The enormity of Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike is sinking in with more and more people.
For one person to put his life on the line so that others might re-gain or keep the right to eat the foods of their choosing–not the government’s choosing–says more than anyone could articulate in a speech or an article.
It’s important to remember as we consider Michael Schmidt’s act of self sacrifice that he comes from a country with a tragic fascist background. I mention it because he frequently brings it up to me–he knows well of my family’s Holocaust background.
He brings it up in the context of contempt for all autocratic systems. He has the same contempt for the Soviet communist system, which dictated to producers what foods they could grow and produce.
It seems to me he sees ever less difference between the fascist and communist systems and the supposedly democratic systems of the U.S. and Canada, which have come to take on the same controlling apparatus of fascist Germany and communist Soviet Union. Our system of food control is draped in a more glib ideology, and images of plenty. Rather than preaching nationalism (as fascist Germany did) or equality (as the communist system did), ours preaches “safety” and “protection,” all wrapped up in the “approval” of government-sponsored science and health “experts.”
But the end result is the same. Frankenfoods, genetically modified foods, and highly processed commodities like corn and soy are okay, because they have the experts’ approval (and corporate backing) and natural nutrient-dense foods like raw milk and raw juice, or farm-slaughtered meats, are banned or nearly banned because they have the experts’ disapproval.
It’s important to remember that Schmidt has pushed for discussion and compromise over many years now, to prevent distribution of the highly prized nutrient-dense foods from being pushed underground. But the answer from the government regulators has always been negative. So much for the democratic approach.
Now, Schmidt says there is evidence that the authorities plan to raid his farm for a fourth time since 1993, and possibly arrest him in the process. He has received communications in which they have raised the fear decibel–that Canadians are being endangered by the continuing distribution of raw milk…even though not a single person has become ill over the nearly twenty years he has been waging his battle for free food access. Now that they have an appeals court decision in their favor, they could very well be emboldened to take action, he worries.
Might the authorities be dissuaded by the growing attention accorded his hunger strike? As several people have pointed out here, likely not a prayer, as little would make the authorities happier than to have Michael Schmidt out of the way. His is the strongest voice in North America for food rights.
Indeed, it might be said that controlling our food is more important to American and Canadian authorities than controlling prisoners is to prison wardens. In California, ongoing hunger strikes by thousands of prison inmates over the summer and fall have won negotiations and important concessions on easing certain conditions. (Interestingly, this huge act of civil disobedience has received very little media attention in the U.S.)
The California prison situation also highlights the importance of showing a broader base of support. As Mark McAfee suggests, one of the big challenges of the emerging food rights movement is explaining to the mass of people what is at stake. Most people in the U.S. and Canada have no idea that their governments are gradually whittling away at the availability of their food choices, and pushing ever more processing of what is available.
Most fundamental, though, Michael Schmidt is saying with his hunger strike that much more will be required of all of us in terms of commitment and action. A few weeks before his hunger strike, he wrote a telling comment on this blog: “Unless we ALL rise up to reclaim what we have lost, we will lose it all. Are we talking about real pain, real suffering, real non-violent resistance? You bet we are…It will get much worse my friends, you have not seen the real deal yet. ”
In spite of all he has going on, he said yesterday he still hopes to join the November 1 Raw Milk Freedom Riders who will be transporting raw milk across state lines and consuming it in Maryland. He is still hoping to have the strength to attend and speak at a rally in front of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Rockville, MD. If he can even contemplate such a commitment, then lots of us should be able to as well.
Don't be a stukach.
14 minutes of Raw Energy!
Louisa Parks did not starve herself to death to make a point. Please don't do this to yourself. I am praying your supporters and other foodies rally around your farm and push evil authorities out. At a moments notice, they should drop everything and come to your aid if/when another raid happens. Don't let them do this! We love you!
