By: Andrew Mastrocola
With all the flack one gets from these 'foodies' for taking a Constitutional stand for our God given rights, there is finally a feather in our hats at FoodFreedomUSA.org.
Hershberger appeal denied
By Jan Shepel
July 22, 2014
Wisconsin State Farmer
A Loganville dairy farmer — who became the face of the raw milk and food freedom debate in Sauk County court last year — has lost his appeal for the courts to reverse a misdemeanor conviction.
Vernon Hershberger, who runs a dairy farm and food club in Sauk County, was the subject of a weeklong jury trial in the Sauk County Circuit Court in May 2013.
Jurors found him not guilty on three charges related to not having certain food licenses, but guilty on the fourth charge of violating a holding order imposed by state food safety inspectors.
In statements and press conferences, jurors who had heard the case said they wished they had found him not guilty on all charges — based on things they learned after the trial but which they were not allowed to hear during the trial.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on July 17 upheld the misdemeanor conviction for violating the holding order imposed by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's food safety division.
Hershberger and several food freedom groups that helped him with his legal campaign appealed the one guilty verdict.
They argued that Judge Guy Reynolds, who set the rules for the original trial in the pre-trial rulings, prohibited Hershberger from introducing evidence that there was no factual basis for the state to issue the holding order.
As part of the evidence to the appeals court, they introduced an intact version of the holding order — without the blacked-out sections ordered by the trial court.
The holding order prohibited Hershberger and his wife, Erma, from selling dairy products from their farm's "pantry" while the 14-day holding order was in force. During the trial last May both admitted they had done so, because they hate to waste food.
In pre-trial decisions, Hershberger and his lawyers were prohibited from attacking the holding order. It was also decided that the term "raw milk" could not be used during the trial.
Last week the appeals court upheld the decisions made by the trial judge. That means Hershberger is guilty of the holding order violation and could face jail time. He was fined $1,000 and court costs.
The appeals court ruled that Hershberger could have used a process to contest the holding order at the time it was issued, under a system in place at DATCP and other state agencies, but didn't do so.
The farmer argued that he didn't have any way of knowing his rights under various appeals processes in state agencies.
During the appeals process, his attorneys also argued that the pre-trial motions from the trial judge denied the farmer his Constitutional right to put on a defense. But the appeals court did not agree with that argument.
One guilty verdictHershberger's trial in May 2013 became a cause celeb for raw milk and food freedom advocates who came to Baraboo to support the farmer and his family.
Hershberger's father, who still adheres to Amish beliefs and lifestyles, came from Ohio to testify at the trial. Others came from as far away as Vermont to support Hershberger.
A number of his "food club" members sat through the entire trial and made meals for the Hershberger family.
His supporters were ecstatic when the jury issued three "not guilty" decisions and his defense team announced they would appeal the one misdemeanor "guilty" decision.
The case was pursued by attorneys from the Department of Justice and DATCP when Sauk County's district attorney declined to prosecute Hershberger.
What many had called the "raw milk" trial ended up being contested over key points of licensing rather than religion or peoples' freedom to choose what foods they want to eat.
Pre-trial motions had limited what would be allowed as testimony during the trial.
Hershberger supporters criticized those pre-trial rulings this week in the wake of the appeals court decision. Andy Mastrocola, founder of Food Freedom USA said those rulings — and the heavily blacked-out documents Hershberger tried to use in his defense — prevented the jury from getting both sides of the story.
Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck commented on the court's ruling, saying "This appeal is not a referendum on the desirability of on-the-farm sales of raw milk products.
"Rather, it involves the ways in which a defendant may — and may not — challenge a (state) holding order."
Attorney commentsWisconsin-based attorney Elizabeth Rich, Vice President of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund was Hershberger's chief legal counsel.
She commented to Mastrocola's Food Freedom USA that the appeals court decision continues what she considers a "disturbing trend toward empowering administrative agencies" that allows them to exercise their authority unchecked.
Decisions in the courts have prevented any "meaningful review" of agency actions, she adds.
Rich said the holding order in the Hershberger case called the dairy products "misbranded" and "adulterated" and included the statutory definition of those terms including the statement that the products were "dangerous to human health."
The attorney said all of that information was blacked out in the order before it was shown to the jury.
She argued that the jury should have had the opportunity to review the unredacted order, and that Hershberger was prevented from putting on a defense when this information was withheld from the jury.
MADISON (AP) — A Wisconsin dairy farmer who has vigorously fought for the right to sell unpasteurized raw milk lost an appeal Thursday over a misdemeanor conviction stemming from a state raid of his farm in 2010.
Vernon Hershberger is the face of the movement to legalize raw milk in Wisconsin, testifying in support of bills in the Legislature and waging a fight against his 2013 conviction of violating a holding order placed on the sales of products at his Sauk County farm after a 2010 raid by state regulators.
Hershberger argued he operates a private buying club with several hundred members that's not subject to the same rules as a farmer selling products to the general public. The Loganville farmer also argued on appeal that he wouldn't have been found guilty had an unedited copy of the state's holding order been placed into evidence, and that the Sauk County Circuit Court wrongly precluded him from introducing evidence to bolster his defense.
