Government intrusion in farmer-customer relationship…….

farmerWhat better indication do we need that our government is out of control that when hard working farmers – the life-blood of this country – cannot conduct business and meet their customers needs without tremendous anti-business rules and regulations. What I am talking about is government interfering with farmers selling their crops and products to customers that want them.

Here is one example:

On June 2, 2010, representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)  conducted a raid at the Vernon Hershberger farm. DATCP agents intentionally destroyed nearly 300 gallons of fresh milk by pouring blue dye into the bulk tank, claiming the milk was “adulterated and misbranded”—even though there was no logical, factual, or scientific basis for this conclusion. The milk was unpasteurized, as is all milk on all farms that is stored in bulk tanks. The agents then placed a holding order on all the fresh, wholesome food in coolers on the property, most of which belonged to members of the Hershberger’s private buying club, and some of which belonged to the Hershberger family.
Mr. Hershberger then faced a serious dilemma: allow the wholesome, perishable food to go to waste while he engaged in lengthy administrative wrangling with DATCP or allow the rightful owners of the property to take it from the coolers. Mr. Hershberger followed his conscience and allowed the owners to retrieve their food. Vernon Hershberger’s religious principles prevented him from standing by, while nutritious food rotted.


As someone who participates in farmer co-ops, and does as much business as possible with local farmers -this is just ridiculous. I realize that there needs to be regulations and policies to protect cpnsumers and to make our food supply safe, but this is ridiculous.


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14 thoughts on “Government intrusion in farmer-customer relationship…….”

  1. The amount of government subsidies involved in agriculture is insane. The folks who want to have their cake and eat it too (get the subsidies/ reduced price crop insurance, etc) but not play by the rules are at best hypocritical.

    Now if we are talking about the kind of farmers in non subsidized areas who genuinely want to be left alone I am sympathetic.

  2. @ GoneWithTheWind, By my pretty liberterian viewpoint raw milk is fine as long as it’s clearly labeled. If folks want it along with its perceived benefits and arguable risks then I do not see why the force of government or your beliefs should stand in the way.

    We will continue drinking pasteurized milk but if other folks want it then I say it’s their choice.

  3. There is another dairy in Missouri that recently got put out of buisness because they did unpasturizing and the Mo milk board conviscated over $250,000 worth of cheese , spread the word. Morning Land Dairy in Mountain View MO thanks and we appreciate what you do, cindy

  4. “Control the food supply – control the people.”

    Brought to you by THE POTENTATE, Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

    Stack it high!

  5. All part of Agenda 21. . . . . wait til they tell you that you cant have a garden, or chickens, or goats, etc. and you can’t share with your neighbors. How long will we put up with this crap?! Legislative action is becoming a waste of rapidly disappearing time- the powers-that-be don’t follow the rules- we are foolish to do so- it is only giving them the advantage.

  6. I think the government should be much smaller and less intrusive. However the issue of pastuerization is not one of freedom it is an issue of public health. I could honestly care less if someone chooses to drink unpasteurized milk in much the same way I don’t care if you do crack. But you cannot sell it into the public food system anymore then you can sell crack. Before pasteurization raw milk killed millions. It was a common source of many diseases and the contamination alone could kill you. The federal and state governments have a right to regulate health safety and to enmforce it. No dairy has been put out of business if they did they right thing, In every case they were breaking the law and did so knowingly. I have as little sympathy for them as I do for tax evaders.

    Cheese is a different issue. It is perfectly legal and a common practice to make cheese from unpasteurized milk. The law only requires that the cheese be aged at least 60 days before sale or consumption. So the claim regarding cheese above is bogus and someone isn’t telling you the truth.

  7. GWTW, I have seen you comment on a couple of survival sites now and your comments always negative. I really think you are a TROLL. If I choose to buy raw milk from a farmer then it is my choice not yours or the goverment. And where the hell did it say they are evading taxs they are just selling raw products. And besides the law is antiquated on the disease issue with raw milk for the simple fact when the law was passed there was not proper refridgiration and definitley suspect handling of milk. I would love to force feed you 60 day old cottage cheese.

