March 23, 2018

Wisconsin Appeals Court Upholds Hershberger’s Guilty Verdict

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld Vernon D. Hershberger’s guilty verdict for violating a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection holding border. That order prohibited the dairy farmer from selling dairy and meat from his farm without permission in the 14 days it was in force.

Milking a CowIn 2012, Hershberger was charged with four misdemeanors of violating Wisconsin’s law that prohibits the sale of raw milk products. Hershberger did not have a license to produce or sell dairy products; instead, he “leased” his cows to a food club and claimed that exempted him from the law.

The holding order was issued when Hershberger was released on bail. It stated that he agreed not to manufacture dairy products and no sell or distribute mail produced on his farm without a license. He later rescinded the agreement verbally.

The court ruled that Hershberger’s challenge to the validity of the holding border is a “collateral attack that’s prohibited.” The judge said that, “I don’t think it’s the law that [Hershberger] can elect [his] remedy to act, to say I’m just going to disobey it and then get a criminal trial over whether or not there was a reasonable … cause to issue the order in the first place.”

The court also ruled that even if it was assumed that the holding order was issued without facts, Hershberger was still bound by it until he reversed it through a review process. He couldn’t just say he was going to violate it and then do so. There are “clear regulatory paths providing for review of the holding order,” according to the ruling. Hershberger also “ignores the rule providing for stays of holding orders” in response to his assertion that reviews take too long. Hershberger could face up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine after this ruling.



  1. I have been subscribing to your website for quite some time. While I am appalled daily at the violations occurring in the US and worldwide, I want to thank you so much for your timely warnings, For instance, when you reported the recall of Nabisco’s Belvita Golden Oats biscuits for plastic parts, I immediately returned mine to the local Safeway where they were still on the shelf! The manager had not read the recall notice yet and it was handled while I was in the store. Since then, I always read your news before shopping.
    I also appreciate your follow up on the initial notices.
    Best regards!

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