But the state appeals court rejected all of his arguments. Hershberger was fined $1,000.
Hershberger's attorney, Amy Salberg, said she had not seen the opinion and had no immediate comment.
Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck heralded the court's ruling.
"This appeal is not a referendum on the desirability of on-the-farm sales of raw milk products," she said. "Rather, it involves the ways in which a defendant may — and may not — challenge a (state) holding order."
Despite the misdemeanor conviction, Hershberger was found not guilty last year of charges alleging he sold retail food, produced milk and operated a dairy plant without proper state licenses. Those victories were heralded by raw milk supporters, who continue to lobby the Legislature to legalize sales.
Opponents, which include dairy farmers, cheesemakers, doctors and others, argue it is unsafe and could lead to an outbreak of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli or salmonella that would put the state's $26 billion dairy industry in jeopardy.
Supporters believe the government shouldn't get in the way of farmers who want to sell raw milk to willing customers. They argue raw milk tastes better and is healthier before it is pasteurized, the process that kills harmful bacteria and extends shelf life.
Wisconsin law only allows for infrequent, incidental sales of raw milk.
By: Andrew Mastrocola
There is a new activist that is sending a message to her fellow Americans, and it needs to be heard far and wide. Many activists fear going to the lengths Josie the Outlaw has dared to go in her short time on the scene, but No Fear is shown by this young lady. It is not very often that activists 'get it' and are willing to put everything on the line, but Josie the Outlaw does. Listen to her message and if you disagree then you are not part of the solution, you are the controlled opposition and part of the problem. I have posted a few of her videos here for your convenience, but I urge you to visit her website, support her activities, and share her video messages.
The power of the jury was evidenced in Wisconsin's now famous 2013 raw milk trial with patriot farmer, Vernon Hershberger being found not guilty of trumped up state charges by overzealous regulators. The Hershberger victory was only a small step in the restoration of our Republic, and more cases will continue to appear unless you prepare to resist tyranny with every possible tool available to you.
Josie the Outlaw delivers a very strong message that may upset the warm and fuzzy life that you have become accustomed to. What you keep hearing from most activists is to be peaceful zombies. If you fail to take a stand and resist when your time comes, if you fall into the trap of consensus, you deserve the pre-determined outcome the New World Order planners have made for you.
No woman has shown more courage since St. Joan of Ark, and now is when courage needs to take center stage.
The True Duty of a Jury
Message to Police
By: Andrew Mastrocola
As a pivotal year for food freedom, 2013, comes to an end, another one is sure to follow. The war on for your food took a big hit when a few brave farmers stood up, with success, to the regulators in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, just to name a few. The growing resistance to foolish government demands was very inspiring, yet much cowardice showed forth with food activists cries of being peaceful. Really? Do you think the government fears you? Doubt it. When you fear the government that is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is Liberty. Do you like to live in fear and be a slave? If you're a farmer do you like having a Monsanto controlled government telling you how to farm your land? What if America's greatest farmer, Thomas Jefferson, only resisted with peaceful means? Would we have ever had an America that was not subject to a foreign power? What these peace only activists are doing is actually empowering the controllers and leading the sheep towards mass extinction. Cowards always turn tail and run in the face of adversity and are laughed at by the jack-booted thugs who enforce these un-Constitutional regulations. Are you going to be like the sheep, or will you become a shepherd in 2014? Prepare now to become that shepherd, study all 10 amendments, and be prepared to use all 10, period.
Most often heard in 2013 were cries by the Marxists and collectivists for peaceful and passive resistance to the food tyranny we have grown accustomed to seeing all across our nation. What does that mean this peaceful and passive resistance? Think about it. It means you will resist with your tongue but never stand your ground when called upon to do so. Don't take my food source away but if you do I will not stand in your way. Cowardice! Why are so many food rights activists afraid to stand and resist with every possible tool our Constitution gives them? It is because they want to be their own little Ghandi's and spread the lies of peaceful non-compliance. Let us look at what was really going on in the mind of Ghandi, he was not the pacifist many want you to believe.
Between Cowardice And Violence
This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, not the land of the controlled masses and submissive cowards. Remind your public servants that they are public servants, refuse to be a slave to the Food World Order global agenda.
So for 2014 when the jackboots come for your food will you be the happy little collectivist and yell at the top of your voice, but allow them to take control and defeat you anyway? Or will you stop being that coward and be ready to stand, just as our forefathers did during the birth of our Republic? As long as you buy into the lies and you go along to get along you are allowing yourself to be an unwitting tool of the Marxists and Collectivists. The powers that be just laugh when they know that they have instilled in you the fear to be anything other than peaceful. Yea, you may put a speed bump in the road for their Food World Order Agenda, but you will never stop the tyranny unless you show "No Fear".
Published on Dec 5, 2013
In this video Luke Rudkowski travels to Dallas Texas to visit Quinn Eaker of the Garden of Eden community. Quinn tells us about the mission of the Garden of Eden and how recent pressure from the state has harassed, intimidated, fined, and is threatening the existence of their community.
