Michael Schmidt Arrested for Removing Surveillance Equipment from His Farm

Michael Schmidt was arrested on October 19, 2015 on charges of criminal theft for allegedly removing surveillance equipment he found on his farm in August. After discovering the cameras, which had no identification on them, Schmidt removed them and contacted police to report their discovery and ask who they belong to.

Schmidt believes the cameras belong to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and were put there to spy on the happenings and visitors of his farm. He refused to turn them over to the police and, several weeks later, a summons was issued for his arrest. Schmidt was arrested and held overnight in jail on October 29th.

His arrest came on the heels of two back-to-back raids of his farm, which took place during the week of September 29th and ultimately ended in a tense standoff between local authorities and Schmidt supporters, who prevented authorities from leaving the farm with farm equipment and dairy products.

“I am convinced that these charges about the cameras are some sort of revenge,” Schmidt says. “After the investigator and the agents had to leave the farm without the equipment they seized on the October 2, 2015 raid, they want something to show for it.”

For now, the tension between Schmidt and authorities continues to build as his farm has pledged to continue to peacefully grow and produce food as it has always done.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

International Raw Milk Symposium Livestream on November 16, 2015

wapf-raw-milk-symposium-meme (2)

The annual International Raw Milk Symposium, which will discuss the health benefits and safety practices of raw milk, can be viewed via Livestream on Monday, November 16th beginning at 9:15am PDT.

With consumption of raw milk on the rise and several states loosening sales restrictions, more and more consumers are becoming curious about raw milk and their options for obtaining it.

The Raw Milk Symposium will take place on the last day of the International Wise Traditions Conference, a widely attended annual nutrition conference. Headline speakers of the Raw Milk Symposium include:

Sally Fallon Morell: “Why Raw Milk?” (9:15-10:30am PDT)

Mark McAfee: “Behind the Scenes: What’s Really Happening with Raw Milk in the USA?” (10:45am-12:00pm PDT)

Peg Coleman: “Risk Beyond Numbers: Understanding Data, Gaps and Assumptions Bridging Them” (1:15-2:30pm PDT)

Charlotte Smith: “Building, Managing, Marketing and Sustaining a Raw Milk Micro-Dairy” (2:45-4:00pm PDT)

To watch the livestream: http://www.fleetwoodonsite.com/wise/rawmilk#sthash.JfaVOOMo.dpuf

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Raw Milk Farmer Success Story Shows There is a Market for $24 Gallons

One Oregon dairy farmer’s raw milk is in such high demand that she is able to sell it for $24 per gallon and has a waiting list of eager customers.

Her success can likely be attributed to her commitment to produce high-quality raw milk and other farm-fresh products (and being within a 30 minute drive of Portland probably doesn’t hurt, either).

On David Gumpert’s blog, The Complete Patient, he writes that “…she is a great illustration of how working diligently and publicly for safe raw milk can be a big business booster. [She] pushed hard to become the first certified dairy member of the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) in 2012, and is also on its board…She is limited in her production by Oregon’s three-cow limit on raw dairies, or she would likely be serving many more than the 100 regular customers she currently has.”

At a time when there are all too many sad stories about small farms being targeted by health officials or put out of business by Big Dairy, this success story is uplifting and inspiring. Read more about what she’s doing to encourage other farmers on The Complete Patient.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

International Business Times Sheds Light on Global and Regional Milk Industries

A recent article in the International Business Times discusses how the global milk market has helped, and hurt, American dairy farmers.

The article points out that while milk-derived products like powder can be shipped internationally, liquid milk remains a largely regional industry: “Markets for fresh fluid milk are largely local or regional in the United States — and even in modest-sized countries — because moving it quickly by air is far too expensive, while transporting it very far on the ground risks spoilage.”

But when small dairy ecosystems begin to suffer because Big Dairy is elbowing them out, other parts of the regional economy feel the effects: local veterinarians have fewer cows to treat, equipment companies, feed companies and lumber mills that supply sawdust for bedding get fewer orders.

Together, these points make a strong economic for supporting local dairy farms. Not just to stimulate our local economies and not just so that we have access to fresh, responsibly sourced foods – but because if there’s one industry that should be easy to regionalize, it’s the dairy industry which is inherently regional already.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

New Test Shows Whether Milk Really Came From Fresh-Grazing Cows

A new test, developed by Dutch food testing company Qlip, can show if milk is the product of cows that grazed on fresh grass or other feeds like corn silage.

As milk composition and quality is directly impacted by a cow’s diet, and consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about buying organic, free range, and other responsibly sourced dairy and food products, this test will be important in holding dairy producers accountable for where they say their milk comes from.

