Wise Traditions Conference 2012 – Thursday

Wise Traditions Conference 2012:


Sally Fallon Morell at the Chapter Leader Meeting

Thursday morning the conference started with the Chapter Leader meeting. This had up until this year been held on the Monday following the conference, but they moved it this year.

The Chapter Leader’s meeting, where you might think we learn the secret handshakes and other mysterious stuff, was actually taken up with presentations of information for us to take back to our chapters.

Sally Fallon Morell:

Our first speaker was Sally Fallon Morell (president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions). We learned that there are now 15,700 members in WAPF! There are 580 chapter leaders worldwide.  Ten percent of them are overseas with New Zealand having the highest number of members per capita of any country.  Sally keeps saying; This is truly an international organization now.

Pete Kennedy:

Our next presenter was Pete Kennedy, is a lawyer and president of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/). The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund was created by Weston Price people to “Protect the constitutional right of the nation’s family farms and artisan food producers to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means.” (read the FTCLDF mission statement)

Pete spoke about membership in the FTCLDF. There are 4 membership categories:

  • Farmer – $125/yr
  • Consumer – $50/yr
  • Associates – $250/yr
  • Artisan Producers – $125/yr

The memberships include free legal advice, and the possibility of legal representation (see http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/benefits.html for more info). They provide a 24-hour 1-800 number for members to call in the case of situations such as the health department coming to your door. We highly recommend everyone join this organization.

Chapter Leader group photo

Pete also gave us updates on some recent cases they had taken on. You may have heard about one in particular that resulted in a statement by the FDA that made the rounds on the internet. The FDA went on record as saying that (in their opinion) we have no fundamental right to consume or feed our children the foods of our choice! (see more: http://farmtoconsumer.org/litigation-FDA-status.htm) Wow, and who gave them that power? I say its time to take that power back into our own hands.

Chapter Leader Photo:

Next we took a break for our Chapter Leader group photo.

Elisa vander-Hout-Schmidt:

Next we heard from Elisa vander-Hout-Schmidt, who is the wife of Michael Schmidt. Michael is a raw milk farmer in Canada where it is illegal to sell raw milk. Michael has gone to jail and on a hunger strike in order to forward the raw milk movement in Canada.

Gary Cox:

Gary Cox

What to do during a raid

Gary Cox from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund gave a wonderful presentation on what you should do in case of a farm raid (We also had in the audience Victoria Bloch, a chapter leader from Los Angeles, who went to jail in the raid on Rawsome Foods. She said she was going to have a T-Shirt made that said “I’ve been strip-searched for Raw Milk!”)

None of us like to think of the possibility of a raid happening to our farmer, but the presentation was very good. I am going to try to get a hold of the PowerPoint to show locally. Contact me if you would like more info.

In case you can’t read the points on the What to do during a raid photo, they are (you can also click on any of the photos to view them larger):

  • Read the warrant
    • Specificity of places to be searched
    • Specificity of items to be seized
    • Demand copy of inventory
  • Notify all members
  • Bring Camera/video recorder / take notes
  • Follow course of inspection
  • Do not hinder, thwart, obstruct or delay the inspection
  • Do not make any statements

And of course, if you are a member in the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the very first thing to do is call the 1-800 hotline and get some legal advice! Gary talked about situations where the health inspector was in the process of telling the farmer to dump all their food in the trash, when the FTCLDF discovered that the warrant didn’t give them the right to do this at all.

Beef Stew, Herb Roasted Acorn Squash, Winter Greens with Shaved Fennel and Celeriac, Sauerkraut and Butter


Lunch was provided by New Trends Publishing (publishers of Nourishing Traditions and many other great books). We had the first of our wonderful meals at this conference.

We had Beef Stew, Herb Roasted Acorn Squash, Winter Greens with Shaved Fennel and Celeriac, Sauerkraut and Butter.  The Herb Roasted Acorn Squash was my favorite! Makes my mouth water just to think about it. For desert we had roasted bananas with coconut. It was way too sweet for my tastes, and I wished I’d finished with a second helping of the squash.

Charlotte Smith:

After lunch we had a presentation from Charlotte Smith of Champoeg Creamery (right here in Oregon!). Champoeg Creamery is the first farm to be certified by the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI). The Raw Milk Institute was launched last year. Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy in California was one of the founders.

Charlotte Smith

She gave a touching account of the situation that lead to her creating the Oregon Raw Milk Producers Association. Charlotte told the story of a farm in her area that had a recent serious outbreak of disease. She had heard that this farm wasn’t clean. She felt so helpless to watch this terrible thing happen, and wanted to do something to prevent future outbreaks. So she got the idea of founding the Oregon Raw Milk Producers Association in order to provide safety, structure and education to raw milk in Oregon. Mark McAfee joined her on stage and she and Mark talked about their common goal of responsible and safe raw milk production. We saw photos of her farm, and heard about her experiences with becoming certified with RAWMI. I was very pleased to hear about the work that Charlotte is doing with raw milk producers. She is also the organizer of the Raw Milk Seminar in Junction City (at Deck Family Farm on November 19th).