Currently Quinn is looking for legal representation to keep the Garden of Eden going if you could help please contacthttp://www.intothegardenofeden.com or email@example.com
Special thanks to WeAreChange contributor and film maker Kennyhttps://twitter.com/Oliketheletter
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By: Andrew Mastrocola
Below are the results of the Republican plan for raw milk in Wisconsin. This bill, if it goes through the legislature next year, will be the dagger that ends the freedom Vernon Hershberger so valiantly fought for. The jury said no license was needed for what Vernon is doing, so why would pro raw milk organizations then push legislation that would go against that juries ruling? How in the world can anyone who is not a Socialist support something that is so Fascist in it's nature?
Wake up Wisconsin and take a stand for your liberty and freedom by opposing such legislation that only will send the price of raw milk skyrocketing to California levels, which is currently at $18 per gallon. How many of you will still be able to purchase raw milk at those prices? Do you want to have your every purchase recorded in a government data base? Do you need the legislatures approval to choose what you feed your family? Why has a 'conservative' Senator succumbed to the ways of Socialism? This bill is all about control, taking away your Liberty, your farmers Liberty, and a way to create more revenue for the state while emptying your pockets some more.
The majority of farmers now selling raw milk would have to quit or risk becoming criminals. Did you enjoy watching what Vernon had to go through? I definitely did not! Shame on those farmers, consumers, politicians, and organizations that support such a bill which attempts to render the Hershberger juries verdict null and void, shame on you!
This bill turns your God given right to choose your food into a government granted privilege, and it gives police powers to DATCP to go after farmers that do not register nor comply with all the heavy handed regulations. Is raw milk a controlled substance? Not yet, but it will be if this bill passes. "He who controls the food controls the people", Adolph Hitler.
Go ahead people, submit to your control freak masters and be good slaves and sheep. if you so desire, but remember when you wake up and realize that you have been lead to a slaughter you went there willingly. Wake up now to the false left right paradigm that they are using to deceive you before it is too late.
From the Pierce County Herald:
By: Andrew Mastrocola
We live in an ever changing world, full of economic uncertainty and social unrest. How well are you prepared to sustain your family during uncertain times? What if your local food source is 'regulated' out of business by government mandate or 'shutdown' by an FDA Swat team? Will the food police be shutting down your source of life giving food and force you, who are hungry and desolate, into FEMA camps where the government has the only food that is readily available? What if disaster strikes your region and you can not get to your local food source for weeks or months? What if Executive Orders are activated that take control of all food resources? What if your garden fails because of drought or some other unforeseen natural disaster?
What if the Agricultural Industrial Complex decides to raid your local food source and destroy the food that was stored for you at your food 'buyers club'? What are you prepared to do to feed your family during uncertain times? Do you have a plan and food stores in your home for those times ahead? There is a war on for your food. Many patriot farmers have been continually raided, jailed, and dragged into court over the last decade. From the East coast to the West coast, and even in the Midwest and deep South we have witnessed acts of government tyranny against those who buck the system and supply real food to thousands of American families. Are you prepared to withstand, manufactured chaos, the coming Dictatorship, natural and man made disasters, and still feed your family while not relying on big government to feed them for you?
The signing of the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order grants the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense and other agencies complete control of all US resources, including the ability to seize, confiscate or re-delegate resources, materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense as delegated by the following agencies:
Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a)
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions.
The new order provides specific definitions for each of these essential infrastructure elements, indicating that all resources, not just those owned by large farms and businesses, are to be directly controlled by the government.
“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and are out of a job are the stuff of which dictators are made.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With your independence you have the freedom to think there is no need for emergency preparedness because the government will always provide for you. You have the freedom to deny the need for disaster preparedness. You can think you can wait until the day before an act of terrorism or civil unrest occurs, even though you don’t have a crystal ball.
You have the freedom to think there is no need for earthquake preparedness. “Earthquakes don’t happen every day you know.”
You have the freedom to think hurricane preparedness and tornado preparedness are only for the other guy, not you. “I’ll take my chances. After all, it’s not going to happen to me.”
Yet with your independence, you also have the freedom to take action. You have the freedom to express yourself when you witness the government getting caught with its hands in the taxpayer cookie jar time and time again.
The definition of Independence: 1. The state or quality of being independent. 2. Freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
By its very definition in black and white, independence states you are free from the “support, aid or the like, of others.” You are ultimately on your own.
If you want to be ready and prepared but don’t know where to start or what you need, Freeze Dry Guy makes it easy for you and affordable with the Family First Responder’s Unit. Delivered with free shipping right to your door, this is your emergency preparedness starter solution or valuable add-on. It’s a person’s 7-day emergency supply of high-protein, great-tasting Freeze Dried Foods, clean, safe drinking water, and more to help you survive and thrive following disasters like acts of terrorism, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more.
History repeats itself indeed. Disasters happen. Chaos takes control making a crisis even worse. But you’ll be ready with the Family First Responder’s Unit from Freeze Dry Guy.
Your Hero in a Box Kit is waiting for you.
When you make a purchase from the Freeze Dry Guy by using one of the links on this website you will not only be protecting your family and giving them a certain future, you will also be supporting the efforts of FoodFreedomUSA.org to raise awareness of the war on for your food. With each purchase you make The Freeze Dry Guy will return a portion to FoodFreedomUSA.org
PNN Live #18 Pete Kennedy on Food Freedom Rights (2013-08-25 ...DerrickJ
Pete Kennedy of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund joined Derrick J to discuss the case of Alvin Schlangen and other farmers like him.