Currently, Qlip’s laboratory produces these analyses for dairy companies who are purchasing milk from farmers. In the future, Qlip hopes to utilize such tests for other indicators, like animal health, animal welfare and sustainability.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Australians Want Raw Milk to be Less Controversial Than Climate Change

According to Dr. Christopher Degeling of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, the discussion of fresh milk in Australia and New Zealand is “almost as contentious as climate change science.”

Earlier this year, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) reviewed Australia’s milk regulations and the released report legalized the production and importation of some raw milk cheeses. Unfortunately, the commercial sale of raw milk is still illegal (though drinking it is not).

Some believe that the reluctance to legalize raw milk sales stems from “laziness on health authorities’ part.” Australian microbiologist Dr. Ron Hull says, “They think it’s too hard to regulate raw milk, which is not true. Raw milk is regulated in most parts of the world and is just as safe as any other food.”

Read more via the The Sydney Morning Herald.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt Targeted by Authorities – Again

Canadian authorities have again targeted dairy farmer Michael Schmidt in two separate raids during the week of September 29, 2015.

Schmidt has become well known throughout his more than 20-year fight with the Canadian government over his right to distribute raw milk to those eager for it. In recent years, Schmidt reconstituted his farm into a co-op with shareholders who hold joint-ownership of the farm and can therefore drink milk from their own cows.

On September 29, York Region health officials and police officers descended on a church parking lot where co-op members were meeting to pick up their farm products. The police obtained a search warrant for health department inspectors to search Schmidt’s van and take samples of the dairy products.

Then, on October 2, more than twenty local police and health officials arrived on Schmidt’s farm and began confiscating milk and dairy equipment. Schmidt put out a call for help and soon more than 50 local raw milk activists and supporters came to his aid, blocking the driveway so the regulators were not able to depart with the stolen goods. A dramatic standoff ensued, finally ending peacefully with authorities only able to take a couple of computers before the supporters assembled.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Sixteen Maine Towns Have Now Adopted Food Sovereignty Ordinance

On July 1, the town of Bingham, ME passed the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance (LFCSGO) by a vote of 59-8, making it the sixteenth Maine town to adopt the ordinance.

Under this sovereignty ordinance, local farmers and producers can sell their products direct to consumers without state inspection or licensing. The Maine legislature came close to passing LFCSGO statewide with Bill 925, “An Act To Promote Small Diversified Farms and Small Food Producers” – but it was voted down by a joint appropriations committee after the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry claimed the bill would cost $40,000 in licensing revenue over the next 2 years (Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund).

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! 

Two Congressmen Make a Show of Eating Illegal Foods to Protest Federal Food Regulations

On August 21, 2015, Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) sat down at a local Denver, CO restaurant and shared a self-provided meal of “forbidden and restricted foods” including raw milk, hemp scones, non-inspected steak, non-inspected eggs and kombucha.

The two did this in an effort to bring attention to bring attention to some of the federal food restrictions that both are lobbying to change, through legislation like the Milk Freedom Act and Prime Act.

The Independent Journal sheds light on what makes the ingredients of their meal controversial, like:

-Raw milk is illegal to sell in some states, and is illegal to transport across state lines.

-Steak and eggs have to be inspected and can only be sold if it comes from USDA-approved facilities (with exceptions in some states).

-Hemp scones cannot get you high, but hemp cannot be grown or sold in the US (except in certain states and only with a permit) because it is a controlled substance.

-Though not usually the way kombucha is sold, it can technically ferment and be over .5% alcohol, so therefore it is sold under liquor laws.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference

Raw Milk: The Latest Beauty Trend?

Drinking a daily glass of nutrient-dense raw milk can have many health benefits. Oftentimes, the same ingredients that are beneficial for our gut health also have benefits for our skin when applied topically. The Indian newspaper Odisha Samaya offers some ideas of how to use raw milk for at-home glowing beauty treatments:

-Raw Milk Purifying Mask: Mix 2-3 tablespoons of raw milk with 1-2 tablespoons of honey or lemon juice. Apply to face and let stiffen for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

-Raw Milk Exfoliating Scrub: Mix 1 cup of milk with 3 tablespoons of oatmeal and gently rub onto skin. Allow the mask to dry, then, rinse off with warm water while gently scrubbing around the face.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today! Learn more about raw milk at our annual International Raw Milk Symposium, being held in Anaheim, California on Monday, November 16, 2015, in conjunction with the International Wise Traditions Conference