Michael Schmidt (agriculture)

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Michael Schmidt is a Canadian dairy farmer and advocate for raw milk.[1][2][3][4] His story is documented in the film Milk War.[5]

Milk War is a story about Michael Schmidt’s battle to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk. In defiance of the law Schmidt has supplied his neighbours with raw milk for over 20 years. On November 21, 2006 Schmidt’s farm was raided by armed officers, his equipment was seized, all dairy products were destroyed and Michael was charged with 20 criminal offences for distributing unpasteurized milk.

On October 18, 2011, he delivered a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty requesting a dialog to discuss the right of people to buy food directly from farmers.

Raised in Germany with a Masters in Agriculture, he practices biodynamic principles of farming on his farm, Glencolton, in Durham, Ontario, which he and his wife purchased in 1983.

The Schmidt's farm was raided when the government heard about Schmidt's cowsharing program in 1994 and again in 2006.[6] In 2008, he was found guilty of contempt of court for ignoring a court order. He appealed the charges. In 2010, he represented himself in court and the judge, Paul Kowarsky, agreed with Schmidt and dropped all of the charges.[7] The Ontario government appealed. In September 2011, the acquittal was overturned.[8]

His farming operations have continued following the latest judgement. Schmidt plans to appeal.[9] In the meantime, his latest fight involves him undergoing a hunger strike, which began on September 29, 2011[10] and ended on November 4, 2011.[11] He plans to continue his hunger strike until Ontario's Premier, Dalton McGuinty, agrees to meet with him.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. raw milk advocates invite farmer on hunger strike to rally Toronto Star. 26 Oct 2011. (Accessed 1 Nov 2011)
  2. ^ Postmedia News (30 September 2011). "Ontario farmer convicted in raw milk case launches hunger strike". National Post. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hunger strike a needless waste of energy for raw milk crusader". Owen Sound Sun Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Should raw milk be sold in Canada?
  5. ^ "About Milk War - ichannel". ichannel. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Michael Schmidt's raw deal
  7. ^ "Milk given the raw deal?". 21 January 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Schmidt's Raw Milk Acquittal Overturned". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Farmer to appeal guilty verdicts over raw milk". Kitchener. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Schmidt goes on hunger strike". The Post. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt ends hunger strike after meeting premier". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Raw milk crusader sheds weight, maintains conviction". CTVNews. Retrieved 21 November 2014.