  8. Regarding: Gone With The Wind: It is not within the Federal Governments authority to regulate milk or for that matter any issue regarding public health. The Constitution states all authority specifically not given to the Federal Government resides within the authority of the States. Therefore it is completely and solely a State Issue. I see absolutely no problem selling unpasteurized milk to the public as long as the container of milk is BOLDLY labeled “UNPASTEURIZED”. In this manner, an individual retains the freedom to consume that which he/she chooses to consume. Personally, I would never consume unpasteurized milk, but then that is my right, freedom, and choice to do so.
    Thank you,

  9. GWTW,

    The milk is pasteurized to make it have a longer shelf life. It also destroys part of the nutritional value of milk.

    All milk on farms is NOT pasteurized. After it is picked up from the farms it is processed. So, their adding dye to the product is only an attempt to get control of someone that they don’t have control of.

  10. It is naive to say that the federal government has no constitutional ability to regulate any issue regarding public health. Have you really thought that through? As for raw milk being safe now because we have refrigeration, could you really be that uninformed? None of the health issues around raw milk were the result of lack of refrigeration. It was the diseases found in the milk itself and contamination from the process of milking, storing and transporting it. It is easy today to think that raw milk must be safe because thanks to the government regulation all milk is safe. But prior to pasteurization milk killed millions of people. To be an adult today in a modern educated society and not know that is a sad testament to our education system. The government does not tell you that you cannot drink raw milk. It simply reguates dairies, distributers, food providers and retailers. You can have a cow and mik it and drink it, it is indeed their choice. What you cannot do is introduce it into the food supply or do anything that might allow it to be introduced into the food supply.

  11. You said it TROLL. I think you are the one misinformd. I think if an adult wants to drink raw milk or feed it to there kids it totally up to them. The farmer is doing nothing wrong by selling it to them as long as it’s labeled or they are told. You act like these farmers are trying to sneak something into the food supply. When in fact it’s big business that has their grubby paws in the whole thing. Growing up on a dairy I know how milk is handled these big dairies hire low cost labor to milk a thousand head of cattle they don’t see the signs of infection or mastitis oops. But the proccessor will still take it if the so called count is not too high. But a little dairy operation the owner milks and he knows his cows, He see’s signs of infection and sickness. He knows if he gives that cow antibiotics that he can’t milk her with the rest. the little farmer has mo morales than big buisness.

  12. Should farmers be able to sell food that is contaminated? Raw milk is contaminated. “Diseases which may be transmitted by micro-organisms in raw milk or raw milk products include salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, yersiniosis, listeriosis,
    staphylococcal enterotoxin poisoning, streptococcal infections, tuberculosis and E. Coli 0157:H7 infection.”

    “Although the initial impact of the disease is on the individual consumer, many pathogens may be transmitted from person to person, including to family members, and patrons of restaurants if the individual is a food handler. The fetus of a pregnant woman may be at risk. Some of the diseases associated with the pathogens can lead to death,
    particularly among vulnerable persons.”

    Raw milk can cause serious infections. Raw milk and raw milk products (such as cheeses and yogurts made with raw milk) can be contaminated with bacteria that can cause serious illness, hospitalization, or death. These harmful bacteria include Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Mycobacterium bovis, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Shigella, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Yersinia enterocolitica. From 1998 through 2009, 93 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported to CDC. These resulted in 1,837 illnesses, 195 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths. Because not all cases of foodborne illness are recognized and reported, the actual number of illnesses associated with raw milk likely is greater.

    Because of the potential for serious illness, federal law prohibits dairies from distributing raw milk across state lines in final package form (packaged so that it can be consumed). This means that raw milk can only be distributed across state lines if it is going to be pasteurized or used to make aged (over 60 days) cheese before being sold to consumers. Each state makes its own laws about selling raw milk within the borders of the state. In about half of states, sale of raw milk directly to consumers is illegal. In the remaining states, raw milk may be sold to directly to consumers.

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