The latest Wisconsin lawmaker to promise to introduce a bill making raw milk legal in the dairy state is Rep. David Murphy (R-Greenville). After all, U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) rode into Congress on promises he made while a state senator to make raw milk legal. 406x250Raw-Milk1However, Grothman was never successful, especially after Wisconsin raw milk “outlaw” Vernon Hershberger came out against any bill that required licensing raw milk dairies. Not since 2010 has the Wisconsin Legislature approved a bill to loosen raw milk sales, and that measure came in for a veto from then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. But
Continue Reading Another Wisconsin Lawmaker Promises to Push for Legal Raw Milk Sales

What’s Wisconsin’s “raw milk outlaw” been up to since the state appeals court upheld his misdemeanor conviction on July 17 and imposed a $1,000 fine? Well, according to a recent profile by the Wisconsin State Journal, Vernon Hershberger is back home on the farm with his 10 children building up membership in his raw milk buyers club called Grazin Acres LLC. Since the Loganville, WI, raw milk dairy farmer was found not guilty 13 months ago of producing milk, operating a dairy plant, and selling food in a retail establishment, all without licenses, his raw milk business has increased
Continue Reading Wisconsin Raw Milk Dairy Farmer’s Business Improves After Prosecution

Editor’s note: One of our Food Safety News Christmas traditions is to annually recognize those who have been “naughty” and those who have been “nice” – from a strictly food safety perspective, of course. This year, we’ve opted to split the lists so that we could devote all the attention that each list deserves. Check back here on Christmas Day for the “nice” list. Without further ado, here are 10 people who were “naughty” in 2013: Stewart Parnell, the former Peanut Corporation of America CEO, who said some swear word that had to be deleted right before ordering peanuts
Continue Reading The Annual Food Safety News Christmas Eve 'Naughty List'

Since a Wisconsin jury decided Vernon Hershberger did not need a license to sell raw farm products directly to consumers, he is not in a mood to support a bill to allow on-the-farm sales of raw milk but only with a license requirement. The Sauk County farmer was an early star witness Wednesday at a public hearing at the State Capitol in Madison on newly introduced House and Senate bills to allow licensed dairies to sell raw milk directly to the public. In May, Hershberger was acquitted on charges of operating a farm store without a retail food establishment permit,
Continue Reading Wisconsin's Most Famous Raw-Milk Advocate Opposes Bill Requiring Licensing

Vernon Hershberger was not the first and won’t be the last of the raw milk outlaws to get off or get mostly off by a jury — his recent trial did give an economic development boost to tiny Baraboo, WI. The town was filled with food freedom celebrities and raw milk adherents for the weeklong event that ended with Hershberger being found not guilty on three of the four charges. While Hershberger still faces a year in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, the food freedom movement declared the outcome a big win. They also said it has some
Continue Reading Letter From The Editor: The Baraboo Trial Lesson

Make no mistake, Vernon Hershberger won a huge victory in Saturday’s early morning hours in Baraboo, WI. “It’s a beautiful day,” Hershberger told me that morning, after a few hours of sleep following the 1 a.m. jury decision that acquitted him of three of four criminal misdemeanor charges. Yes, it was a beautiful day, for farming and for food rights. The State threw everything it had at this humble father of ten children, and when it was over, its guys in the dark suits scampered out of the courtroom in the darkness of the night after a jury of twelve
Continue Reading Hershberger Victory Sends Message That People Can, and Will, Fight Overbearing Regulators

A Sauk County, Wisconsin jury, meeting until 1 a.m. Saturday, acquitted Vernon Hershberger on three charges: operating a farm store without a retail food establishment permit, operating a dairy farm without a milk producer license, and operating a dairy plant without a license. But it found him guilty on a fourth count. That means when sentenced, the 41-year old Hershberger still could be jailed for up to one year and fined up to $10,000 for his conviction for violating a hold order placed on food on his farm in June 2010 by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Continue Reading Raw Milk Trial Ends With Split Jury Verdict

On its face, the upcoming trial of Vernon Hershberger, which starts today, is about food and dairy licensing and the Wisconsin farmer’s refusal to seek out certain permits. Hershberger is accused of four criminal misdemeanors. The first three include failing to have a retail food establishment license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, and operating a dairy plant without a license. The fourth accusation is that Hershberger violated a holding order from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) in June 2010, when he cut the agency tape shuttering his farm store,
Continue Reading How the Vernon Hershberger Food Licensing Trial Could Shift Views on Food Safety

Vernon Hershberger’s religious beliefs do not provide any resolution to the legal consequences he must face for operating a food establishment without a license, operating as an unlicensed milk producer, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a product hold order. The Wisconsin raw milk dairy farmer therefore will proceed to a long-delayed jury trial expected to take five days beginning May 20. Hershberger was able to delay the start of the trial when his attorneys began raising constitutional issues over their client’s religious beliefs last December. His attorneys opined that because Hershberger was raised Amish, his natural
Continue Reading Wisconsin Dairy Farmer's Religious Beliefs Won't Stop Trial

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
Continue Reading Wisconsin Raw Milk Trial Now Won't Start Until May 28