After reading your and Violet's vision of the way forward for raw milk on Davids last post, I must agree with Violet. Doesn't any of this "test and post" rhetoric bring about any cognitive dissonance for you at all? You tested for major pathogens prior to 2006, did you not? You posted your results on your website, did you not? A seemingly admirable strategy, except it did NOT keep you from getting sued. In fact, it was instead a purported rationale for the decision by a consumer to feed a young and less than robust child raw milk. Neither voluntary or mandatory testing kept you from settling out of court. Thus "secure the obsolete [sic] confidence of his consumers" doesn't sound like the Freudian slip that it should.
The way forward for raw milk in the US and Canada is small local farms with herdshares. Not many farmers can afford to spend the time you do off their farms. While I admire much of what you do for raw milk in CA, and the support you give small farmers elsewhere, there's a large gap between a totally illegal product and a standardized one. Herdshares can provide a useful step from one extreme to another.
A note to Mr. David Gumpert:
You've taken a lot of heat on your blog recently. I'd like to say that you have handled every criticism extremely deftly. I hope you continue to provide this forum. Thank you.
Wilhelm Reich had lived in Nazi Germany before he came to America. The FDA had him incarcerated and his books were burned BY COURT ORDER … yes, in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave", in 1953. He called the Soviet system "red fascism" and the Third Reich version "Black fascism". Canada's milk marketing quota system is Stalin-ism – the centrally-dictated command economy – writ large.
as much as I admire Michael Schmidt, he's missed the pivotal point in the Court of Appeal Reasons in his case. At paragraph 52/53, the judge says that the Crown acknowledges : were Schmidt to have his "paperwork straight' = proof of a members' legal interest in the cows/ the herd as an entity = the cowshare would be a legitimate agistment vehicle
Michael Schmidt and others have declared this is a "WAR"… OK, well then let's be realistic = it's guerrilla warfare. In which there's a place to be adamant, and there's a time to acknowledge a small mistake, then adapt
Small, medium and large….we should not descriminate against any size of raw milk dairy. Rural, Suburban or Down town consumers should never be denied access to clean raw milk. Cow Shares are an excuse and a way arround illegal raw milk. Why can you not just own a cow or ten cows and sell that raw milk to your local community. Why is a Cow Share a required step to get raw milk to a customer???
The only reason there is a Cow Share system in the US and Canada is because Raw Milk has failed to liberate itslef from the oppression of the bad and dark history of raw milk.
I support cow shares….I support micro dairies…I support retail legal raw milk. I support farmers and local food systems. Cow Shares will not feed LA county….I am sorry but they will not.
Please open your mind to all of the many possible models for raw milk. They all have a place at the great dinner table in the bright future we are building for America and its childrens health.
Freedom fighters…remember this. Freedom requires personal responsibility. We have all sold our souls to a government that takes care of us through regulations. Regulations that take our nutrition and our farmers money in the great exchange…..and in that Faustion Deal with the Devil we lost jobs, nutrition, health, and choice.
This deal was cut years ago.
This is a fight to regain our freedom….but in reality, this is a fight to retake personal responsibility.
How will you be responsible to your consumers if you do not know your food safety plan for your farm??? How will you take personal responsibilty for yoru products if you do have insurance??? How will your consumers have confidence in your products if you are not transparent with your data…..or you even have data.
Also…OPDC did not have a formal food safety plan prior to 2006. Our RAMP program began in 2008…
Say what you will, but 2006 was a wake up call for me and OPDC. Never again will I be subject to the emotional down drafts of the question:
Did I make some kids sick….
Never again. RAWMI was born to answer this question for me and all of us. If you do not care about this question….you do not live on earth. You do not have a reality based understanding of the risks of raw milk and you should not be any where near raw milk.
You love the benefits of raw milk and deny the risks. This is worse than a bad dream. You wake up from a bad dream. Sick kids stay with you forever. RAWMI will help us all reclaim our raw milk freedoms by hard work and a very public display of our data. We must lay down a track record of good food safety. RAWMI is our tool.
