Baraboo — Dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was acquitted on three of four criminal charges early Saturday morning in a trial that drew national attention from supporters of the raw, unpasteurized milk movement.

Jurors in Sauk County Circuit Court deliberated about four hours, until nearly 1 a.m. Saturday, before returning a verdict of guilty on one charge of violating a holding order placed on products on the Hershberger farm following a raid there in the summer of 2010.

The 41-year-old farmer faces up to a year in jail and $10,000 in fines on that conviction. A sentencing date will be announced later, Judge Guy Reynolds said.

Hershberger was found innocent of three charges that included operating an unlicensed retail store that sold raw milk and other products; and operating a dairy farm and dairy processing facility without licenses.

Hershberger’s supporters have said he was targeted for prosecution because he sold raw milk directly to consumers through a private buying club with several hundred members.

The trial’s outcome will set a precedent, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization that has advocated for the legalization of raw-milk sales in Wisconsin and other states. “This is a victory for the food rights movement,” said one of Hershberger’s attorneys, Elizabeth Rich.

With few exceptions, Wisconsin farmers can’t sell unpasteurized milk directly to consumers because it may contain pathogens that result in serious illness.

But many people believe that unprocessed milk, straight from the farm, contains bacteria that boost the immune system and have other beneficial properties.

Hershberger said he was pleased with the acquittals, and that now he can return to his farm in Loganville and continue to run his food store without a retail license because it’s a members-only buying club.

“I can continue to feed my community,” he said. READ MORE…

Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Victory for raw milk in Vernon Hershberger trial!”

  1. Perfect response, Abe! Absolute logic. Love it ;)

  2. Abe says:

    I had a heated discussion with a neighbor of mine about raw milk. I eventually asked him if he had his wifes breast milk pasturized when she was nursing. The stupid look I got was priceless!
    I guess there’s at least one judge in the US that isn’t bought and paid for!
    Thank God there are some farmers willing to hold there ground!

  3. Barbara T. says:

    Very happy to hear about the result of the Vernon Hershberger trial!

  4. Lee Poulson says:

    I grew up on a farm and was raised on raw milk.
    We made homemade ice cream at least 3 times a week made with raw eggs as well.

  5. I am a very happy goat milker. They give more milk for their size than cows, are cheaper to feed, easier to keep, and much more versatile. The milk, if handled correctly, is much sweeter than cow milk, and contains more nutrients. Bottom line, I’ve switched and am happier and healthier for it.

  6. john daye says:

    it may contain pathogens. not true. commercial factory milk can be contaminated from unhealthy cows in crowded conditions. and factory cows are loaded with antibiotics, bovine growth hormones, GMO feed and pus in the milk from which cow ? if we had a choice and only wanted fresh, pure, natural, organic milk the commercial factory dairy farmers would be out of business. I don’t blame them. corrupt government officials on the take
    ( bribery )accepting money from lobbyists force good, hard working farmers to do what they know is wrong.
    i think that we should give goats an equal chance, but not big herds. small family farms with enough to share and help the local community.

  7. suss says:

    wow i am really happy about that and a little shocked actually. I went to the original article to read thru some of the comments and boy do some of them get my blood boiling or what! Stupid stupid people or just plain brainwashed and/or communist folks that don’t know that they are!!! Insane in the membrain for sure- thanks for letting us know i appreciate you so much!!! kind regards-