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UPDATE: Appeal Filed for Sauk Co. Raw Milk Farmer

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email


UPDATED: Thur 1:22 PM, Jul 03, 2013

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A Virginia farmer rights group has filed an appeal on behalf of a Wisconsin dairy farmer convicted of misdemeanor related to the sale of raw milk.

Vernon Hershberger was found guilty in May of one count of violating a holding order placed on products at his Loganville farm after a 2010 raid.

Hershberger was found not guilty of charges alleging he sold retail food, produced milk and operated a dairy plant without proper state licenses.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed the appeal Tuesday night.

During his trial a redacted hold order was submitted to the jury for review. On its website, the farmer rights group says attorneys believe the jury would have cleared Hershberger of all charges had they seen the full hold order.

A judge fined Hershberger $1,000.

UPDATE: 6/26 at 9:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Four jurors in a case involving a Wisconsin farmer who sold raw milk say they asked the judge to be lenient when he sentenced the farmer for violating a holding order placed on his products.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says the jurors feel they passed judgment against organic farmer Vernon Hershberger without being given all the evidence.

They found Hershberger not guilty on charges that he produced milk and operated a dairy plant without a license, and illegally sold food in a retail establishment. But they found him guilty of violating the holding order because he admitted to doing so.

But 51-year-old Michele Bollfrass-Hopp of Merrimac says jurors weren't allowed to judge whether the holding order was valid.
Sauk County Judge Guy Reynolds fined Hershberger $1,500.

ORIGINAL STORY: 5/20 at 4:08 p.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has been selected to hear the licensing trial of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who supporters say is being targeted for selling raw milk.

Attorneys for Loganville farmer Vernon Hershberger and the Wisconsin Department of Justice spent Monday morning questioning prospective jurors before agreeing on the 12-member panel.

Advocates believe their freedom to choose to drink raw milk is on trial. But state officials say the only issue is licensing.

Hershberger is charged with distributing milk from his Grazin' Acres dairy farm without a milk producer's license, operating a retail food establishment and dairy plant without licenses, and violating a hold order placed on his dairy products after a raid on his farm.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the judge hopes the trial will be completed by Friday.

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