A “Standoff” at Michael Schmidt’s Farm, and Then the Unthinkable


Supporters of dairy farmer Michael Schmidt confront Canadian bureaucrats Friday afternoon trying to get them to move back from his farm’s driveway.

Something very important happened at Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton  Farm in Northern Ontario today.

Some twenty or so enforcers, from a half-dozen Canadian regulatory agencies and local police, descended on the farm at mid-day Friday, and began confiscating milk and dairy equipment. While they did their dirty work, Schmidt put out an emergency request via his Facebook page and friends like Liz Reitzig, for supporters to come, together with their video cameras. Within an hour, more than 50 people had assembled.

At about 3:30, when the regulators were ready to depart, they asked the assembled supporters to move aside in the driveway to let the truck with the stolen milk and equipment depart. Nothing doing. It was a “standoff” at Michael Schmidt’s farm, as he described it.

Karen Selick, a lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which has been providing Schmidt with legal representation in his fights with the government over raw milk and the sheep-napping cases, sent out a worried Facebook message at about 2:15: “Michael says as many as 50 people might be arrested today. There are about 20 bureaucrats from different departments swarming the farm, protected by 5 or 6 police officers.”

Marianne Else, a longtime supporter recounted on Facebook that when the bureaucrats wanted to leave, and asked the people to clear the driveway, they refused, even after being threatened with arrest. Supporters had also moved a large tractor to block the driveway further.  The bureaucrats then apparently made their first smart decision of the day: they concluded that arresting 50 ordinary citizens trying to protect a farmer who supplied them with raw milk wouldn’t play well on the evening news. They unloaded the stolen stuff, and took off.

At about 3:40, Schmidt sent out a message on Facebook: “We won. They are leaving and all the confiscated stuff stays.”

For the first time since the latest raw milk wars began in 2006, people had stood up to the enforcers and physically blocked them from stealing their food. In Canada, of all places, where everyone is always nice and polite….except when they aren’t.

According to a Canadian news report, authorities did make off with one or two of Schmidt’s computers, before sympathizers blocked the driveway. In a 10-minute YouTube video posted late Friday evening, Schmidt said in an interview by news reporters that the raiders seemed “relieved” that they were able to negotiate the deal to leave the milk and equipment and get the hell out. “I hope this will send a message that people will not back down….It is their food.”

While this little drama was unfolding, there was more good news for Schmidt: enough money poured into his crowdfunding campaign for his legal defense in the sheep-napping case to prompt author and naturopathic physician Ron Schmid to match the contributions, and put the campaign over its $50,000 goal; Ron Schmid wound up donating half the total. By this evening, contributions were still coming in, and will be accepted, until the campaign ends tomorrow.

While the media report on the cases against Schmidt—the raw milk and sheep-napping cases—as if they are discrete events, the reality is that Canadian bureaucrats are throwing pretty much everything they have at the activist farmer, nearly without regard to which case is involved. When I spoke with Schmidt on Wednesday, he agreed. “I take that as a good sign,” he said. “It means we are heading in the right direction.”


The new Foundation for Nutritional Wisdom launched its web site today, and simultaneously began accepting registrations to its first annual conference Nov. 21-22, “Bringing Together the Paleo, Primal and Weston Price Communities”.

52 comments to A “Standoff” at Michael Schmidt’s Farm, and Then the Unthinkable

  • D. Smith D. Smith

    I hope everything continues to go well for Michael. I don’t trust the Canadian police any more than I trust the american police, so I hope Michael watches his back in the coming days, and Montana, too.

    Can’t say I care all that much for the name selected for Kaayla’s new group. Just don’t like the word foundation.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee


    I know how you have suffered and given so much of your life for this cause. I can just imagine the elation you must have felt when the good people of Canada stood their ground and told the authorities….no and hell no. This is our food, our farm, our right and food for our bodies. This dream has played out in my mind for years and now it has become your reality. When you won today….we all won today. This consumer upheaval is a landmark event that creates a model for consumers protecting their farmers and their food in the future.