Day 41 Hospital
Chris was successful in taking oral medication. Methadone was lowered to 1 mg today. His triglycerides were high, so there would be on more lipids put in his TPN.
The team also decided that tomorrow his Quinton catheter would be removed and a PICC line would be placed in his arm.
Chris was very pale today. He cried on and off throughout the day. He was hungry. He could not focus on completing homework. I had that helpless feeling again. I had to watch my child suffer from hunger pains but could not feed him. It goes against every instinct a mother has.
Jesus was the sweetest boy. He was 10 years old. They determined that he had a tapeworm in his brain from eating pork that was not thoroughly cooked. He was having seizures and he went blind in one eye. Maria did not speak English, so all interpretation for the doctors had to be done by Jesus. I couldnt imagine what it was like to be Maria, not speaking the language and having a child so ill.
Jesus interpreted for me telling Maria that at night if she needed any help with anything to just wake me and I would talk to the nurses for her. The mom of Chris angel spoke Spanish. I called her and she talked to Maria on the phone assuring her that if she needed any help communicating with the doctors we could call my friend and she would interpret for them.
We spent the day watching movies with Chris and Jesus. Maria had to work during the day and was only there in the evenings to sleep with Jesus. That evening when Jesus had to eat dinner, he agreed to eat outside the room so that Chris would not have to deal with the smells that triggered a crying spell.
During this timeframe, I received a call in my room on the hospital phone. When I picked it up and said hello, a woman on the other end was screaming at me about how raw milk did not make Chris sick. I was a bit shocked by her inappropriate tone and manner, asked who I was talking to and discovered it was the girlfriend. I ended the conversation quickly on the hospital phone and went to a more private place and called her back on my cell phone. It was a disturbing conversation and I learned much about her perspective and personality. This was not a nice person and I had to question her mental stability. It was now very clear to me why there had been so much drama when Lauren was in the hospital.
You never answered my question in David's last post so I will repost it once again . .
Have you ever talked to small dairies in Maine or New England where raw milk is legally produced and sold, for your RAWMI certification . . . if so, then you would realize that your last post addressed to me was totally off the mark . . .
In Maine . . . raw dairies are licensed . . . . mine is . . . and tested for pathogens regularly through the State.
So what specifically do you have to offer them if they are not showing any pathogens in the milk . . those state mandated tests that come with a raw milk license that show no pathogens . . . those results have to do mostly with husbandry practices and cleanliness . . .
Herd shares are even better . . . share owners have skin in the game . . . . they know the farmer well and go to said farm weekly to pick up the milk . . . they love the farm, farmer and animals . . . and thrive on the raw milk.
You misunderstand me . . . . you are big . . . so big . . . and your model will fit quite nicely with a diary that is currently sending milk to a processor and who wants to go raw . . . but small dairies . . . like my own raw source . . . do not need your RAWMI . . .
RAWMI is not mine. RAWMI is ours. It will die as fast as it was birthed if it is not embraced as a new effective farmers tool. OPDC does not need RAWMI to thrive.
RAW MILK is in chaos across the USA and the processors love this mayhem. 50 states, 50 laws or lack of them. SWAT raids on farmers dairies…..it is crazy. When we get our act together we will be a danger to their PMO methods and dead milk markets.
RAWMI is a way we can get control of the Ghost of Raw Milk Past. A Ghost that is best friends with processors and the FDA. A Ghost that recites the oldest Myths told…that "it is not possible to produce safe raw milk". A Ghost that will not revisit raw milk after we expose the truth of Two Raw Milks in American. After we can show very publically how raw milk is produced safely and consistently. This Ghost will turn on its masters and be our greatest ally. These Myths are actually the greatest threat to Dead Dirty Maldigested and allergenic pastuerized milk. The stories are of dirty milk….not clean fresh delicious raw milk.
We must liberate ourselves from this Ghost and this living Myth playedout 100 years ago.
RAWMI qualifies farmers for cheap insurance.
RAWMI identifies farmers that display their hard earned bacteria counts and safety plans.