Peace News Now
By: Andrew Mastrocola
We are living in dark times where our own government declares real food to be criminal. We are suffering under a criminal regime that respects no rights, no privacy, no liberty and no law. People like Vernon Hershberger are those rare champions who are willing to face these great injustices and do battle with evil in classic David vs. Goliath fashion.
Vernon Hershberger is on the front lines of the battle for your Constitutional Rights. The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution preserves our food rights and farming freedom. Vernon Hershberger is a "peaceful warrior" for these sacred rights that are being aggressively and repeatedly violated by a criminal government. Hershberger owns and operates a privately held dairy farm, Grazin' Acres, in Loganville, Wisconsin. Over 200 investors in his farm enable Hershberger to operate a non-retail farm store for member investors only.
Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger has been unjustly maligned by a tyrannical system of bad government. His family and farm were subjected to an armed raid by government agents, who trampled all over his private property, destroying some 300+ gallons of milk in his bulk tank, seizing and refusing to return his computer, and accused him of committing "dairy crimes" by distributing raw milk to a small group of people who were members of a private buying club.
Hershberger, who has an Amish background, was then hauled into court where the state attempted to prosecute him and send him to jail for the "crime" of producing real food in America. Thankfully, he was recently found innocent on most of the charges, but then his farm was mysteriously set on fire in the middle of the night, destroying over $100,000 worth of equipment and buildings, only a few weeks before the trial.
Several of the jurors were so moved by the case that they now want to join Hershberger’s buying club to be able to access raw milk for their families, noting that this is an issue of food freedom. Not only does it seem a precious waste of state resources to target a man supplying wholesome food to informed and willing buyers, several of the jurors stated they felt the trial, and specifically the holding order charge, was unjust.
The Hershberger family is holding a fundraiser auction on August 17th to help raise funds to replace the items lost during the "mysterious" fire. People and organizations from all across the world of food freedom are donating items to the auction in support of Vernon Hershberger.
Patriots that have donated many items to this auction include Sheriff Richard Mack, Constitutional Scholar Michael Badnarik, Mike Adams of NaturalNews, American Free Press, and Alex Jones. To see these unique items visit http://www.vernonhershberger.com/auction-items.html
Although in today's world with lots of insurance all over the place a fire is not normally such a huge setback. The Hershbergers, (coming from an Amish background that does not beleive in insurance) got caught with almost no insurance when the fire hit them. Although they have gotten more coverage now since the fire, they still have to make up the huge deficit that was caused by the fire. $175,000 and insurance paid only $21,000. They lost 1,600 chickens and all of their farm machinery right down to the wheel barrow. Also a brand new tractor which they had gotten 3 days before and also a good used skidsteer which had cost $18,000 was delivered just two days before the fire.
The Amish and many other plain churches now refuse to help out financially due to the fact that the Hershbergers are no longer a part of them. (He is a non-denominational Christian). Yet Vernon is a Patriot, and now it is time for you my fellow Patriots in standing with this Patriot farmer who has taken a stand for your Constitutional Rights.
Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Herschberger has been under legal assault by a Big Food backed WI government for 3 yrs. Despite winning on 3 of 4 counts, he is still trying to clear his name. Attorney Elizabeth Gamsky Rich of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is defending him.
There will be a victory celebration and fundraiser on Saturday August 17th, 2013 at the Vernon Hershberger farm. Some special guests that have confirmed already are David Gumpert, Max Kane, The FTCLDF Attorneys, the Jury, and a host of other local and national food freedom activists. Come spend the day with the Hershberger's and their supporters.
You can view the events facebook page and share it with your friends.
The Hershberger Family is welcoming all their supporters to share in this day of celebration with real ice cream.
Castle Rock Organic Farms in Osseo, WI. is providing their tasty vanilla ice cream for the August 17th Ice Cream Social at Grazin' Acres.
There will be a press conference at 10:20 am with Vernon Hershberger, David Gumpert, Max Kane, Elizabeth Rich, some Jurors from the trial, and select members of the Right to Choose Healthy Foods buyers club.
The afternoon is going to showcase a charity auction to help the Hershberger's rebuild part of their farm that was lost to a mysterious fire this past Spring, devastating them just a few weeks before the trial. Many fabulous items have been donated for the auction. Check them out here.
This farm is only minutes from the Wisconsin Dells, so if your vacationing that day and enjoying the local flair, stop by Grazin' Acres and have a little ice cream and celebrate your food freedom.
David E. Gumpert, Guest
This would seem to embody the USDA’s advisory, “Know your farmer, know your food,” right? Not exactly.
For the USDA and its sister food regulator, the FDA, there’s a problem: many of the farmers are distributing the food via private contracts like herd shares and leasing arrangements, which fall outside the regulatory system of state and local retail licenses and inspections that govern public food sales.
In response, federal and state regulators are seeking legal sanctions against farmers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, among others. These sanctions include injunctions, fines, and even prison sentences. Food sold by unlicensed and uninspected farmers is potentially dangerous say the regulators, since it can carry pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, leading to mild or even serious illness.