    OPDC has long maintained a list of activist consumers that would respond at a moments notice with video camera and child in hand to defend their farmer and their food. This has only happened once ( in our history ) and it was nearly ten years ago. That activist consumer message sent a rumble through the establishment and peace has reigned ever since in California. I hope this is the future for Canada. Bless you and sleep well tonight….you have earned it!!

  • Jenny Samuelson

    MDARD of Michigan pay attention! Power to the people!

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee


    Congrats to Michael and Canada… Your win is our win!!

  • Christina Mitchell

    Ever heard about the disgusting treatment of 87 year old farmer Frank Meyers in Trenton, ON? It is sickening what they did to this man, look it up, it’s been happening for years.

  • esbee

    yup- raw milk–a real killer that stuff, thousands addicted, dying, roaming the streets with milk mouth, stealing for their next raw milk fix. Ya gotta hand it to the govt, (Can. or US) they are doing a fine job of making sure that poison is kept off the streets and out of the hands of children. Govt officials are out to protect their health of its citizens. Meth makers, drug dealers, child prostitution rings everywhere salute the govts who make it possible for them to freely and without interference, continue in what they do. unthinkable

  • Chrissy one

    Here they r doing it too eventhough we have a herdshare here in Michigan!

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    Michael Schmidt posted a video late Friday about the events at his farm. I updated the blog post. Here is the link:

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      LIked Michael’s good words from about the 6 minute mark to the end. He’s absolutely right, and that’s why it’s become a “problem” for the Canadian gubmint. For that matter, the American gubmint has the same problem. People want real food coming from real farms from real animals. Most gubmints prefer everything to be unreal! Manufactured foods aren’t going away, not with all the gubmint support THEY have, so why can’t they just leave the other side alone, as well? Are phake phood manufacturers really and truly afraid of the small farmers?

      I only wish we’d see the “authorities” lining up with this much vigor at the doors of BIGPHRMA and getting rid of the truly obvious poisons.

      • brad

        Yes they are so afraid. On the world stage, 70% of the people food is grown by small farms. They want this because controlling the food chain controls the people. This is also why the push to steal and control all the water. When that happens is your local farmer going to get a water allocation, or that huge factory farm growing GMOs?
        Kissinger called us “unnecessary eaters” and stated that “food will be a weapon”. Here we are.

        • D. Smith D. Smith

          @ Brad: Small farms don’t always equate to decent food. I’ve seen small farmers who use “chemicals” on their *huge gardens* and use chemicalized municipal water on them, too. Even buying food from a farmers market doesn’t necessarily make it “good food” as I found out with our local farmers market a few years ago. Buying tomatoes by the carton at Safeway and selling them as “organic”, another lady selling “pastured beef products” was questioned and discovered to be feeding her animals GMO crops/grains – not a pasture in sight. These folks got caught with their knickers down, but even the local *boards* did nothing about it until quite a few of us made ourselves heard. Today our farmers market is struggling because people are leery now. So the only way to know is to visit those farms. I would never, ever in a million years depend on a stamp or a label from the USDA or any other *national* organization to tell me the true quality of something. Not in this lifetime. I was born at night but not last night.

          I check these things out for myself. It takes time and a bunch of driving, but it MUST be done if you want to know the true source of your food. You cannot make just one visit, either, you must keep showing up – unexpectedly. And I do.

          Have you been to a big grocery store lately? The amount of boxed, canned, frozen and otherwise “processed” food is staggering.

          • Julie M.

            It is always in your best interests to get to know your farmer. If they are doing it right, they are proud of what they do (and rightfully so) and will be very open about their practices and show you around. Many/most cannot afford the “organic” label (which I agree really means nothing regardless) and all the mounds of paperwork involved, but you will find they are doing it far better than organic anyway – “beyond organic,” as Joel Salatin calls it. One thing many do not realize is how many “grassfed” farmers are using the new GMO alfalfa, even in areas where alfalfa is easy to grow and “round-up ready” is completely unnecessary!

          • Pete

            Most ‘beyond organic’ food I see marketed doesn’t even live up to the sorry standards of cert. organic.

            Its pastured so its beyond organic, never mind all the genetically modified, chemically addled grain we fed them.