RAWMI takes state samples and displays them for farmers at their RAWMI portal.
RAWMI provides consumers with a reference point to be able to identify farmers that embrace transparency.
No….I have not spoken with any farmers from Maine for Conneticut. I have spoken to several farmers from Pennsylvania and they all have committed to become LISTED members.
Wholefoods would not have kicked raw milk out of all of its stores in the USA if RAWMI had been established and standards for raw milk could be defended. Wholefoods kicked raw milk out of all of its stores because raw milk was in chaos across America and could not be defended.
We are weak as individual farmers separated by state laws etc,….together while embracing our million differences raw milk gains one voice with RAWMI. RAWMI embraces individual differences and practices. Uniformity is not the goal. Safe raw milk is the Common Standard.
Call Stacy at 559-842-8081 and join RAWMI in the morning. It is our tool not mine.
Raw milk is not in a food safety problem in Maine . .our farmers are united and strong . . . we are friends and we are not weak . . . as a matter of fact . . . Maine is one of the few states where farming is growing rather than shrinking . . . more and more small local farms are created each year . . . I call this the "Agrarian Renniassance" in Maine:) Many local farmers were at our "Open Farm Day" last weekend . . . as well as our customers . . .we all care about each other. . . . and our kids socialise with one another . . we are part of a tightly knitted community. . .
Mark, I think you need RAWMI for your own legitimacy and insurance purposes . . if it truly makes you feel better . . . have at it . . .and if other producers are interested . . . great . . but, . . . wow . . . many small raw milk producers herdshare and otherwise . . . do not come close to the volume that Whole Foods would need . . .my LICENSED producer can barely keep up with the demand in my own small community . . .local, small and raw . . . that is what our dairies should be. Quality is the key . . . If a farmer's product makes someone ill . . . then they are out of business as it was a few generations ago.
If you think raw milk is not a food safety problem in Maine, you are sadly asleep in the pilots seat.
Raw milk is always a potential food safety issue, we should never ever think otherwise.
I just spent 30 minutes at your wonderful website. Your story and place looks beautiful. Your site is covered in links to all types of raw milk events and activist sorts of things. What you and your fellow raw milk dairies in Maine have created is a model. You have so much to share with the rest of America. You should not keep it to yourselves.
Why are you so negative against RAWMI when you are so much in support of Max Cane and Michael Schmidt. Michael is one of our executive advisors. Michael founded Cow Share Canada to help police the safety and quality of raw milk in Canada. From the looks of your website, he is one of your heros….as he is one of mine.
For the life of me….I do not understand why you do not see that RAWMI is a tool to effectively communicate our solidarity to the FDA and pour the concrete of Food Sovereignty for the future and for all of America. Maine is Maine….the rest of America is hurting and you need to reach out and help the rest of the farmers in America.
RAWMI does just that. Please consider joining. Call me in the morning. 559-842-8081.
As a fly on the wall watching all this, may I humbly suggest some here are missing the weighty importance of this simple statement:
"We must lay down a track record of good food safety."
This is critical.
People got sued and transparency didn't seem to help in the past, I understand, but even today there remains the 'ghost' of a non-existant or worse a misleading track record re: raw milk. The broader point is simply that an accurate track record has to be laid first, and that takes unity, transparency, and time. The purpose of RAWMI seems to be to lay that track record, and time itself will solidify it naturally.
Look at the history of… cameras, electricity, telephone, cars, airplanes, boats, bicycles, anything. They all had a beginning and blank track record, and sure enough people were suspicious of them in their infancy stage. But over time as more people repeatedly came to see their effectiveness an accurate track record developed, the fear wore off, and 'voila' a huge acceptance. In fact acceptance of these things is rarely based on the raw facts anymore, but rather on the track record alone! Last time you boarded a plane, did you only consider the raw technology (your assessment of the operational technology at play), or did you rather consider how few airplanes fail (track record) and make your decision that way?