Sara Pope:

Sarah Pope

Sara Pope is a chapter leader in Florida, and has contributed many videos on the Weston A. Price website. She talked about introducing raw milk to moms. She started off saying that she was from the South, and they have a saying:

“If Momma ain’t happy… Noooooooobody happy”

She said that the mommas she came into contact with are not happy. More moms are having to work outside the home, run single-family households, take care of their families, and their kids are getting more and more sick. The moms she sees have lost their fear of raw milk, and are desperate for anything that will help their children. She gave some strategies for introducing raw milk to moms. She said to talk one on one. Moms are getting more suspicious of “authorities” telling them what to do. Especially when so much of the info is in conflict with each other. Raw milk is helping children recover their health.

Judith McGeary:

Judith McGeary

Judith McGeary is a lawyer and organizer that has been instrumental in fighting back the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). She said that for a history of the farm bureau, etc. a great book was called “Dollar Harvest”. She also said that in the 2008 campaign Obama made a promise to label GMOs. She said there is a good YouTube video of this.

I found this one:


We ended the Chapter Leaders meeting with a panel discussion. In years past we had breakout sessions, in which we meet in small groups around tables, and each table discusses a different subject. I was kind of disappointed not to have one this time.

Thai meal at restaurant in San Jose

After the day’s events my traveling companions and I drove into San Jose to find some dinner. We ate at a Thai restaurant. We had some roast duck, a chicken thing (that I can’t remember the name of), salad, and a couple of sauces. One side dish was a pineapple chutney-type sauce that we figured had traditionally been fermented. Jasmine rice was served in a cup made from a piece of real bamboo.

Wise Traditions Conference 2012:

Oregon Raw Milk Producers Association

This is  letter I received from a raw milk farmer in St. Paul, Oregon:

Hello Oregon WAPF Chapter Leaders –

I have founded the Oregon Raw Milk Producers Association, we are applying for non-profit status, and our main goal is to educate raw milk producers in the state of Oregon so we can insure safe raw milk for consumers.  Before this group there was no education or resources whatsoever.  We are offering quarterly educational seminars.

The reason I’m writing is this next seminar we are offering would be great for chapter leaders and all consumers of raw milk.  The presenter, Tim Wightman, wrote the Raw Milk Handbook that you may have seen before – both Weston A. Price and Farm To Consumer sell it and you can also download his “Chore Time” videos here.  He owned a raw milk dairy for 14 yrs. and is president of the Farm to Consumer Foundation.  You can read more about him and the topics for the day on the attached flyer.  The topics he covers – soil health, how to identify failing soil and what to do, herd health, proper milking practices and milk handling – and more – are all crucial to raw milk businesses as well as it’s great info for you chapter leaders to know in your quest and promotion of raw milk dairies.  Education of consumers will also help raise the bar for raw milk producer’s standards, as consumers will start to demand safer practices as they learn.

There is an attached flyer to give you more info.  Feel free to forward the flyer to lists you may have of interested parties.  Also, I do not know all the producers out there – if you know a producer, milk or goat, please encourage them to contact me to get on our mailing list for future educational opportunities.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Charlotte Smith

Champoeg Creamery
7798 Champoeg Rd NE
St. Paul, OR 97137

follow us on twitter: @champoegcreamry
Milking Video

I was very excited to read about the Oregon Raw Milk  Producers Association, and would like to encourage everyone on this list who eats to become members of both this group and the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Information about the upcoming seminar is in the post: Raw Milk seminar in Junction City.

Food Freedom and Jury Nullification

Do you know about “Jury Nullification”?

This is from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

The Hershberger Trial and Jury Nullification
By Pete Kennedy, Esq. | February 24, 2012

Sometime later this year Loganville, Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger will be tried before a jury in Sauk County Circuit Court on four criminal misdemeanor counts accusing him of violating the state Food and Dairy Code. The case has drawn widespread attention in Wisconsin, with Hershberger’s supporters rallying to his cause.

A question that has been raised about the trial is: can the jury hearing the case legally engage in jury nullification and return a verdict of not guilty on the charges no matter what the facts and the law of the case are? The answer is yes.

Read more >

Wis. Farmer Accused of Selling Raw Milk Stays Free

This comes to us from the Weston A. Price Foundation:

Farmer Accused Of Selling Raw Milk Stays Free
Judge Declined To Revoke Bond

BARABOO, Wis. — A Sauk County farmer accused of selling food and dairy products, including raw milk, without a license appeared in court on Friday while his supporters rallied nearby against the prospect of him facing jail time.

