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.

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Canadian Government Wants Peaceful Farmers Imprisoned in Sheep Case

Raw milk celebrity farmer, Michael Schmidt, and Shepherdess Montana Jones, are threatened with potentially ten years in prison. According to its website, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is charging the farmers with a litany of violations related to thedisappearance of Jones’ herd of healthy, heritage breed Shropshire sheep in 2012.

The farmers’ crowdfunding page, set up by attorney and Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director, Karen Selick, explains the details, including the need for immediate and continuing funding to keep these two peaceful, courageous farmers out of prison.

In addition to the CFIA ire over the disappearing sheep, various government agencies have attempted, for years, to prevent Michael Schmidt’s staunch support of raw milk and his continued persistence in supplying it to his community. According to Selick,

“Michael is a celebrity in the Real Food movement because of decades of activism aimed at legalizing the sale of raw milk. It’s reported that the CFIA desperately wants to put Michael in jail.”

This case could define the lives of two heroes of the real food movement. More importantly, it will define the movement: will outrageous and draconian criminal charges stick against peaceful farmers whose lives are dedicated to raising animals humanely? Or will the people come together in unity to stand with these farmers upon whom we all depend?

Please donate to the legal defense of Michael and Montana. And, once you have, as Karen requests, please ask others to do the same. Let us set a different precedent than the CFIA hopes to set and send the message that we value our dedicated farmers.

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

 

 

Overheard in a British Columbia Cheese Shop

Rumor has it that legislation to legalize raw milk is in the works in British Columbia. Though nothing is official yet, this tip comes to us from a customer of a high-end specialty cheese shop who heard from a reliable source with connections to the health department. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

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.  westonaprice.org/lab

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt Back in Court February 5, 2014

On February 5, 2014, Canadian dairy farmer Michael Schmidt will be back in court to appeal his 2011 conviction of charges stemming from the sale of raw milk. This February marks 20 years of his raw milk struggle.

On his blog, The Bovine, Schmidt notes that since he began his raw milk struggle against the Canadian government 20 years ago, there have been: 3 Popes in the Vatican; 3 U.S. presidents; 260,000 deaths directly related to smoking in Ontario alone; and 0 deaths due to raw milk.

“And raw milk still keeps flowing at Glencolton Farms, because the cows keep coming home in the morning and in the evening – the amazing reality of life,” he writes to his followers. “I have not counted the days in court, the amount of court papers and the money spent on defending our right for food of our choice. I just know that we WILL prevail.”

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

Farmers Experiment with Milk Treated with UV Light Instead of Pasteurization

Several farmers in the United States and other countries are experimenting with treating milk with ultraviolet light instead of pasteurization, for feeding calves on the farm. Pasteurization does not guarantee the destruction of all pathogens, but it does kill beneficial nutrients such as proteins and vitamins. Exposure to UV light does not destroy pathogens but it does prevent them from reproducing, and the technology has been successfully used to purify water.

One dairy farmer in New York has been feeding his calves UV-treated milk. He “wrestles a 3-week-old calf onto a scale. The calf totters about; the scale reads 52 kilograms, a healthy weight. [The farmer] makes a note.”

Another dairy farmer in Minnesota installed a UV milk purifier on his farm a year and a half ago. “We were having a lot of problems with clostridia when we were feeding milk replacer,” he said. “That was all but eliminated after we switched over to feeding UV purified milk.”

Michael Schmidt, the author of The Bovine blog who conducted his own two-calf study comparing the effects of feeding calves raw milk vs. store-bought pasteurized milk, writes of the UV milk experiments: “If it works for calves, why wouldn’t it work for people? Though probably the bar of surety is set higher when we’re dealing with food for humans.”

Draw your own conclusions by reading more about the experiment here:

http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/uv-light-instead-of-pasteurization/

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