animals, to serve your needs. Animal husbandry ? Really ? Like animals need humans to control their genital functions! I think we had best control our own populations and transform agriculture into what is nutritionally dense, sustainable, resource wise, and NON-VIOLENT. That would be a plant based system. The slaughter of tens of billions of sentient beings for products we DO NOT require, (see Tim Van Ornden, a 39 year old athlete who discusses, as others have, the MYTH that we need protein over amino acids found in ALL plant foods)video on where he gets his protein. Stealing mothers milk from cows, nutrition SHE PRODUCED FOR HER CALF, brings that karma back. We need cow milk in any form, like we need agent orange as fertilizer. We are stuck in a self -defeating trap. As we harm the animals, and steal their lives, young, body parts, so to, does that same system remove our "rights" to be free from abuses of power. Veganism IS the next evolution!!!! s\See Earthlings, the film, and , The Ghost in Our Machine. The ONLY milk humans are entitled to, is the breast milk from our own mothers we should have been weaned off of at age two.

Anonymous said...

If the gov't wins this, it will put an end to all food buying clubs AND farmers' markets. This is THE MOST frivolous suit the gov't has come up far. I grew up on fresh milk, garden vegetables, farm slaughtered meat, fish we caught from the rivers and I am (57 yrs) healthy as a good race horse. You see, if we all eat unprocessed whole foods, we don't get as sick as those who ingest all the chemicals used in commercial food processing. That Monsanto judge knew this. We won't need to be on all kinds of meds that screw up a body's system. That fact hits their pocket book. This would be less people dependent on ObamaCare and they have budgeted on every human being being to use their system of forced vaccinations and medications. Once they have us hooked on their drugs, we are much more docile and easier to control. There is a method to their madness. It is drug the population in order to control them. Mother Nature's food does not fit in to their agenda. I totally support the Hershbergers in their fight for Freedom of Choice.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you want to really win this war on our food....STOP buying any of their, over-processed, Chinese-created garbage. Start eating the right foods and leaving all the crap on the store shelves! Only buy local farm products. I do. But, I've learned to not want ANY of the mainstream junk on sale.

Just read the label, see the chemicals, artificial (toxic) colors, and compounds that have NO nutritional value they are feeding you with. This is why we have health problems in America! Gee, it almost sounds like a conspiracy is being perpetrated. But, Americans don't believe in conspiracies do they?

The FDA is nowhere to be seen about this problem...they only support the protection of poisoned food (from China) and illegal drugs (from Afghanistan) you know, the ones we see our soldiers over there protecting the poppy fields. I didn't know we combat drug addiction by, allowing increased production of the drug's raw materials...who would have guessed that's how it works? But, I digress....

The "non-spent dollar" is more powerful and meaningful, than any gun, threat, or country!

I do it as a personal protest.
I am in FULL control of what I decide to spend my money on. If I don't like what I see them offering me to purchase, I keep my money and walk away.

I win, they lose....period.
I'll say it again, I ALWAYS WILL WIN in that situation. "He who has the money, has the power!" Americans have more power than they realize.

Gun ownership is only one source of personal is the more effect and wide-reaching one because, Corporations and Governments can be brought to their knees and ruined by it's Non-use!
Money trumps everything!

Anonymous said...

FDA is in the pockets of BIG Agribusiness and biotech firms.

Anonymous said...

Have you forgot about Agenda21 Brad?
You are NOT allowed to grow your own healthy food, the sheep MUST remain dependent upon the state, otherwise their plans will fail...

Anonymous said...

I grew up drinking raw milk- cow's & goat's- because I had problems digesting it otherwise. I never got sick.

However, I also lived on the farm, with those animals, and so was exposed to and had built up a resistance to all those same bacteria.

What I'd like to know is, will this 'coalition' pay this farmer's legal bills when he's being sued for every last penny because some idiot suburban parent gives their child raw milk, in between hand-sanitizer wipe-downs, and that kid then gets very ill-- or, God forbid, dies.

Just because I survived, or you survived, or your great-great-grandparents survived, doesn't mean that no-one ever got sick from raw milk. And it's not just food poisoning, either. Raw milk can harbor tuberculosis. Anyone want to pour *that* on their Rice Krispies?

The USDA is there for a reason. Anyone who actually believes they'd like to go back to the days of unregulated produce, should really read read more history.

Anonymous said...

Criminal charges? Where's the corpus delicti here?

Anonymous said...

Even in NY we can buy Raw Milk directly from some dairy farms, which is sad considering how restrictive "Moscow on the Hudson" is becoming.

I am outraged, and offended by the mere thought that Government et el believes it has any jurisdiction or governance over what I eat!

