Grazn’ Acres (Vernon Hershberger):
The Declaration of Food Independence
On June 2, 2010, representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) conducted a raid at the Vernon Hershberger farm. DATCP agents intentionally destroyed nearly 300 gallons of fresh milk by pouring blue dye into the bulk tank, claiming the milk was “adulterated and misbranded”—even though there was no logical, factual, or scientific basis for this conclusion. The milk was unpasteurized, as is all milk on all farms that is stored in bulk tanks. The agents then placed a holding order on all the fresh, wholesome food in coolers on the property, most
of which belonged to members of the Hershberger’s private buying club, and some of which belonged to the Hershberger family.
Mr. Hershberger then faced a serious dilemma: allow the wholesome, perishable food to go to waste while he engaged in lengthy administrative wrangling with DATCP or allow the rightful owners of the property to take it from the coolers.
Mr. Hershberger followed his conscience and allowed the owners to retrieve their food. Vernon Hershberger’s religious principles prevented him from standing by, while nutritious food rotted.