Close to State of Emergency: Update on Hershberger and the Raid on the Farm Food Ministries

Since writing this article, many people have donated to the The Hershberger Family Farm Food Freedom (4-F) Fund (Facebook), planned a rally for this Friday, wrote letters and made phone calls.  The mailing address for donations is below if you are not on Facebook. — Augie

We are sliding into a state of emergency if farmers, 
the foundation of society, are systematically eliminated through 
over-regulation, licenses, raids and economic strangulation. Unless the
 consumers who care about their food rally around the last remaining farms 
we will face a crisis beyond imagination. Our food system
 is a fragile house of cards.—Michael Schmidt, Canadian biodynamic dairyman, ARMi Co-director

“There is a power that kicks in, which is beyond measure” . . . Vernon Hershberger

I spoke with Vernon Hershberger again tonight to let him know nice money is coming in for his defense from the Wisconsin ARMi fundraiser. He also gave me some big news you have not yet heard that I will reveal at the end of the article.

For the third time since the raid last week, the State and its agents came on the property. Yesterday, as the armed deputies with the judge’s warrant approached the door after Vernon refused them entry, “the kids locked the door from the inside . . . just in the nick of time.”

With continued courage, Vernon Hershberger and his family, continues his acts of defiance and disobedience to the government officials and bureaucrats—who demands that he stop providing food to those who already own it—until he gets a license that they will not issue—and threatening fines of $4000 per day per violation of rules he believes do not apply.

There are the constitutional guarantees at issue here:

1) the right to own private property

2) the right to privately contract (make an agreement) with individuals

3) the right to learn and decide what foods and health options are best for you and your family

4) the right to do business with those you trust and honor and wish to trade with;

5) the right to contract for one’s food for a future delivery; the right to take delivery; and the right to own a share of a farm/food production operation.

Why must we run to the State to ask permission to exercise rights that have already been given freely and endowed by the Creator and affirmed by the Constitution?

Then there is the major issue of interference of the State on freedom to practice ones religious faith—in this case the belief that the purpose of work is in part to have something left over to share with someone who is in need.

Many believe in the command from a higher law to share and give of their abundance to those you choose. Many believe that when the law of the State and the law of God conflict, is is better to obey the latter and disobey the State– and to suffer whatever penalty is applied. To break one’s faith in action is difficult– and not without public outcry. 

The State is claiming jurisdiction over these simple basic rights—the right to work and share/give of the food they produce to those who have said they need it for their health and have agreed to accept the food in a private arrangement.

Pete Kennedy, an attorney with Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Foundation quoted Vernon’s own words in a legal update yesterday:


Coming from an Amish background, we had been taught the biblical principles of non-resistance and loving and praying for our enemies and those who persecute us.  

I slept only a few hours and meditated a long time, seeking the Lord and His will in these troubling circumstances.  What would Jesus do?  Bible passages like: “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake”. (Matt. 5:11)  “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, Bless them that curse you, do good to them which hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you’.” (Matt. 5:44)  Also Psalms 37 has promises that we can claim for our own if we trust in him.  

There is another phrase that is very powerful that I strongly believe in: There’s no greater love that a man can have than to lay down his life for his friend.  If we become so passionate about something that we are willing to lay down our lives for it, there is a power that kicks in, which is beyond measure.  As all these things were going around in my head,  I thought to myself:  As we head into the future we do not know what it holds but we know Who holds it and that’s what counts.

Many may not understand “laying down one’s life” does not require dying for a cause or a person—it means a huge sacrifice in some way—to make the way better for others.

Rosanne Lindsay is co-director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Raw Milk (WI ARMi) a rapid-growth 1000 member-Facebook site. Lindsay told the Journal:

The state’s invasion of Vernon’s farm and the threats against Vernon and his family represent a broader threat against liberty.   Raw milk has become a linch pin in a fight for food sovereignty and health freedom.  Vernon and Erma are leading us to the truth by their actions of civil disobedience.  Will we follow and preserve the rights we were born with?

Many are saying now (along with actions taken by state and federal agents nationally) that the State is calling evil good and good evil. The fires of passion are beginning to spread.  