Why does track record carry so much weight? Experience and testimony are reliable.
200 years ago: "Fly in the air, I don't want to die, no way! Are you nuts? It's not even possible!"
Time passes, more time, track record develops, more time, track record solidifed…
Nowadays: "Honey, I'm flying to LA, NY and Chicago, be back Friday <Kiss> bye!"
The change is like Night and Day. Track records develop, public opinions change
Are individual farms developing a track record? Sure, with their consumers. But the larger track record, the one that the politicians and lawmakers see? Nope, by and large it's not on their radar. Why? Our voice is only so loud, but even if it got louder and loud enough be heard, would that be enough? Imagine we get to the top, the big cheese at the top of all decision making is in our favour, and the question comes up, "so what about the track record of raw milk?" Do we have a formal professional answer that will hold weight?
Raw milk needs a truthful track record. Mark described the common misunderstanding of raw milk as the Ghost, the myths. He's right, the track record needs mending and it needs unity of message, "track record", of all producers. That takes time and effort, transparency, professional unity and cooperation. RAWMI is a great vision, and it's also a realistic goal, but it needs cooperation.
Violet, I would suggest the operations in Maine are a huge asset in the North American raw milk fight, because you play an important role in laying an accurate broader track record. If your track record only matters to your direct consumers and it ends there, so much power in the movement is lost. Your successful track record does not get shared. I think Mark is talking about the value of the broader track record of raw milk and it's producers en masse.
The raw milk track record carries heavy weight at the table of the food rights movement as well. Every farm has an interest in contributing to RAWMI, even in beautiful Maine farm country where good farming is the norm! Please don't throw away the value your hard work is for the broader movement. Your success speaks volumes, and it sounds to me like RAWMI is a way to make that known in a powerful way. The macro track record matters.
P.S. Very good dialogue, all comments are a beneficial exercise and progression in dialogue and discussion. Thank you David for hosting this blog! It is of immense value to all.
I beg to differ. Mark, your words are the same as the regulators that spoke to the legislative hearings in Colorado back in 2005 (you were there) as reason against the herdshare bill.
Cow/goat shares (I prefer "herdshares") are a private contract between a farmer and a consumer. They are legitimate in and of themselves. My right to consume raw milk is protected via herdshares.
I endorse an educational organization for raw milk production, but I balk at "experts" who propose they know how all farmers should produce raw milk. We have test records of herdshare operations that have stellar test results over a 4-year period. At least one of them hand-milks into a bucket out in the field.
On the other hand, we have had some coliform counts that would make a regulator faint, with no illness. In fact, several farmers have told me that when their counts were higher, their shareholders have remarked that the milk tasted better.
I would agree that most of us, do not have your or Marys reality based understanding of the risks of raw milk, since none of us have experienced this so called reality you or she describes. This is my reality; Ive consumed raw milk for over fifty years, raised nine children on it and sold it to friends and neighbors who raised their children on it. I fed it again to my two year old granddaughter who came from Ottawa to visit this thanksgiving weekend with her parents. She loved it and couldnt get enough of it.
RAWMI may indeed be perceived necessary for marketing and liability reasons due to societys current germaphobic obsession with organisms, and for this reason I would say go ahead and do it if you think it will make a difference. Personally, unless theres something Im missing about this RAWMI plan, I am not convinced that it will. What I believe it will do however, is further enslave us to a system based on fear and control of organisms, including a protocol for dealing with such organisms that is clearly counterproductive and harmful.
Michael Schmidt is a good example as to why RAWMI will not make a difference. His record for producing safe raw milk is impeccable yet that didnt stop the regulators and the milk marketing board from harassing him. You know as well as I do that this issue of the right to sell and purchase raw milk has little to do with safety and everything to do with control
"You love the benefits of raw milk and deny the risks" may describe your groupies past or present, but it does not pertain to me. Some might say "it's tested, so it must be safe, right?" and abdicate their personal responsibility to investigate further. That wouldn't be me, either. I'm not fooled by roses and whitewash.