Most recently, Wisconsin’s attorney general appointed a special prosecutor to file criminal misdemeanor charges against an Amish farmer for alleged failure to have retail and dairy licenses, and the proceedings turned into a high-profile jury trial in late May that highlighted the depth of conflict: following five days of intense proceedings, the 12-person jury acquitted the farmer, Vernon Hershberger, on all the licensing charges, while convicting him of violating a 2010 holding order on his food, which he had publicly admitted.
Food Rights Under Fire Author David Gumpert Discusses Growing Crackdown on Small Farmers, Food Safety
Before we get into broader issues, what is the significance of the Vernon Hershberger case that recently concluded in Wisconsin?
It’s a complicated case, as are many of what I call “foods rights” cases. I think part of the idea is to make life complicated for the farmer and create a situation where he becomes the kind of example you as a farmer want to avoid. That’s part of what they call the deterrent effect — he has been dealing with Wisconsin regulators, agricultural regulators primarily on and off for about six years. The case is about the fact that he sells food privately to members of a food club, and he sells items that are highly regulated, primarily raw milk and meat and related items — butter, eggs, chicken,pork. Because he sells privately, he
Join Natural News in supporting Vernon Hershberger, the raw milk farmer unjustly raided and arrested over raw milk
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger has been unjustly maligned by a tyrannical system of bad government. His family and farm were subjected to an armed raid by government goons who trampled all over his private property and accused him of committing "dairy crimes" by distributing raw milk to a small group of people who were members of a private buying club.
Hershberger, who has an Amish background, was then hauled into court where the state attempted to prosecute him and send him to jail for the "crime" of producing real food in America. Thankfully, he was recently found innocent on most of the charges, but then his farm was mysteriously set on fire in the middle of the night, destroying over $100,000 worth of equipment and buildings.
Get up to speed on these events at this excellent website:
Also, check out the new book by David Gumpert which covers Hershberger and other cases of farmers being terrorized by bad government. It's called Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle over Who Decides What We Eat.
See the trial coverage and additional articles by Gumpert here:
Hershberger fundraiser auction begins August 17thThe Hershberger family is holding a fundraiser auction on August 17th to help raise funds to replace the items lost during the "mysterious" fire. People and organizations from all across the world of food freedom are donating items to the auction in support of Vernon Hershberger.
See the donated items and auction page here:
Natural News has donated $2,500 in cash, plus over $500 worth of nutritional products to be auctioned off in support of Hershberger.
You can also make your own donation, of any amount, at the top of that page.
Donated items so far include signed memorabilia from Sheriff Richard Mack and Alex Jones, massage therapy sessions, a vacation gift certificate, DVD's from the Weston A. Price Foundation and a number of books, including autographed books from David Gumpert.
More donations of products and services are needed for the auction, so please visit the page and see what you can donate:
Why support Vernon Hershberger?
In case you're asking this question, the answer is because Vernon Hershberger is on the front lines of the battle for food rights and farming freedom, and he is a "peaceful warrior" for these sacred rights that are being aggressively and repeatedly violated by a criminal government.
We are living in dark times where our own government declares real food to be criminal. We are suffering under a criminal regime that respects no rights, no privacy, no liberty and no law. People like Vernon Hershberger are those rare champions who are willing to face these great injustices and do battle with evil in classic David vs. Goliath fashion.
Thus, he needs our support, and that's why we have donated cash and product to his fundraiser. Join us in supporting the Hershberger family at:
Defend your rights to Healthy Food!
Get the Government out of Private and Personal Health Decisions!
Please support the Hershberger family with charitable relief and help to defray any legal expenses, as Vernon sets out to defend your American right to private contracts.
Wisconsin organic dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger, a peaceful Christian husband and father of 9 children (with one on the way) is being treated as a criminal by the U.S. government.
At the urging of the FDA, The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has charged Hershberger with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000. The chargers are all related to Hershberger supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.
Fully 50% of the people who privately contract with Grazin Acres farm for food have serious illnesses. They depend on this food for their very survival. This is a matter of health freedom, and the right to opt out of the conventional food system by private agreement.
DATCP charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly denies this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations (previously, government officials told farmers that private contracts were outside the jurisdiction of the regulatory system). Currently out on bail, Hershberger has disavowed the terms, which called for him to refrain from providing his members with food, or involving others in doing his farming, by telling the judge, “If our farm stopped feeding its owners’ families, there will be literally hundreds of children who will suffer malnutrition and even starvation. Your honor, I would much rather spend the rest of my life behind bars or even die than to be found guilty of such a gross sin before the Almighty God."
“I am proud of what I am doing. There is nothing wrong with peacefully providing food to members of my community who want it,” claims Hershberger. “The state might put me in jail, but they cannot stop people from feeding their neighbors.”
Most political theorists have long understood the necessity of some form of government to protect individuals and property, provide public goods, and enforce private contracts.
—From CATO Institute Report: Can we Determine the Optimal Size of Government
In the Vernon Hershberger case, we see that the optimal size and scope of government has exceeded all bounds of reason. He as an individual, his property, the public good of the citizens he feeds and their rights to private contract are all being plowed under by Big Government.