This must be a "red line". Something so fundamental cannot be simply shrugged off. Between this and people being ticketed or arrested for collecting rainwater on their own properties, I am lost as to how we continue down this road without so-much as a peep in the national MSM.

Anonymous said...

People are supreme, not the state. Waring vs. the Mayor of Savannah, 60 Georgia at 93.

"The rights of the individual are not derived from governmental agencies, either municipal, state, or federal, or even from the Constitution. They exist inherently in every man, by endowment of the Creator, and are merely reaffirmed in the Constitution, and restricted only to the extent that they have been voluntarily surrendered by the citizenship to the agencies of government. The people's rights are not derived from the government, but the government's authority comes from the people. The Constitution but states again these rights already existing, and when legislative encroachment by the nation, state, or municipality invade these original and permanent rights, it is the duty of the courts to so declare, and to afford the necessary relief. City of Dallas, et al. v. Mitchell, 245 S. W. 944, 945-46 (1922).

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I just wish all the agencies would just go away and let us take our chances.
Other times, I wish agencies only had the power to "Inform" a public of hazards.

Anonymous said...

The Nazi Fascist Terrorists in Washington and Country wide are nothing more than Terrorists threatening the US populus, now to threaten farmers
is as low as any Fascist gang could get!!

Hide Behind said...

sorry folks your only rights to food are if you grow it on own or leased property; Either that or as a contract between buyer and seller as to extent and promice of goods
Pay up or shut up.
That said there is a place in government for food quality/quantity issues and general health information.
Hate to say it but most of information within FDA and Dept of AG ARE THERE BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE INCLUDING THE FARMERS ARE FN IGNORANT of matters most quality and only give a damn about profits to sellers and glutony of buyers.
Standards were demanded by the people not just some lone bureaucrat in an office, Damn redneck peckerheads who think that anyone who can count andworksfor govis out to get them be damned..
And it was to the farmers not just some child eating. corporate or banker boss's advantage as even ways to improve health of amals mattered then and you dumb animals of today do notmatter just the profits of corps your stupidity and lazoness of not monitoring the moooooing cows but the damned elected officials ( most of them all college grads and smart people) put in and held there by smart college grad financial interest.)

Anonymous said...

That anyone is shocked at the totalitarian state banning raw milk blows my mind. If the state can ban hemp, what can't they do? It is time for mass awakening and to overthrow the hegemonarchy. Heads rolling all the way to the top of the Ponzi Pyramid. Turn them over to the tender mercies of those who were jailed for possession and or selling the medicine flower. The power to regulate that is assumed by government INC is the power to destroy. Power to the people who work and produce...S---can the academic bourgoise ruling classes.

Anonymous said...

The FDA needs to be gutted. They are in the back pockets of food and pharmaceutical companies. These are the same morons who claim cannabis (the plant) is a Schedule 1 drug with no healing properties... Meanwhile, the drug companies have synthetic THC on the market... no healing qualities, huh?

Anonymous said...

Hows that Freedom going for ya??

Anonymous said...

These folks need to bring the trial into a different court instead of the United States District Court - move it into the district court of the United States - which still exists and judges do understand it although a magistrate may not - the dcUS is a true article III of the constitution court. Bringing jurisdiction up is a matter that requires response. Your attorney may not be able to do it and keep his/her bar card. Check in with AIB radio on and Rod Class's work.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Have you forgot about Agenda21 Brad?
You are NOT allowed to grow your own healthy food, the sheep MUST remain dependent upon the state, otherwise their plans will fail...
May 12, 2013 at 6:22 AM

...hits the nail on its head.
Anything outside the paradigm of controlling you, the natural person and your twin the "Straw-man" in virtual all aspects of living under the rule of this Organization is frowned upon, discouraged and outright "outlawed".

Yes outlawed by a lawless Corporation you always took as a rightful elected trustee mandated to help you with your needs to live in a civilized cooperate way with your fellow men.

Today's Governments in virtual all Nations are fake pretenders and in reality documented Corporation interested in one thing alone, in one thing only as all other Corporations; to make money.

Fine, but the problem is, you, we, me are NOT shareholders entitled to share in the profits.
No, you, we, me are mere assets, "human" resources destined to be spend or integrated in producing values for some one else to enjoy.
This is not an exaggeration but fact.

Look into the various issues we are plagued with and recognize you relationship.
If this is not enough the powers hanging on are hell bend to drive their devilish system even further with the goal to establish complete control; an effective slavery system.

It is about time that developments like the OPPT conquering through use of their own Codex UCC to level the playing field and aiming for reset and restitution.

But it requires you, not as an uninformed bystander but as a participant willing to learn and unshackle the tricked enslavement we find our self in.

