The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is cracking down on raw milk through the targeting of two farmers who have been supplying their communities with raw milk via delivery services.
This is just one more obstacle in a decade-long battle against the MDA for dairy farmer Mike Hartmann. In 1997, Hartmann transitioned away from supplying to the processor (which is rarely financially sustainable for smaller farms) and instead pasteurized his milk on the farm to sell directly to local stores. His success was short-lived; the MDA downgraded his farm from Grade A and he was no longer able to sell his pasteurized milk in stores. Hartmann began selling directly to consumers, and eventually started offering raw milk to those who requested it. In 2010, the MDA blamed an E. coli outbreak on Hartmann’s dairy. The evidence was questionable but the accusations were damaging. Hartmann has been continually harassed by the MDA and local police, and now faces two more sets of criminal charges.
More recently, the MDA began targeting Alvin Schlangen, who runs Freedom Farms Co-op and delivers raw milk and other farm products to his customers. In 2012, Schlangen’s farm was raided and he was charged criminally for not having a food handler’s license. He was acquitted of those charges, but the MDA brought additional charges against him through a neighboring county. His trial is scheduled to run August 13-15.
Read more details about the cases and what you can do to support your local dairy farmers.
The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods. http://www.westonaprice.org/lab