You say you have had a personal epiphany after being sued in 2006. Unless you're keeping something back, there is not a shred of evidence linking OPDC to any illness, so why the huge change? You do yourself and raw milk in general a disservice by continuing to act the guilty party. By allowing Mary to assert ad nauseum that it was raw milk that made her adopted son ill, you do a much greater harm to its reputation than any dirty little herdshare.
There is no such thing as an "inherently dangerous food". It's a completely fabricated and oxymoronic term like "job creators". Think about it. Any food can make people ill, and about all of them have.
You're asking successful and experienced farmers to join RAWMI sight unseen. Some of us are doing quite well without it. We have never had legal problems or anyone questioning our product's quality. At the same time we acknowledge that there seems to be a gov't/corporate movement afoot to destroy and discredit our product. We obviously want to prevent this, but what we get is one of the most vocal and visible raw milk producers decrying our time-proven "risky" methods in favor of potentially onerous testing and safety plans. It speaks volumes to me that neither Violet or Goatmaid have been consulted about your RAWMI proposal. Herdshares ARE the way forward for raw milk because they obviate the need for regulatory interference and put responsibility squarely on the shoulders of both the farmer and the consumer. What you seem to be preaching is the commoditization of something which inherently should not be a commodity. Therein lies your "inherently dangerous" food in spades.
You seem to have a huge passion and a big heart, but keep in mind no one person should or can feed everyone. I believe it was your bigness (as well as your insurance policy) that got you sued by an otherwise anonymous customer. I, for one, prefer the vocation of farming to evangelism, and I don't believe in what I can't realize with my own senses.
All my best to Michael Schmidt. He's a true giant for the cause of freedom and farming.
A track record of 100 daires or 500 daires is an entirely different voice and track record than one or two dairies that are disassociated and not advertizing the data. If data is suppressed, hidden or in any way none accessible….no track record, no trust…Ghosts will still roam America and revist us as the guest spokesperson of Big Dairy Processors and the FDA. The Ghost will be free to blame and say…"we told you so…raw milk is not safe at any speed."
Cow Shares are a very effective and constitutional method for consumers and farmers to serve one another. I think you missed my point. Cow Shares are a highly innovative mechanism that was created becuase raw milk was suppressed and illegal. Cow Shares are not the optimal system to serve all people. They can serve some people for sure and that is great, but not all people. To say that Cow Shares are the only system is like saying that Retail Legal Raw Milk bought at Stores is the only way. Neither are correct. But…both deserve a place at the able to serve all people.
Each of us will be most comfortable with the systems that we have come to know. Change is never comfortable or easy.
As to 2006, some Epidemeologic Evidence was there…..but the court worthy Causation Evidence was not there. When OPDC got a letter from CDFA signed by a laundry list of every State Vet, CDFA PhD Lab whos-who and DHS epidemeologist on the state of CA payroll saying that Evidence points to Organic Raw Milk as the culprit behind at least 5 of 6 kids illnesses and the hospitalization of 2 kids, if you are consciuos you take notice. It is not something you forget. You do everything possible to make sure that you never ever get caught in the cross-hairs again. Regardless of whether OPDC was or was not connected to sick kids….OPDC acted to assure that this association could never happen again. Never.
My grand father was once asked,….what is intellegence?
He said, it is "acting in the present to assure that your future is as you intend".
RAMP and intensive food safety planning is an intellegent action in the present.
We need to embrace a voice for all of raw milk. We are strong as one collective voice. We are chaotic and "open season" to the anti-raw milk politics of the FDA, Big Dairy Processors if we are not.
Lets show the American Public our hard work and low bacteria counts. Lets create a huge, long, undeniable, very open and transparent track record of safety. Join RAWMI today.
I see Mark is up to his usual attempt to de-legitimize all the raw milk producers who won't bow the knee to RAWMI.