Find out more about the One Person Public Trust, that you btw how you can face the other side not as a subordinated Being but as an equal entitled to the same rules and codes they have set up in their favor.

Never mind what religious belief or not you subscribe to, there is no earthly being entitled to step in between you and the creator, period!

Once you and more of you understand that things can be changed in the direction you help it it to go you will win back your god given freedom.
Get moving!

Hide Behind said...

When a scientific study is commissoned at FDA who scientist actually performs the study?
Who and then Why was the study commisioned.
Where are the FDA labs located.
Who actually works behind the physical desk and pushes the keys for letterheads marked FDA; and how far are these seated digital and paper clerks from test centers.
What official OK'ss the study results or is there ever a study rejected?
How many other agencys have interconnecting tentacles and how many FDA empoyees or subdivisions tentaacles reach day EPA OR EDUCATION?.
Tear it down and then listen to the wailings of a million eho do nothing but tap keys and bullshit superiors or special interest and then watch how many join the OCCUPY MOVEMENT.

Anonymous said...

This information must be comprehended and acted on right now. This war of commerce on us must end. The carnage is now unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated.

Indict them.

Is the Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection not saying Vernon Hershberger is being charged, with not harming human beings? Ask the Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection people to show the law that says harming beings, is lawful, then indict the Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection when they do not produce this...

The DATCP must be asked the question: Is it lawful to harm human beings?

Indict them....indict them....Vernon Hershberger has been kidnapped, whilst having meals with friends and family. Is Vernon Hershberger a Citizen of their corporation? If not, he needs to evidence this, on record that he is not a Citizen of a corporation, and they have kidnapped, unlawfully, a human being. The United States Vernon Hershberger a Citizen of a corporation?

Proff: usc 97..., Vernon Hershberger is a Sovereign State (united states {of being}) ...they are a foreign state....Vernon Hershberger is not foreign, as he adheres to Public Law...they are foreign, BE CAUSE they adhere to private acts, and acts of commerce (27 CFR 72.11 {Commercial Crime}).

Indict them.

Anonymous said...

friends; Springfield, Missouri last year finally passed law allowing residents to keep up to 6 hens in their backyards. it was fought tooth and nail by the yuppie control freaks. hens give fresh eggs, eat bugs and fertilize the yard. control freaks cannot stand people to be independent; with either food, guns, finances or education.

Sheryl Silverstrim said...

Do citizens have a right to contract with a producer and grow food to their own standards? NO... or at least they should NOT be allowed to legally do so. I believe this is why we have so many diseases and sicknesses, because raw products can be very dangerous. Even vegetable stands, farmers markets vegetables etc. should be eliminated or have to pass some very strict government guidelines. My family and I do NOT drink or eat any products unless they come from a large grocery store.

Sam Ashworth said...

I worked on a ranch, everything was fresh as we were 40 miles from any city. I have never been that healthy eating beef, drinking raw milk, fresh eggs and in vast supply. I put in 14 hr/day bringing in hay and rounding up cattle. I was 13 yo. When I went back to jr high in a small city, I was one of the most predominant athletes on the field in every sport.

Anonymous said...

We can all whine and stomp our feet in these comment sections, but until someone actually speaks the truth of what needs to be done, it will continue.
If I have to spell it out for you then you really don't get it. It is called fighting fire with fire !
If those town's people are fully fed up, then there is one course of action that will get the attention of all.
do you remember that town which I believe was in the southwest, were the bully intimidate everyone, finally when he was shot dead, nobody squealed and nobody spoke up. Was it a conspiracy? You bet, but when a large group of people agree on a strategy and carry it out there is nothing left for the establishment to do but huff and puff.
As was intimated by the character played by Sean Connery to Elliot Ness in the untouchables; "If they put one of ours in the hospital, we put one of theirs in the morgue, that's the Chicago way" ! Get the point?

Anonymous said...

Why are you outraged they have jurisdiction over what you are allowed to smoke.

Jeffrey Jacobsen said...

People starving in America. Red tape on feeding people in America. Sounds like another smoke screen for the NWO's feeble attempts at population control.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here? This man is not "feeding the community." He's charging for the food. Which is fine and he certainly has the right to do that. But he is not being prosecuted for that. He's being prosecuted for doing it without a license. I'm assuming that if he did get the license he wouldn't be prosecuted. Since nobody here has cited the law involved, it's really difficult to determine whether he needs the license or not. His assertion that he doesn't without that information is sort of meaningless. Is it "right" or wrong or government intrusion? I don't know. But as is the case in many stories like this, the reaction is very seldom based upon the facts. It's about what some people want the facts to be.

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