July 18, 2018

Raw Milk Farmer Faces Jail Time

Vernon Hershberger of Loganville, Wisconsin, has been charged with four misdemeanors and, if convicted, could spend up to three years in prison. The raw milk producer has been in the news before for leasing his cows to a private food club. The sale of raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin.

PrisonFood Poisoning Bulletin reported on  a “milk-in” that was staged last month on the steps of the Sauk County courthouse in support of Mr. Hershberger. That group is planning another rally at the courthouse. One supporter allegedly said he hoped the jury would acquit, “no matter what the facts and the law of the case are.”

Hershberger does not have a license to produce or sell dairy products. He claims that the lease agreement exempts him from state licensing. But the current charges precede the food club arrangement.

When Mr. Hershberger was charged and released on $500 bail, he signed a document agreeing to “no manufacturing or processing of dairy products” and “no sale or distribution of milk produced on his dairy farm” without licenses. Hershberger later verbally rescinded that agreement. A few weeks after the document was signed, agents from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection found that milk and milk products were being sold on the Hershberger farm, albeit to members of the “private club”.

There have been many battles between raw milk farmers, their defenders, and the feds in recent months.

And recent news for raw milk lovers hasn’t been good:

The Harvard Law Food Society raw milk debate highlighted the positions on both sides of the argument. Most food safety experts continue to say that the potential dangers of raw milk consumption outweigh any supposed benefit.

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