 In my opinion, I think if the farmers and consumers of Wisconsin should join together in a class action against the state in a civil suit for triple personal and business damages. I also challenge those within the local and state agencies who might side with the Hershberger’s situation to come out of the closet and speak out.

Vernon told me a lawsuit against the State may be pending for its actions—being called by his supporters as illegal. The Hershberger Farm Food Freedom Fund has reached only $1600 for his defense and what may be a countersuit ($2300 total gifts received). Give generously and help make the point where the line is drawn.

FACEBOOKERS ONLY–The Hershberger Family Farm Food Freedom (4-F) Fund

Send your checks to:

Hershbergers

Grazin’ Acres Farm

6145 S Hwy 23

Loganville, WI 53943

For more on the story– http://www.ftcldf.org/news/WI-DATCP-raids-hershberger-kennedy.htm

(Where should the State draw the line? Do they want control of all property and all agreements (contracts) between individuals. These government officials and bureacrats should know there are civil and criminal fines and penalties set aside personally for those who knowingly participate in illegal actions in the line of duty. It is especially serious when this is all set within the widely known and broadcasted organized crime of the State conspiring together with the dairy, meat and poultry cartels to control food markets, set prices and compete unfairly—which is the subject of an investigation by the US Department of Justice and the Administration, not only in Wisconsin but many other states.)

See Original Story– Incident at Grazin Acres Farm

ACTION TO TAKE IS HERE
Dear Members,

 

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has been on the farm of Vernon and Erma Hershberger (Grazin’ Acres) three times in the past week.  The Hershbergers have been selling products of the farm at their on-farm store to members of a private buying club.  DATCP is trying to shut down their operation and has referred the matter to the Sauk County District Attorney even though there have been no complaints against Grazin’ Acres nor any record of food produced at the farm ever making anyone ill. 

The Hershbergers need your help in order to continue to provide healthy food to the many members of the buying club.

ACTION TO TAKE
1.  DATCP has referred the Hershbergers’ case to the Sauk County District Attorney, Patricia Barrett, for potential prosecution.  Everyone is urged to contact Barrett’s office and request that she not prosecute the Hershberger case.  Sauk County residents are especially encouraged to contact the District Attorney and inform her that you will not vote for her the next election if she pursues the Hershberger case.  The District Attorney has already taken so many calls on this case that they are no longer accepting them; but you can still contact the DA’s office by email, fax and/or postal mail.  Here is the contact information:

Patricia Barrett, Esq.
Sauk County District Attorney
Sauk County Court House
515 Oak Street
Baraboo, WI  53913
Phone (608) 355-3207
Fax (608)355-3282
patricia.barrett@da.wi.gov

2. Contact the Sauk County Sheriff’s office and urge them not to participate in any investigation of the Hershbergers.  Here is the contact information:

Randy Stammen, Sheriff
Sauk County Sheriff 
Law Enforcement Center
1300 Lange Court
Baraboo, WI  53913
Admin Phone (608) 355-3207
Fax (608) 355-3598
rstammen@co.sauk.wi.us

3. Use the talking points at the end of this alert to persuade the County DA and the Sheriff not to pursue the Hershberger case.  

4.  Enlist others to join in this campaign to help the Hershbergers and farms like Grazin’ Acres.

BACKGROUND
On June 2, DATCP officials, Jacqueline Owens and Cathleen Anderson along with Sauk County Health Department officials and deputies of the County Sheriff descended upon Vernon and Erma Hershberger’s dairy farm, Grazin’ Acres in Loganville, to execute a “special inspection” warrant. DATCP inspectors taped freezers in the Hershbergers’ farm store and placed a hold order on thousands of dollars of food in the store, mostly raw milk and raw milk products. Under the hold order, the Hershbergers were prohibited from selling or even moving any of the food in the taped freezers. DATCP sent inspectors out to the farm because the Hershbergers had refused to comply with an intrusive request by the agency for documents and information going back over seven years.

The Hershbergers’ on-farm store sold products only to members of the private buying club.  Vernon told reporters that under the Constitution, he was allowed to enter into private contracts and that DATCP had no jurisdiction over his operation. DATCP has referred the matter to the Sauk County District Attorney.