Please join us in supporting the Hershberger family with your donations. The money goes directly to the family for charitable relief and help to defray any legal expenses, as Vernon sets out to defend your American right to private contracts.
What is your food freedom worth? Those of you who can, give generously, as this farmer is laying down his life for your right to choose. Please give even a small amount if that is all you can do at this time.
Also, leave your words of support to give Vernon strength, in the comments, below.
CategoriesActivism, Health & Disease and Human RightsAdditional InformationLaunched Wednesday, February 29, 2012Modified Tuesday, March 06, 2012
All’s well that ends well, right? Perhaps it’s just not over yet. Were you in any way a part of the riveting saga of raw dairy farmer and private food club coordinator Vernon Hershberger? If you read anything about it you may have been amazed at the long battle the state of Wisconsin waged against him, threatening to put him in jail for three years, destroying his property, maligning his intentions, and obfuscating the facts to blind the jury responsible for vindicating him on three counts of licensing accusations, but guilty on the last count of breaking the holding order issued after a raid in June 2010.
The jury was upset to find out more afterward; for instance, that the holding order was based on the licensing issues for which they acquitted Vernon. Any prosecutor documents they were allowed to see were heavily redacted. They befriended Vernon and some joined his food club which now has 100 new members, and petitioned Judge Guy Reynolds for lenient punishment. Towards the end, Hershberger still faced a maximum penalty of $10,000 dollars in fines and possible probation. The final punishment was around $1500 paid by a couple of supporters. All seemed well; closure, relief.
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund who sent experienced attorneys to help the Hershbergers are not entirely satisfied with the victory. They are largely responsible for helping persecuted farmers and raising awareness of farm and food freedom rights. They want full vindication for Hershberger and for food rights….
The jury was also charged with determining whether or not a hold order was issued, and whether or not Hershberger had violated the order. The hold order was placed on Hershberger’s coolers in the farm store by the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on June 2, 2010.
During his trial, a heavily redacted hold order was submitted to the jury for review. Attorneys handling the case believe the jury would have cleared Hershberger of all charges had they seen the full hold order. The redacted portion of the order said the food was “misbranded or adulterated.” Attorneys believe Hershberger would have presented a convincing argument that the food was neither adulterated nor misbranded.
Attorneys retained by FTCLDF include Elizabeth Rich, Glenn Reynolds, and Amy Salberg. They filed an appeal July 2nd. They are appealing the jury verdict in State of Wisconsin [Plaintiff] v. Vernon Hershberger [Defendant]. They filed in District IV of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and it is likely the case will be reviewed by a three-judge panel.
Had the jury been given enough information to understand the totality of the circumstances, we believe they wouldn’t have convicted Vernon of violating the holding order. His conviction was not consistent with the jury’s acquittal on the other three counts.
Hershberger was happy to get back to working his dairy farm, Grazin’ Acres. His food club feeds over 200 families. An appeal like this might send a clear message to Wisconsin and beyond to stop wasting our money to harass and use undue force against peaceful farmers who feed their communities.
FTCLDF is a non-profit organization that provides defense for farmers like Vernon Hershberger. If you’d like to continue helping the Hershbergers, not only with this case, but to offset the costs from the previous arduous battle, you might consider donating. Another form of support, as Vernon has mentioned is to support yourself and your local farmers by joining a nearby food club.
You might find yours here: 20 Places to Find Local Food and Family Farms Near You
Anyone wanting to make a contribution towards legal expenses can make a donation online or send a check to:
8116 Arlington Blvd, # 263
Falls Church, VA 22042
Prefer to make a tax-deductible donation? For details,
go to www.farmtoconsumer.org/
FTCLDF thanks you for your support!
Background stories from most recent to earliest - check these out to better understand peaceful activism, jury rights, food law, and the attacks on food and farm freedom:
Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work atNaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.
Read Other Articles by Heather Callaghan
Wisconsin Raw Dairyman Plans to Appeal His Verdict
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to Persevere to Fully Vindicate Private Buying Club
Falls Church, VA, July 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The absolute right to private, unregulated, direct trade with a local raw milk producer is being fully tested in the heart of "America's Dairyland". The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund plans to appeal the jury verdict of farmer Vernon Hershberger in the recent case, State of Wisconsin (Plaintiff) vs. Vernon Hershberger (Defendant). The appeal will be presented in Wisconsin appellate court district IV. Likely, the case will be reviewed by a 3 judge panel.
Hershberger was found guilty on only one of four criminal counts, the violation of a hold order.
Hershberger owns and operates a privately held dairy farm, Grazin' Acres, in Loganville, Wisconsin. Over 200 investors in his farm enable Hershberger to operate a non-retail farm store for member investors only.
At issue in this case, was whether or not Hershberger needed retail license, dairy plant license, and milk producers license from the state to operate such a business. A jury of his peers found that Vernon was not breaking licensing laws, exonerating him of the three counts of operating without licenses.
The jury was also charged with determining whether or not a hold order was issued, and whether or not Hershberger had violated the order. The hold order was placed on Hershberger's dairy cases in the farm store in by the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on June 2, 2010.