      • Bonnie

        It makes on wonder if we were to stop eating government approved foods…would we wake up! hmmm

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    It’s encouraging to see the Ontario public taking a stand in defense of their food rights. It must be tremendously uplifting for Michael.
    Oh yes, for those of us who live in Ontario Michael’s farm would be considered in Southern Ontario or to be more explicit, South Western Ontario. I reside in Northern Ontario.

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      @ Ken: My uncle lives in Cobourg and is a professor at the U of Toronto, so he’s been keeping me up to date on all of this stuff. Pretty fascinating what happens when politicians and police can be conned into things by their superiors. 😉

  • Yolanda

    Excellent news!

  • Kira

    This is powerful and inspiring. One bee is easy to go after, but they riled the whole hive!

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Grounded, rational, passionate, consumer driven. I am impressed that the government of Canada can listen. Most government representatives become totally mono vision when placed under pressure and default to violence and use of force to one up and dominate the people. Not so this day!

    This was because of well executed logical video taped people power.

    There is so much to be learned from this stand off…

    Use of the tractor to physically block the exit! Brilliant!
    Consumers acting on their own behalf and actually owning the defense of their own food…not Michaels food!
    Video taping the event!
    Numbers of consumers/owners….not just one or two….50 of them.

    So much more…..they showed back bone, resolve and balls.

    This was a true win for not only Canada, but all consumers that demand raw milk.

  • brad

    Govt rules by the consent of the governed. They OBVIOUSLY don’t and shouldn’t have the consent any longer.
    Think of it in these terms – it may set your spine: ALL POWER IN GOVT is YOUR power. It is TEMPORARILY LOANED to them – by YOU. This was done on their promise that they would work for YOUR BEST INTEREST. If they are not benefitting you, you MUST withdraw your consent in a way in which they know this.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Although their numbers are eroding, believe me Brad, a good many of the governed are on side with the government. There is nothing they like better then for the government to take a hard line on those who exercise what they believe is their right to make a choice as to what food they consume. GMO labeling is a case in point. The same goes for anyone that refuses vaccines or certain drug therapies etc. Fortunately there is such a thing as minority rights in our countries so were not entirely subject to mob rule, so far.

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      @ Brad: “The people have the power, all we have to do is awaken that power in the people. The people are unaware. They’re not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government.”—John Lennon

      But the people have to stop using the gubmint *fix it* programs. They also have to show up, as they did in Michael’s case. This time. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Becoming UNITED isn’t easy. It’s a crapshoot. But when the people win, it’s a good victory, no?

  • Lynn W.

    We must always stand up for our rights otherwise we risk losing them. This bullying and intimidation by the authorities must be stopped. We do that by unity and determination, along with the knowledge we have the right to protect our freedom of choice regarding the foods we eat. Years ago I told my raw milk producer if her farm was ever raided, call me and I’ll rush over and lay down in her driveway to block the theft. My husband and I purchased a video camera for her to use in case something like this ever happened on her farm. Michael’s victory yesterday was a victory for all of us who care deeply about food freedom. Many hugs to all that came to Glencolton in support, and in defiance!

  • Bonnie

    I love raw milk and wish I could find it here in the south. Used to get all i wanted in Washington State. It should be up to the individual if they want it or not…not the government.

  • Amanda McDonald

    It absolutely amazes me that because of a milk seller who sold spoiled milk, people have become paranoid about raw milk. So a man, set up by a beer factory, adds chalk powder to his milk and makes many people sick. How does this make raw milk bad? He chose to sell rotten milk and honest farmers are punished over 50 years later. It’s ridiculous! Mankind survived thousands of years on raw milk and suddenly it’s bad for us. Politicians kill me. Literally…..Good luck guys!

  • lis

    why not sue the raiders/wrondoers/thieves in the personal capacity (i.e. john, NOT officer JOHN SMITH, a corp. fiction) in a common law court, where the jury decides, NOT the guy/gal in black dress. There are no liaryers involved, just ordinary people who don’t profit off the corrupt statutory court scams. Learn about COMMON law, natural law.