There are lots of reasons to go with herd/cow shares over direct sales. The original cow-share concept was an adaptation of the vegetable CSA. Vegetables aren't illegal anywhere in the US. The CSA concept was envisioned to produce a more just and equitable food system. Heres a bit on the thinking behind it: http://eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/SF/Spring%2094%20E.htm
But then CSA goes against what Mark is trying to do here so I don't expect this'll make any difference. This isn't about whats good for farmers or consumers, its about control and empire building.
David there isn't "ever less difference between the fascist and communist systems and the supposedly democratic systems of the U.S. and Canada". To the contrary the US economic system has been fundamentally fascist for going on a hundred years. No, whats changing is TPTB are consolidating power now that it is obvious they don't have to pretend any more.
From the above article John states and I concur, You city slickin' bureaucrats must feel so proud of yourselves picking on the little guy. Must give you a real sense of power.
I drank raw whole milk all the time while I lived on our dairy farm so I can tell you that it is completely harmless.
It tastes a lot better than the pasteurized stuff you buy in the store and I think it is a lot better for your health.
It does not seem to matter what I say, you are negative. Why is that? You seem to hate anything that joins us into an effective strong common raw milk voice.
Do you work for the FDA or Land-o-lakes?
Do you want raw milk to have a weak divided voice and no track record?
Please tell me how you intend for raw milk to emerge from the DARK AGES if it does not create a track record that is safe, accessible, legal, highly visible and transparent???
Please….you tell me. I am open to your ideas on this subject.
You never go into battle with just one poorly trained, poorly equipted person. You go into battle with a plan and as many people as possible….hopefully well trained, well equipted and sharing a common mission. RAWMI is a well thought out battle plan.
If you do not share the vision of safe accessible raw milk for all peoples and a thriving safe raw milk dairy industry ( with very small, medium and larger dairies ), then what is your vision for America?
First and foremost, Mark Mcafee is a LIAR. Any raw milk 'farmer' who buys a product from a conventional dairy and puts their label on it is guilty of fraud in the first degree. Falling back on the 'it was organic' is meaningless given the watering down of the standards. One who does this is not to be trusted, especially with the future of raw milk, for it's obvious that they are too enamoured with filling the demand, and making money. Those that join him in his intent to mainstream raw milk will indeed tarnish the specialness of the product.
His commoditization of the good stuff will alter the raw milk landscape forever, and the small local producer will be put at a disadvantage by large corporate industrialized raw milk dairies who will seize the opportunity to tap the lucrative market…the market that the small local producer has built. Can we not see the similarity here, where the 1%, the rich, are attempting to dictate to the rest? Don't be fooled by Marks big words. Supermarket shelves won't be served by humble reasonable people..factory farms, ones with grass (and only a 'little' grain in the barn), will be the ones who 'serve all the people'.
Is anyone sick and tired of Mark making a statement….back tracking…and then blaming everyone else for 'misunderstanding'? It's pretty obvious where he stands….and those that stand with him will turn their backs on the real people who serve the market currently.
Rawmi is an attempt to consolidate the market…around the parameters that Mark sets. Someone who looks down the nose at small farmers, encourages those who reject state control to come out in the light, and spouts off lines that are normally heard from those that seek to quash raw milk availability, cannot be trusted with the future of raw milk.
Ethical behavior and trust cannot be achieved through standards, labels and 'institutions'….
Day 42 Hospital
This was another very emotional day. The night before was my night with Chris. In the morning we would trade places so that the person on night duty could shower. Tony was there in the morning to sign paperwork for removing the Quinton catheter and inserting the PICC line. Unfortunately, he listened to all the things that could possibly go wrong and was very stressed out. When the Quinton catheter was placed and Chris had his MRI (they had to paralyze him) I signed the paperwork, but told the doctor I wasnt going to listen to any of the risks information because it would only cause unneeded anxiety. These were not procedures that were options. They had to be done. I wish I had been there this morning to sign the paperwork so Tony could have been spared the worry.