On June 8, Owens and Anderson returned to the farm without a warrant, attempting to conduct another inspection of the farm store.  Vernon refused the request for an inspection and the officials left his premises.  Before leaving, they served Vernon a ‘Special Order’ which could subject him to fines of up to $5,000 per violation if he is not in compliance with Wisconsin food and dairy laws.

On June 10, Owens and Anderson again returned to the farm, this time with a warrant but the store doors were locked; so, again they left without searching the store.  

POINTS TO MAKE
1. The County DA and Sheriff should not be spending taxpayer money, pursuing cases like this in which there is no victim or injury.  There has been no complaint filed by anyone against the Hershbergers.

2. The only injury in a case like this occurs when the farmer or food distributor is prosecuted and consumers who were obtaining foods they deem best for their health and the health of their families have now lost their source of those foods.

3. The right of consumers to obtain the foods of their choice from the source of their choice is a political issue; cases like this in which there has been no injury do not belong in the courts nor should the Sheriff be participating in any investigation of them.  The County DA and Sheriff should exercise their discretion not to get involved in these cases.

4. With the tough economic times and all the cutbacks in government spending, the County DA and Sheriff should not be using their remaining enforcement dollars pursuing victimless crimes. 

5. Let the County DA and Sheriff know how food direct from farms has benefitted your health and the health of your family.

PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL WHEN YOU CONTACT THESE OFFICIALS

TO BE REMOVED FROM OUR MEMBER EMAIL LIST, email info@westonaprice.org

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More on the story –http://www.ftcldf.org/news/WI-DATCP-raids-hershberger-kennedy.htm

21 responses to “Close to State of Emergency: Update on Hershberger and the Raid on the Farm Food Ministries

  1. Scott Hamilton

    We need to organazize a massive protest at the Sauk County DA’s office. i am going to begin to try and organize one. Please contact me at scott.hamilton49@yahoo.com if you can attend or help organize.

    I am going to pencil in next Friday, June 18th at the DA’s office in Sauk County at 10 AM.

  2. I would say that the sheriff SHOULD get involved in this case by upholding his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. He should protect the citizens of his county from government oppression and harassment. If anyone can hold the wolves at bay, it’s the county sheriff.

    • You hit the nail on the head Joanne…The Sheriff is the only official who has a legal jurisdiction on the issue. No one else has any legal Constitutional Right to interfere…maybe the Sheriff is a paid for puppet. Or by now he would have made the case…all woos Sheriffs…get your butts moving…out, get someone with the bravery of say the Sheriff of Texas!~ Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said: “You farmers, I’m telling you right now, arm yourselves. As they say the old story is, it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. Damn it, I don’t want to see six people carrying you.”http://thecrimereport.org/2010/04/09/texas-border-sheriff-to-local-farmers-arm-yourselves/

  3. Terijo Brewton

    This is what happens when government gets too big. It grows bigger still.

    “They” will always find reasons why “we” are safer if “they” control us and our property. This is only one more example of why “we” are safest when we control our own property. Otherwise, “they” will eventually control all of our property, including our incomes, our thermostats, our cars, our children and our very lives.

  4. Engaging in a process of compromise with the state to find a solution how to negotiate a granting of rights to the free individual is highly degrading. Either we are free and embrace responsibility or we are slaves and demand protection. Make your choice.
    To negotiate freedom with the state is like being a pig negotiating with the butc…her how to be killed humanely.
    The line is drawn in the soil.

  5. I just left a detailed and respectful message for the Saulk county sheriffs office. All the way from out here in Mission Viejo CA. God speed Hershbergers! Keep strong during this ordeal!

  6. I agree totally with Michael Schmidt. negotiating with these usurpers of power is giving them power. agreed. If we have RIGHTS, endowed by our Creator (and I believe that is exactly the truth and the facts), then they are fully wrong to expect us to give them any power including the acknowledgement of negotiation with them.

    May the Hershbergers find the comfort and the courage from their Creator in clearly guiding and protecting them from these threats.

