Source: WKOW News (W-Kow… Milk story.)
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection — DATCP — is cracking down on raw milk operations.
Agency inspectors searched a Sauk County farm outside of Loganville Wednesday.
DATCP spokesperson Lee Sensenbrenner confirms the agency carried out a special inspection warrant to see if the Grazin’ Acres Farm was operating a dairy without a license.
Owner Vernon Hershberger said he got a rude awakening, when DATCP inspectors showed up with a contingent of Sauk County Sheriff’s deputies armed with a warrant to search his property.
“They just entered the building and did their thing, which took five or six hours,” he said.
Hershberger says inspectors poured over his family’s raw milk business, taking inventory of every refrigerator.
“At the end they tied everything up so they know what’s on every shelf, so if it’s moved they know it,” he said.
The products — which include raw milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and cream — are off limits, yellow tagged by DATCP. The products can not be sold or moved.
Hershberger says 100 families purchase his unpasteurized products — essentials, he says, the count on.
“They’ve been coming out for years, getting our raw milk,” Hershberger said. “Their kids really thrive on our milk.”
Selling raw milk is illegal — signs posted on refrigerators warn people that consuming raw products can be dangerous and unhealthy.
Hershberger says the choice should be left to consumers. Now that the law is not on his side, he doesn’t know what to do.
“Entering into a form of civil disobedience or going out of business,” he said. “This is all we do. This is to support our family. This is to support our farm. We have a debt to pay off and everything that goes with it.”
DATCP says Hershberger gave up his class “B” dairy license in February of this year.
Inspectors went out to the farm after Hershberger refused to answer a DATCP questionnaire they sent him.
Both houses of the Wisconsin legislature voted to legalize raw milk sales, until Governor Doyle vetoed it two weeks ago.
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