Vernon Hershberger said he came to court prepared to go to jail because of a bond violation as he faces several misdemeanor counts, but Judge Guy Reynolds declined to revoke his bond.

Prosecutors had sent a letter to the judge saying that they believe Hershberger had violated terms of his pretrial release by continuing to sell raw milk and other products on his farm, based on a recent state Department of Agriculture visit.

During Friday’s proceedings, Hershberger represented himself. He said that he didn’t violate any terms and doesn’t sell raw milk. He said he simply cares for animals and procures their food for members of a private club.

“I have no jurisdiction about what happens. The food belongs to the other people, and I do not have jurisdiction to tell them what happens with that food. (I) just wanted you to know,” Hershberger said.

He said he’s prepared to go to jail, and that the Department of Agriculture visits trespassed on his privacy.

“We don’t sell milk. I want to get that clear. We don’t sell milk. All we have is a big pantry on the farm, where the owners can come in and get their milk,” he said.

Reynolds said that he wasn’t going to take any action on Hershberger’s bond. He said that the state must file a formal motion before he could.

“The court isn’t going to respond to letters. The court takes action on properly served and filed motions,” he said. “And that’s true for both sides to this controversy.”

However, the judge did have a message for Hershberger.

“I admonish you, Mr. Hershberger, that you are to follow my bond conditions,” he said. “And, I expect you will. And if you don’t, you can be separately prosecuted for that.”

Attorneys with the state Department of Justice, who are prosecuting the case, declined to say why they didn’t file a formal motion with the judge to revoke Hershberger’s bond.

Meanwhile, Hershberger’s supporters rallied on the steps of the Sauk County courthouse before the farmer’s Friday afternoon appearance. Some said that they’d be willing to go to jail in defense of their freedom to drink raw milk. The protesters signed a “Declaration of Food Independence,” and said that they’re prepared to fight.

Canadian farmer Michael Schmidt said that they’re mustering support.

“Who is willing to go to jail for your food rights? Hands go up, friends. We all count on you,” he said.

The judge tentatively scheduled a trial on the four misdemeanor charges for Sept. 25.

Prosecutors still have to file responses to Hershberger’s claim that a judge has no constitutional authority to hear the case.

For the best coverage of the rally for Vernon Hershberger visit this blog:

Support HR 1830 – Raw Milk Bill

This comes to us from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Send a Fax to Your Legislators – Ask Them to Co-Sponsor & Pass HR 1830

112th U.S. Congress – House Bill HR 1830Congressman Ron Paul has once again introduced a bill that would allow the interstate shipment of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption, HR 1830.

* We believe that there is a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of our choice including raw milk, contrary to FDA’s claim that there is no such right in its response to a lawsuit over this same matter.

* We believe the federal ban against transporting raw milk for human consumption across state lines is a violation of our rights, despite FDA’s assertion that any transaction that involves crossing state lines with such milk is illegal.

* We should be free to obtain raw milk from any source, including those outside our own states’ borders, just as folks in Maryland and in D.C. itself sought raw milk from Pennsylvania dairy Rainbow Acres.

* We demand the termination of an unjust law that interferes with the exercise of our legal right to consume raw milk.

* We support passage of HR 1830 into law – a bill that would effectively end the interstate ban and bring about the realization of benefits as delineated in the Talking Points for the same bill (HR 778) introduced in the 111th Congress.

While the consumption of raw milk is legal in all fifty states, the sale of raw milk is illegal in about half the states. Passage of HR 1830 into law would enable everyone to exercise their right to consume raw milk, whether they live in a state where the sale of raw milk is illegal or in a state where the sale is legal but sources are limited.

No doubt, the demand for unpasteurized milk has expanded beyond the estimated nine million raw milk consumers revealed by the 2008 CDC survey. Growing numbers of consumers are crossing state lines to obtain raw milk and raw milk products. It is time to recognize that the federal ban is an unjust, unworkable law.

Ask Legislators to uphold freedom of food choice through the petition in support of HR 1830.0

Please go to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund Action Page to fax a letter to our Legislators.

Radio: Food Rights Hour

This comes to us from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

Radio: Food Rights Hour

News Commentary with Tim Wightman & You
April 23, 2011 – Saturday Evening

5-7 PM Pacific

LISTEN LIVE at www.republicbroadcasting.org

Tim Wightman, President of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, will be your host. This week’s guest is you! Please call in with your comments and questions!

CALL-IN NUMBER: 800-313-9443

Saturday’s lively discussion will cover stories like “USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs” and more!

If you miss the show, listen to the recording!