  7. World Peace, World love Now!

  8. I will send off my letters on Monday, from here in TX. Food freedom is a fundamental right.

  9. This is an opportunity for the farmers to join together (possibly as Michael Schmidt suggested in a class action suit) in lawful processes that ideally will hold the agents personally liable for the actions they committed under color of law but that were outside genuine lawful authority, the kind authorized by we the Sovereign People!
    Consider that it may not be enough to sue the government. However, holding the individuals personally liable will not only give all government agents a lot more to consider (in their attacks against farmers) it will inspire and empower other farmers with additional “tools” that are apparently needed now to keep the farms intact.

    • It was my idea, Chef. I could see why readers might have thought this article was written by Schmidt (because of the lead-in quote). However, I am afraid I will take the blame. I just made it clearer now at the top.

  10. A nice letter from Jack Moore was written to the DA and the media here

    http://hartkeisonline.com/2010/06/12/letter-in-support-of-vernon-hershberger/#more-6653

    It references the Journal and this article also.

  11. Pingback: Houston Area Liberty Campaign » Blog Archive » Farm Raid

  12. I really am glad that the government inspects farms, resturants, commercial processing plants etc. for minimal compliance to safe handling of food that is sold commercially.

    How does an Amish claim it violates his faith to be subject to the government as he is commanded to in Titus 3:1

    Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

    Why does pasturizing milk that you sell (albiet through a friends club) become some type of martyr’s cross.

    Pasturize the milk or don’t sell it, it is a good regulation

  13. Get this. Aajonus Vonderplanitz wrote a letter to Wisconsin DATCP (cc’d others) in defense of Hershberger. Now the California authorities have raided his private club and gunpoint and confiscated their property.

    This is revolting!

  14. Pingback: Letter in Support of Vernon Hershberger

  15. Pingback: Grazin’ Acres Update « The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

  16. Pingback: Raw Milk Raids in Wisconsin and California » CHEESESLAVE

  17. I am sure that the Amish can answer for themselves (regarding their Faith) however in regards to “Titus 3:1” that scripture does not stand alone! The context of that scripture is God-ordained authorities and I would respectfully suggest that the purpose of those authorities be considered as well and that purpose is always to maintain peace among the people. People have natural Rights and / God-given Rights to live in peace. In addition, now we have the sovereignty of the people to consider within all of our “God ordained” American Republics. (It is no longer just a matter of the outer authorities that we have to obey.) We, the people have authority as well both collectively and individually! Believe it or not our authority is actually superior to the ordained authorities. (At least that is what the law says in my state Republic.) In any case the scriptures plainly declare there’s a distinction between what is “God’s” and what is “Caesar’s” (Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25). And milk, the act of milking, the distribution and drinking of milk does not in any way shape or form come from “Caesar”!

    Although Interstate commerce can be regulated (within the limitations that are authorized in Article I, Section 8) Interstate commerce is not really the issue here. That is because the regulation of commerce is the regulation on the transportation of commercial goods crossing state lines and not a blanket authorization to regulate the goods themselves. Look at the early commentaries at law on this and if you do I am sure you can see that the present day federal applications have gone far beyond the original intent “To regulate commerce”. “Caesar” was never ever authorized with any God-given authority over milk. The authority to self-regulate remains with the farmers.

    American farmers have natural Rights and/or a God-given Rights to share their farm goods in ways that they are at peace about and that includes ways other than the ways of “the world” or “commerce”. American farmers have their own inner authority that is sufficient for all their farming needs and when they share their goods within their community they can essentially self-regulate according to the needs of the community they serve.

    Anyone who has concerns about the quality of their local farm goods can communicate with the farmer. Farm food quality is not up “Caesar”. Caesar is not even a farmer!

    • Go to the head of the class, Chef Jem– I just caught the old comment today– and glad you took the time to respond so well. There is always a gray and black market–besides the one set aside by commercial law controlled by the state– wherein nearly everyone is bluffed into thinking they must be a part of.

      Raw camel milk is still popular in the Middle East–as it was in Jesus’ day– even though one of the countries banned it from roadside sales ( the health department) two years back. I do not think he would have a problem with taking some today at a roadside stand– as he has been known to work on the Sabbath and tell the authorities what he thought of them.

      Having talked to Vernon– it is his belief to continue serving milk and honey as is commanded– and be in alignment with God’s word and will for him right now. I admire that.

    • Bravo~Bingo~Ditto~ WELL SAID….

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