The start date for the trial of Wisconsin raw milk dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was moved forward to May 20 by the Sauk County Court deciding his guilty or innocence on charges of operating a food establishment without a license, operating an unlicensed milk producer, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a product hold order. His new trial date will make it just short of three years since compliance officials from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumers Protection (DATCP) raided the Loganville dairy farm and some months later filed the charges against Hershberger. The trial was to have started Jan. 7, but in mid-December Hershberger’s attorney began raising constitutional issues surround the dairy farmer’s religious beliefs. Wisconsin prosecutors see the charges as “black and white” issues over whether or not Hershberger had required licenses and adhered to the product hold orders. Whether being “raised Amish,” as Hershberger has explained his own beliefs, has caused him to shy away from using rights to challenge agency orders because such action would be more confrontational than his religion permit will now be the subject of a separate constitutional hearing on March 18. The raw milk raid in June 2010 followed the veto of a bill to legalize raw milk sales in Wisconsin by former Gov. Jim Doyle. The state continues to ban the sale of raw milk.