YOUR FUND AT WORK
Vernon, as a longtime member of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, is receiving free legal representation valued at tens of thousands of dollars. In addition to the legal fees, the Fund is paying for all court costs and expert witness expenses. The Fund is not an insurance company and cannot guarantee representation on all legal matters; possible representation is just one of the benefits of membership.
Family Farming Attacked
Wisconsin Amish dairy farmer, Vernon Hershberger of Loganville, has been charged with four misdemeanor counts for alleged violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code. The charges are:
(1) operating a retail food establishment without a license,
(2) operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license,
(3) operating a dairy plant without a license and
(4) violating a holding order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
The holding order prohibited anyone from removing food products from refrigerators that had been taped in Hershberger’s farm store.
It started with the raid of his farm, Grazin’ Acres, in June 2010 and escalated from there [read “Wisconsin: DATCP Raids Hershberger Farm“]. Hershberger had been representing himself since the criminal complaint was filed against him in January 2012. In August 2012, Vernon requested FTCLDF represent him; his attorneys are FTCLDF Vice President Elizabeth Rich and Glenn Reynolds, both of Wisconsin.
Vernon has rejected a plea bargain that could have kept him out of jail. He was told he could plead guilty to two of four misdemeanors. In exchange, he would have had to pay a fine, been placed on probation, and would have had to agree to never sell or distribute raw milk products without a license.
Family photo from 2011, since then there’s been a new addition [Photo: HartkeIsOnline.com]
Vernon’s case has drawn national attention and various events have been held in conjunction with court proceedings and pre-trial hearings, mostly organized by the Farm Food Freedom Coalition, including the signing of the Food Declaration of Independence in May 2012.
For more about Vernon, read “Brave Farmer Takes a Stand for Personal Liberty and Private Contracts” by Kimberly Hartke.
Watch video of the Court Summons being issued in December 2011.
Photo of Vernon from 2011 at the Grazin’ Acres farm pantry [Photo: Baraboo News Republic]
The June 2010 raid on Vernon Hershberger’s organic dairy farm came weeks after then-Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a bill that would have allowed limited sales of raw milk.
Despite the timing of the raid, state officials denied that it had anything to do with the statewide controversy over raw milk. They said Hershberger was operating without the proper licenses.[excerpt from Baraboo News Republic, “Business as usual at Grazin’ Acres” by Tim Damos, 17 May 2011]
Video posted December 10, 2012 by Healthfreedom2012 on YouTube
Video: The Court Summons Hershberger Raw Dairy Farm
Video posted December 10, 2011 by therawmilkparty on YouTube
“Raw Milk Farmer Accused of Selling Raw Milk Stays Free”, video posted March 2, 2012 by on Channel3000.com
More about the signing of the Declaration of Food Independence
Last Updated: 5/20/2013