Farm-to-Consumer Foundation to Host the 2nd Annual International Raw Milk Symposium: Claiming Consumer Rights

March 18, 2010

WASHINGTON — Recent actions against raw milk farm-share programs by Wisconsin agriculture officials has brought the issue of consumer food rights to the forefront of the national health debate.

The Second Annual International Raw Milk Symposium [http://rawmilksymposium.org] will address the chasm between consumer demand for raw milk and health official qualms about allowing access to unprocessed, unadulterated dairy foods.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin. It is open to the public. Farmers, consumers, legislators and especially health officials are invited to learn more about the latest buying trends, and the reasons more citizens are electing to partake of fresh, locally-sourced, dairy foods.

The cost to attend is $60 ($10 discount for Early Bird Registrants), and $32 for an optional lunch of local foods. After the day-long event, a $150 per person fundraiser reception, dinner and lecture to support the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s work in Wisconsin will feature Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno, California. Organic Pastures,  the largest raw dairy producer in the nation,  distributes raw milk through farmers markets and private buying clubs, as well as retail health food stores throughout California.

Featured speakers at the event include several international experts: German professor, Dr. Ton Baars will detail his latest research on the nutritional benefits and healing properties of fresh milk; Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD., will speak about in the availability of raw milk through vending machines in Europe, especially in Slovenia and Italy; and Canadian dairy farmer, Michael Schmidt, will describe his recent legal victory for cow-shares in Ontario, Canada.

U.S. experts presenting at the symposium include Ted Beals, MD, a pathologist and microbiology specialist; Pete Kennedy, Esq, a recognized legal authority on cow shares, private buying clubs and other forms of direct farm-to-consumer sales; Sally Fallon Morell, founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which sponsors, “A Campaign for Real Milk”; Elizabeth Gamsky Rich, Esq, an authority on Wisconsin raw milk laws; David Gumpert, journalist and author of Raw Milk Revolution–Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights; and Tim Wightman, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, author of the Raw Milk Handbook, and an American pioneer of legal cow-shares.

Farmers Wayne and Kay Craig will speak about the producers’ perspective on fair and free trade for dairy farmers; and citizen activist, Emily Matthews will describe the consumer’s need for freedom of choice.

The Farm-to-Consumer Foundation chose Wisconsin as the site of this year’s symposium because of state actions against Wisconsin raw dairy producers and their customers. As the second largest dairy state in the union and the state with the most small dairies, Wisconsin has become the focal point for the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation’s education and outreach efforts to the farming community, general public and government agencies.

The First Annual International Raw Milk Symposium was held in Toronto, Canada.

Citing “public and food safety,” the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has taken drastic and financially punishing actions this year against family farmers and their shareholders. “Those who obtain raw milk through contractual arrangements such as a farm-shares, that is investing in a dairy holding a milk producer license, are well-informed and are entering into a private–not public—transaction,” said Tim Wightman, president of the Farm-to Consumer Foundation. “They go to these lengths in order to secure the food of their choice. Many shareholders have serious health issues, and their choice to consume raw milk products is often a life-saving measure.”

Interested parties may register online or by telephone. Visit the RawMilkSymposium.org website to register before Tuesday, March 23rd for the $10 discount.  To register by phone, call 703-208-3276.

For more information about the event, and for sponsorship and exhibit opportunities, please contact, Symposium Coordinator, Cathy Raymond.  Her email is: info@farmtoconsumerfoundation.org

The Farm-to-Consumer Foundation through education and charitable relief, supports farmers engaged in sustainable farm stewardship and promotes consumer access to raw milk and local, nutrient-dense food. The Foundation is the sister organization of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund which defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and protects consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods. To learn more about the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, or to make a donation, visit their website, http://farmtoconsumerfoundation.org. The phone number is: 703-208-FARM (3276).

Contact
Kimberly Hartke
Publicist
The Weston A. Price Foundation
press@westonaprice.org
703-860-2711
Cell: 703-675-5557

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