During his trial, a heavily redacted hold order was submitted to the jury for review. In court, Hershberger had admitted he opened the state seal on his dairy refrigerators to allow his members access to their property.
"For Vernon, this was an act of civil disobedience. He believed the state was exceeding its authority, and that, as owners, his members had every right to the dairy products from their own cows," explains Elizabeth Rich, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund attorney.
A team of attorneys hired by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is filing the appeal. Elizabeth Rich, Glenn Reynolds, Amy Salberg took the original case to court on May 20-24, 2012, and will stay on the case. They have 20 days from the June 13th sentencing to file their appeal, the deadline is July 3.
The law in the state of Wisconsin allows owners of cows to drink their cow's milk without licenses.
"Had the jury understood the totality of the circumstances, they wouldn't have convicted him of violating the holding order. Vernon's conviction was not consistent with the jury's finding that members of Grazin' Acres were owners of the dairy farm, this is why we are appealing," says Rich.
Attorneys handling the case also believe the jury would have cleared the owner of Grazin' Acres of all charges had they seen the full hold order. The redacted portion of the order said the food was "misbranded or adulterated." Attorneys believe Hershberger would have presented a convincing argument that the food was neither adulterated, nor misbranded.
For the one count Hershberger was found guilty of, the potential fine was in excess of $10,000. The judge showed leniency. Hershberger was given a sentence of no jail, no probation, just a $1000 fine, plus mandatory court assessments. The total damages of $1513.00 were paid by the members of Vernon's farm immediately after the sentencing.
Since the acquittals and fine resolved the criminal case, Vernon Hershberger and his Grazin' Acres members can continue to operate unimpeded.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods. Those concerned can support the FTCLDF, a U.S. based 501(c)(4) nonprofit, by joining or donating online at www.farmtoconsumer.org or by calling 703-208-FARM (3276).
CONTACT: Kimberly Hartke, Publicist 703-860-2711 firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Andrew Mastrocola
In a note to the members of Grazin' Acres, Vernon Hershberger declines to support the recent raw milk legislation introduced in Wisconsin, by Republican Senator Glenn Grothman. According to Hershberger he is "slightly disappointed that the bill does not reflect more of the outcome of our case."Hershberger and his amazing team of attorney's
Hershberger thinks that "the legislators should be listening more to the people than to the big corporations".
"If this Bill goes through I'am afraid our whole battle will start all over again with DATCP. They will very likely come and tell us we will now have to register in order to distribute products from our farm. The jury has spoken and said the exact opposite."
"This Bill might be a small benefit to farmers who have a Grade A producer license. It might keep the dairy plant from kicking them off the truck if they are caught doing raw milk on the side. I feel very strongly that farmers should continue to build off of the verdict in our case. If we are allowed to distribute milk to owners why should it be any different for a farmer who has a Grade A producer license? How does a dairy plant have the right to tell the farmers that they are not allowed to distribute any of their milk to anyone else? Is this not just a way to keep the farmer down where they can handle him and force him to take the low price for their milk that they (the processors) want to give him. What we need is a Bill that puts the processors and the regulators in their respective places. Everyone of them has a position to fill in this society, but the problems that we are having these days is that most of them are operating outside of that position that has been given to them by the people.
"There are a lot more things that I could say about this Bill but I think you can get the drift! I strongly feel we do not need more regulations for the farmers; according to the jury from Sauk County all we need is more guidelines and maybe tighter reins for a few regulatory agencies that have stepped outside of the authority that has been given to them."
"I'am afraid all we are doing with this Bill is; Taking a right which we already have and turning it into a privilege which can be taken away!"
By: Corey Kealiher
Outcome of Vernon Hershberger's raw milk trial, and my own commentary on why I think this was less of a victory for Hershberger, and more of a win for the state.
The producer of the movie "For Liberty" interviews a couple of the Grazin' Acres members on the last day of the trial of Vernon Hershberger in Baraboo, Wisconsin
Wisconsin resident, Vernon Hershberger, was recently found not guilty of criminal charges brought against him for selling raw milk. Raw milk followers consider it a victory, as they believe raw milk has myriad health benefits and that people should be free to buy it if they want. The government prohibits the sale of raw milk as they do the sale of many food items, including haggis, marmite, and
foie gras in California. The verdict in the raw milk case points to Americans being tired of the government over-regulating what they can and cannot eat. The Resident (aka Lori Harfenist) explores the issue.
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In less than one week after a Jury in Sauk County aquits Vernon Hershberger for not having the licenses to operate the farm known as Grazin' Acres, the State filed a motion on Friday May 31, 2013 asking the judge to put Vernon Hershberger in jail.
The state’s motion to revoke Hershberger’s bail cites a Capital Times report Wednesday in which the Loganville dairy farmer is quoted as saying he continued to sell raw milk and other farm products after the state ordered him to stop. The terms of his bail specified that he not sell or process dairy products without a license. Yet he was aquitted by a jury of 12 of the licensure violation. Confused yet?