  • Gordon S Watson

    I want to see an image of that actual Warrant to Search. I want to see the information to Obtain, which is the printed material, submitted to the Justice of the Peace, in support of such an application. It’s a public document : let’s have it = forthwith

    • Lynn_M Lynn_M

      Gordon, I would like to know what kind of equipment the government was trying to remove from Michael’s farm. Was it freezers and refrigerators or milking equipment or what? Was there anyone who was there who knows the answer? I would think the actual warrant should tell us what they tried to take and what the supposed justification for their aborted efforts was.

      The government let one shoe hit the floor and they were stopped. I wonder what the other shoe dropping will turn out to be. It seems inevitable they’re not just going to scurry away with their tails between their legs and admit defeat.

      • Gordon Watson

        it would be most helpful if someone who was there, on the ground as the raid was taking place, would give this forum a report. I’m 3000 miles away, in British Columbia.
        … When Michael Schmidt and I were on trial out here, in cross examination of the witness for the Health Authority which was prosecuting us, I tried to go at the warrant under which he’d searched the farm. The judge was adamant to protect Insp. George Rice from having to admit he’d lied to the Justice of the Peace who”d issued the Warrant. Rice told the JP that he was after evidence which would support a charge of a Provincial offence = under the BC Milk Industry Act. When, in fact, he intended to gather evidence to support the charge of ‘contempt of Court’. Which is a criminal code offence.
        … That may seem like shyster-talk, but … knocking the legs out from under a Search Warrant, is a major tactic for a defence lawyer
        … in this latest case, the Provincial Crown ( the prosecutor ) comes off looking utterly ridiculous ; sending around 5 OP Police, on what is not much more than a by-law offence, any other day of the year. My guess is ; the raid had something to do with the political “optics” around the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement, now hours away from being ratified, days before the federal election in Canada.. There’s a major change underway in the dairy industry here, arising from that Agreement, but we – poor suffering saps who merely pay the taxes and vote – will be the last to know what it says

        • Gordon Watson

          yet another photo-op for Holsteins on page A13 of today’s National Post-ure news?paper = propaganda outfall for the Conservative Party de Canada. the author is Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the Food Institute at the University of Guelph Ontario. A couple of years ago, at the symposium to do with raw milk, he congratulated Alice Jongerden and Michael Schmidt for their efforts “normalizing” REAL MILK.
          … this article conveys the Central Party Line to comrades & apparatchiks, who otherwise wouldn’t notice = “… the supply-managed model reached the end of its economic relevancy years ago…” The good professor has been tasked with doing the “Supply Management for Dummies” version so press-titutes and the chattering-classes can all have their stories straight when we finally get to read the fine print of the Trans Pacific Trade Pact, in which the Canadian Dairy farmer find himself “on your own, me Bucko”.
          ….It’s all over but the crying … of course the cheques will be in the mail. Neo~Feudal-ism is the best term for it

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    When warrants are issued and presented to the accused….the first thing the accused should do is to take a smart phone picture of it and send it into Cyberspace….social networks. That will certainly herald the Stake Holders and create an “oh crap moment….what have we done?” for the servers of the warrant!! Oh the democratic miracles of the digital age.


    Wicked awesome as they say in Boston MA sure helps to restore faith in mankind and womenkind. Those of who couldn’t be there were, in spirit.

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    From Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, in the Toronto Sun:

    “Each time, the story caught the attention of increasing numbers of Canadians, who became curious about raw milk and wanted to acquire some. So each time, the province’s strong-arm tactics have backfired, increasing rather than reducing the number of raw milk drinkers in the province.

    “I thought doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was the definition of insanity.”


  • Johnny Embry

    Praying for them!

  • James

    This is a shame that we have such a Cartel of protected farms that are absolutely hurting the individuals ability to compete in a true free market. We need to bring Capitalism back to Canada and let the little guy have a chance to sell his stuff to market. This is what drives the economy. Not protected cartels that hide behind regulation and laws. Libertarians Party of Canada get it. Does anyone else running for office?