The procedure itself was no big deal. I dont think it took longer than 10 minutes and it wasnt even done in the operating room. This was a low level procedure compared to everything else he had endured, but there was still the worry that something could go wrong.
I went with Chris into the little room that had a table/bed. To calm Chris he was allowed to play his Gameboy as they sedated him. Within seconds, Chris was out. I left and when they returned him to his room, he now had a PICC line and new tape to deal with.
We spent another day watching TV and movies with Chris and Jesus. The social/political situation with illegal Mexican immigrants in California has been a hot issue for about a decade. The state of California is on the verge of bankruptcy because we have spent more on social programs than we have money coming in. Illegal citizens receive a free education and free medical services in California. I had much time in the hospital to ponder this dilemma.
We now shared a room with a family that had no insurance and who probably were not here legally. This particular childrens hospital was having financial hardships because of families like this. The waiting room was filled with Mexican families. There was not room at the childrens hospital in L.A. when Chris desperately needed kidney dialysis because of families like this. I pondered the question, Did illegal immigrants have the right to free medical care in our country? Is it right to deny a legal citizen with insurance a spot in a hospital because the hospital has patients who are not legal and have no insurance? This is the medical reality living in California. Could we really decline to provide medical care for Jesus and let him die? Financial ruin may occur if we dont stop this fiscal madness, yet morally how can we not treat a sick human being?
In Gods eyes, my Christopher and Jesus are equal.
Those are big ugly words. I will leave them alone.
Alas…I think we have found the bottom of the jealous hatred of RAWMI.
What I am hearing is that some small farmers that produce just for friends and neighbors or limited groups of favored and lucky Americans…..do not want competition from more farmers that produce extreme quality raw milk. In fact, people like Milk Farmer are so distressed by this possibilty that they are driven to call me a liar. Ugly words….hollow words.
A rising tide of truth will float all boats that ride in the waters of truth.
Small farmers have nothing to fear….there will never be enough raw milk in America to feed all that want it…if all farmers teach. Teaching builds markets. If you do not want to teach…then you should be nervous.
What I am hearing is that Milk Farmer is so lazy and so selfish that he ( or she….cause I have idea in hell who this person is ) wants raw milk to be only his little secret. Milk Farmer will deny nearly every American the right to access safe fresh raw milk. Cause…he wants no one else doing it except for him.
Milk Farmer…you are exactly what is wrong with this movement and what is wrong with America. You are unsharing and selfish. You refuse to teach or build or change. You could care less about your fellowman and could care less about the tens of thousands of children with Asthma etc or farmers that do not know about raw milk as a market…….There is room at the table for all raw milk dairies….from small, medium or large dairies. As long as we all "work to teach"….( that is raw milk marketing ) none of us should be threatened.
But….if you are, non transparent in your food safety efforts, fail to teach, then you should be scared.
My comments are not very Ghandi or Michael Schmidish….but they need to be said.
I am here to help all farmers and all Americans and their children. I am not here to keep the secrets of raw milk cloistered for the few. I am a teacher and I expect to spread this information to everyone far and wide. If that threatens you…then so be it.
RAWMI teaches raw milk…so RAWMI is a threat to those that do not want the word of raw milk to spread. This is the hot button. That is your problem not mine. I serve humanity not some little corner of nowwhere with some fake name.
Thank you, Marietta and Michael.
You need to be silent for a while, and just listen to your community. Stop pushing RAWMI agenda, and find out what you need to hear to gain acceptance. You should hire David Lynch to consult, because he gets this resistance, he gets independent farmers, and the right to choice.. He also understands how to grow an organization and he is visionary like you, but better at distilling the message. Plus more humble – he listens
Just my 2cents, witnessed his skillful leadership, see it working in CO….I don't know if he would work for you because he's got so many irons in the fire, but IMHO, you need someone like him. He can herd cats. He respects every farmer and sees a crack in every wall. He got us mobilized. (Sorry David – I know you are booked!) This is what I see lacking in RAWMI