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Raw Milk Case Against Amish Farmer Goes to Trial
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/23/2013

The case against an Amish dairy farmer from Loganville who was charged in 2010 for selling raw milk will go before a jury trial next month. On Monday, Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy Reynolds ruled that Vernon Hershberger, who faces criminal charges involving unlicensed dairy production and food sales, cannot use his religious beliefs as a reason to avoid going to court.

Hershberger faces four misdemeanors related to the sale of unpasteurized milk. The farmer had his hearing delayed last fall after he claimed his religious beliefs do not allow taking someone to court. But Judge Reynolds said a person's faith could not be used as a reason to avoid going through the legal judicial process.

As Wisconsin Ag Connection has reported, Hershberger was charged with operating food-and-dairy facilities without a license and violating a hold-order placed on his products following a 2010 raid on his property. He also faces a charge of running a dairy farm without a license since that right was revoked after the first charges were brought against him.

Meanwhile, Hershberger has since set up a 'buyer's club' with about 100 families who purchase raw milk from his operation. He claims that by doing that, he's not technically selling illegal products to the public.

The case is scheduled for a final pre-trial conference May 7, which is to be followed by a five-day jury trial beginning May 20.

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