Farmer acquitted of producing milk

Vernon Hershbeger

Vernon Hershbeger

In a rare, but welcome decision a farmer was recently acquitted of producing milk without a license.  It is a sad fact seemingly everything is both heavily regulated by the government and politicized. This applies to, yes, even cow’s milk.  In this case of Wisconsin farmer, Vernon Hershbeger, he was prosecuted for selling raw milk to his friends and neighbors.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Vernon Hershberger

Vernon Hershberger at work

Jurors found Vernon Hershberger, a 41-year-old Loganville, Wis., farmer, innocent of producing milk without a license, selling milk and cheese products without a license, and operating a retail establishment without a license. He was found guilty of one count of breaking a holding order issued by the state in June 2010, which barred him from moving any of the food he produced without a license.

MilkVernonHershberger2The verdict means Mr. Hershberger can continue to sell his farm’s products to members of the buying club he started, said one of his attorneys, Elizabeth Rich. He faces as long as a year in jail and $10,000 in fines for the one guilty count; a sentencing date has yet to be announced.

“This is a huge win for food rights,” said Liz Reitzig, 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.”

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