Into the wee hours of last night, after about 16 hours of deliberating, the Baraboo, Wisconsin court decided not to wait until Tuesday for a verdict.
Four criminal misdemeanor charges are aimed at Vernon Hershberger for providing fresh food to his community through a contractual agreement with members. Paraphrased by Derrick J Freeman the "crimes" include:
- distributing milk from his “Grazin’ Acres” dairy farm without a milk producer’s license,
- operating a retail food establishment without a state license,
- operating a dairy plant without a state license, and
- violating a “hold order” placed on his dairy products after the state raided his farm.
Prosecution (State) tried to drive home the twisted view that Vernon's family and barn was a "retail operation," instead of the membership agreement where the members (who are owners) thereof put in a lot of the hard work there, like a co-op. Also, there have never been complaints. The 2010 armed raid was initiated by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
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