Jury Finds Peaceful Dairy Farmer Does Not Need Licenses

The Wisconsin raw dairy farmer, Vernon Hershberger, received a verdict of three “not guilty” counts and one count “guilty” for distributing raw milk through private direct trade. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund called the verdict “a victory for the food rights movement.”


| May 30, 2013



Old fashioned milk cans

The raw milk debate has stirred controversies in many states, including Wisconsin.


Photo by Fotolia/christianthiel.net

Reposted with permission from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

After a long and riveting week in court for raw dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger, the jury returned a verdict of three “not guilty” counts and one count “guilty” for violation of a holding order.

The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

Hershberger and supporters are happy with the three counts of not guilty and feel that this sets a precedent for other farmers who seek to feed their communities through private direct trade.  Following the verdict, which came at 1:30 Saturday morning, May 25, Hershberger told supporters:

“I am extremely grateful to the almighty God that I have been acquitted from the first 3 criminal counts that were filed against me: operating a retail food establishment without a license, operating without a milk producer’s license and operating without a dairy plant license. 

I am very proud of the people in Sauk County who served on the jury for sending the message to the state and DATCP that it is absolute nonsense and a complete waste of tax dollars to interfere with peaceful peoples’ natural right to peacefully assemble to procure the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice.                         





dairy goat

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.

LEARN MORE