    • Noel

      I have been hearing for several years that Canada and all governments are corporations; which is where our taxes are going. They are not there to help us but exploit us, but as a corporation they can be sued for what they do to us. we need to make Canada’s small business safe because small businesses are harassed by government. They do what they can to prevent them from getting off the ground.

      • Pete

        Some so called government agencies literally are private corporations. But its not clear that most are.

        However all corporations are creatures of the government. Those corporation then in turn do what the government legally cannot. On top of that they often turn around and control the government in a big regulatory circle jerk.

        And they all prey on the little guy.

        • brad

          In the US almost every county and municipality on every level is a corporation. There are legal ramifications we need to start taking advantage of. If i get the gist correctly – criimes can only damage human beings. Therefore victimless crimes are not “crimes” really, but are in actuality statutory regulation infringement.
          i’ve heard of one person who has essentially proven that his county has no legal control over him because he never entered into contract with the county, and if the county believes so – the “contract was entered into” without full disclosure – making the contract null and void.

          Some really interesting stuff out there.

  • Larry Makarowski

    I appear to be a victim of the media….. Until two days ago, I had never even heard of this, and when I did, I was sure that it was the usual internet hoax dreamed up by some whackjob that decided stuff like this was funny. How the hell did raw milk ever become ILLEGAL…..and more importantly…..WHY ?

    • brad

      In 2010 in California, Raw Milk consumption grew by over 10% as commercial milk dropped precipitously. Not enough to be made up by the raw milk consumption, but the dairy industry and their govt prostitutes do not want to give people any choice other than their product. This is really the main thrust of all corporate ag and the govt agencies that are regulated by those ag companies. (revolving door issues, executives from corporations running the agencies to prevent competition, etc)
      The REALLY scary part is that people i know of that drink raw milk – grass fed – have healed their arthritis and other chronic illnesses. If this happens this is literally a potential trillion $$$$ loss to the medicall mismanagement industry.

      If you’ve been kept out of the loop you likely do not know that the US has the worst medical system in the industrialized nations – and we pay more for that abuse, than the next 10 highest health-care-paying nations combined!!!!!

      • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

        “This is really the main thrust of all corporate ag and the govt agencies that are regulated by those ag companies.”
        And the driving force behind that thrust? Cheap food policies = economy of scale and subsidies etc.

        Yes it can be scary, indeed if one gets drawn into the conventional health care system’s treatment protocol, you end up like a deer surrounded by a pack of wolves.

  • Stephen Connert

    so the US does not monopolize stupidity!!

  • Stephen Connert

    So the USA doesn’t monopolize stupidity!

  • this is why I cannot bear the idea of big government thinking they are protecting me. No. They Are Not. They are simply padding their pockets period.

    • brad

      Padding the rich people’s pockets more. Legislation benefits the rich the great majority of the time – as it damages you and i. It takes “both” rep and dem to do this, or they wouldn’t have enough votes to make quorum – so there is always collusion to pass bad legislation and prevent good stuff.

      When you realize that for over 50 yrs the rep/dem s have done this assistance to the rich parasitic class at our expense – it becomes obvious that their actions are intentional. You DON’T pass the lion’s share of bills for 50 years in one direction by accident. YOU TRIED to damage the country and we the people.

      So – voting rep or dem is repeating the same action and expecting a different result – like they might help us this time – right. So vote for them and you say “HEY! You got me fooled! I think you’re going to help ME instead of Mr CRockerfeller this time…”

      When you vote (and DO vote!) for anyone NOT rep/dem – it states that they are not getting our consent to govern. It doesn’t matter how they fake it, how they lie, how they falsify the results or lie in the press – they know they lost support. Help me spread the strategy, please.

  • Kim-Mia Rudiger-Prybylski

    My love and support to Michael Schmidt, if I was in the vicinity I would have been there too. They sure do have a bee in their bonnet when it comes to Michael, I wonder what the Ontario Dairy Board is paying them to harass Michael? I am so honesty very tired of government pandering to corporate interests and working against the better interests of the people, hey wait a second weren’t government officials elected to represent our interests, and well being? If that’s what they should be doing, they would ban pasteurized milk and make all dairies rise to the standards of Michael Schmidt’s.

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