Friday, December 9, 2011

A toast to raw milk

Sorry, I didn't blog yesterday. I was too busy being civilly disobedient. Well, OK, I myself was not civilly disobedient but I SUPPORTED those who were.

Keith and I attended the raw milk rally put on by The Raw Milk Freedom Riders in Independence Park on Irving Park Road in Chicago. The group had transported raw milk illegally across state lines breaking a ridiculous federal law prohibiting such. But this is a good group, a decent group and a friendly group. So helpful,in fact, that one of its members, Max Kane, took time to NOTIFY the FDA and invite them to the rally.

Now, how many hard criminals do you know that will make the effort to give heads up to Big Brother before a law is broken?  (Several of these "criminals" were young mothers with small children) Not many. But The Raw Milk Freedom Riders are unique. Read more about them here

The crowd was good sized and well mannered. With posters, megaphones and key speakers the point was made,and  a message was sent to our government. "Do not tell us what food to put in our bodies or the bodies of our children."

I am aware that some of you my faithful followers might find all this rather silly. How can raw milk have anything to do with my life? You might ask. But I must say it again and over and over need be; the issue is about the loss of your constitutional rights. The issue is about a government trying to protect us from fatty foods, unpasteurized foods, foods of the wrong color or texture when they should be protecting us from something a little more substantial, say...terrorist?!?!

So, Keith and I, your local small family farmers, were proud to stand with those who have done so much to bring this raw milk issue to the foreground. Hearing Michael Schmidt speak about how we must make a stand and do it now before its too late...

Micahel Schmidt, Raw Milk Warrior and Farmer

...was inspiring, especially knowing of his recent hunger strike in regards to his own legal issues on Glencolton Farms in Ontario. Michaels trials have been so intense, exhisting now for over 17 years, I was amazed at how he could still stand in front of us, still not backing down, still encouraging all of us to stand up for our rights and say NO to a government who has forgotten their place.

 Listening to Max Kane as he gave some of the best advice I have heard yet," Get friendly with your local sheriff. " was enlightening. Seems that the county sheriffs are not all that thrilled with the FDA butting in on their areas of jurisdiction. Max shared several examples of how local sheriffs were able to stop farm raids, advising us to contact our local sheriffs BEFORE we had uninvited visitors to our raw milk producing /selling and advertising farms. Advice, I will absolutely be following

Max Kane, Raw Milk Warrior
Liz Reitzig spoke about "her"farmer who also has been in the news. She was passionate about her right to care for her children as she and her husband saw fit, not as our government was telling her. Mother of 4 with one adorable infant strapped warmly in front of her, she pleaded for the group to "get between the government and your farmer. " Physically, if need be. She was amazing and reminded Keith and I about the power of our own customers as well as the power we have within ourselves to stand up for what we absolutely believe in. My camera failed me when Liz was speaking but you can see her here

David Gumpert, well known author and activist reminded us about those representatives on our side, including  Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, who introduced H.R. 1830, the Unpasteurized Milk Bill, which would end the FDA’s ban and permit the sale of raw milk across state lines. Several petitions were circulated at the rally as well in regards to several farmers in the country being arrested and charged with raw milk related "crimes"

All in all, the rally was an amazing event. As a fairly lazy American who mouths off frequently but until lately has not taken much action, I came away from Independence Park feeling energized and motivated. The battle we are fighting here on South Pork Ranch is small, but still important. Illinois allows us to sell raw milk but not TELL about our raw milk, prohibiting all advertising.

As of today, we are 6 weeks into publicly advertising our raw milk. We have no intention of stopping. I do however, fully intend to contact my local sheriff. As long as he doesn't have a partner with the last name of Fife, we should be fine.


  1. You guys are my Sophocles Antigone!

  2. good rally and I liked Max's hat!

  3. If we still lived in Illinois, I would have LOVED to be there with you guys!

  4. Well done; all of you. May I offer my cyber support from France.