Well, as the details sort out over the next few days we will try to keep you posted with all the latest information, in the meantime if you want to show your support for Vernon pray this with us today:
State wants to revoke bail for milk farmer
Portage Daily Register -
MADISON — State law officials on Friday asked a Sauk County judge to send raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger to jail for breaking conditions of his bail. The state's motion to revoke Hershberger's bail cites a Capital Times report Wednesday in which the ...
Vernon Hershberger lands in hot water after candid interview with Cap Times
Capital Times -
Loganville dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger has apparently landed himself in hot water for being honest with the Cap Times in an interview earlier this week. The State Journal reports that the state Department of Justice is seeking to revoke Hershberger's bail ...
May 31, 2013 by Bob Livingston
A Sauk County, Wis., jury kicked the State’s dairy lobby and fascist agriculture agency in the chin last week when it acquitted dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger on three charges of producing milk without a license.
Hershberger has been persecuted for four years by the State, working at the behest of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, for the “crime” of selling his raw milk and other dairy products to his friends and neighbors who had bought a piece of his farm as part of a buying club. The ruling means he can continue to sell his products to members of the club.
He was found guilty on the lone count of breaking a holding order issued by the State in June 2010 that barred him from moving any of the food he produced without a license. The shame is the jury didn’t nullify that count against him as well. He faces as long as a year in jail and a $10,000 fine for the one guilty count.
“This is a huge win for food rights,” Liz Reitzig told The Wall Street Journal. Reitzig is a founder of Farm Food Freedom Coalition, a group advocating for greater consumer access to natural, unprocessed food. The case “should give small farmers renewed courage to continue to operate within their communities.”
According the Food and Drug Administration, raw milk can be sold for human consumption in only 30 States. Wisconsin isn’t one of them. And it is a crime in the United States to sell it across State lines. A statement from the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition’s mouthpiece made after the trial explains why it’s a crime. “We strongly urge lawmakers to keep it illegal to sell raw milk in Wisconsin to protect the state’s $27 billion dairy industry…,” Shawn Pfaff said.
The FDA, which approves drugs that sicken and kill thousands of people each day, claims raw milk is dangerous because it contains “harmful microorganisms.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that from 1993 to 2006 1,500 people in the United States became sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk. Hmm. That’s a whopping 115 people per year. Meanwhile, FDA-approved drugs kill274 people (according to the agency’s own statistics) every day.
Pasteurized milk is dead food. The pasteurization process converts a healthy food to a synthetic non-food substance under the pretense of purity, cleanliness and shelf life and changes it from a potent non-allergenic food (one that helps to build natural immunity to allergies) to one that is allergenic. The good bacteria in raw milk is killed and destroyed as is the all-important bone-forming enzyme alkaline phosphatase. The result is a substance sold as milk but that resembles cow’s milk only in color.
Hershberger’s lead attorney in the case, Glen Reynolds, said: “This is as close to Prohibition as anything I have ever seen, but this time it’s milk and an Amish farmer rather than liquor and gangsters.” The prohibition against raw milk should go the way of liquor prohibition.
By: Andrew Mastrocola
I am really not into listening to the false left right paradigm where once a court victory is gained which ensures "lawfull" raw milk and then organizations cry for "legal" raw milk. I will not join their cry to assist DATCP in restricting our freedoms. There is a huge difference between "lawfull'' and ''legal''. Vernon fought for "lawfull'' raw milk and we got it.
Why try to legalize raw milk and only take away what is now lawfull? I will never aide DATCP in getting their version of 'legal' raw milk. Legal raw milk will only criminalize farmers that are not shipping to dairy processors. Lawful raw milk means Liberty and Freedom for all. Maybe we should just stick with Vernon and not try to destroy what he so valiantly struggled to gain for all of us, lawfull raw milk. But then some people like being government tools....it feeds their egos.
What happens when legislation is passed? It creates restrictions on your freedom.
Food Freedom Already Under Attack in the Media After Jury Rules That Licenses Are Not Needed to Obtain Raw Milk
By: Andrew MastrocolaVernon Hershberger with Food Freedom advocates
Now that a victory for Food Freedom has been won in Wisconsin, at the hands of twelve jurors, all theose who wish to deter our freedoms come crawling out from under their rocks with the idea that, now we need to regulate your liberty and freedom away with a raw milk bill in Wisconsin.
Bad legislation is the worst form of tyranny, beware of those that want legal raw milk for all they are doing is promoting the Socialist agenda of DATCP and controlling your food. This brave farmer, Vernon Hershberger, fought for 3 years to secure this freedom for us, now we can sit back and enjoy this regained Liberty. NOT. Really? YES!! You need to remain ever vigilant because, there are those that do not want you to be free to choose your food from non-government approved sources. All over the Wisconsin papers now associations that have been promoting the consumption of raw milk have unwittingly joined forces to promote the agenda of DATCP with heavy handed raw milk legislation. This is a form of Fascism when it is done by a private group(s) in conjunction with government.
"I prefer dangerous freedom over peacefull slavery" Thomas Jefferson once said, so if raw milk was so dangerous the human species would not have come this far. Enslaving the people, by only allowing them to get their food from a government approved source, is happening all across America. Enjoy the victory for Food Freedom while you can, because in the next legislative session the Fascist's of Wisconsin will introduce legislation to take away your food freedom in the form of a raw milk bill.
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