Michael Schmidt (agriculture)

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

In January 2010, Michael Schmidt was found not guilty on 19 charges relating to the sale of raw milk in the Ontario Court of Justice.[6] On appeal to the Ontario Court of Justice, that decision was overturned. Schmidt was convicted on thirteen counts and imposed fines totaling $9,150 and one year of probation.[7] A subsequent appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal was dismissed.[8]

In 2010, an injunction was granted against Schmidt barring him from distributing raw milk in British Columbia.[9] In 2013, Schmidt was found guilty of contempt of that order and sentenced to 3 months of imprisonment, suspended for 1 year of probation.[10] In 2015, his appeal was dismissed.[11]

In 2011, Schmidt went on a five-week hunger strike to protest the judgements against him.[12]


  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. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  6. ^ Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, C. H.7, Sections 18(1), 18(2) and 100 (1) Milk Act, R.S.O. 1990, R. v. Schmidt 2010 ONCJ 9 CanLII
  7. ^ R. v. Schmidt, 2011 ONCJ 482
  8. ^ R. v. Schmidt, 2014 ONCA 188
  9. ^ https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2010/2010bcsc355/2010bcsc355.html
  10. ^ https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2013/2013bcsc986/2013bcsc986.html
  11. ^ https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcca/doc/2015/2015bcca72/2015bcca72.html
  12. ^ "Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt ends hunger strike after meeting premier". Retrieved 21 November 2014.

Schmidt was born in Germany in 1954, nine years after the second world war ended. Our family had lost a big estate in East Germany to the Russians. My great-grandfather, on my father’s side, Georg Michaelis (1857-1936), was briefly chancellor of Germany under Emperor Wilhelm II and then minister of the agricultural sector in Prussia. He was the first chancellor not of noble birth to hold the office. With an economic background in business, Michaelis' main achievement as chancellor was to encourage the ruling classes to open peace talks with Russia during the First World War.

Georg Michaelis directly involved himself with the development of the biodynamic movement in the German Empire. In this capacity, he was instrumental in founding the Demeter organisation. He also helped to form the National Biodynamic Association and biodynamic research circle in Germany, which still exists today in Darmstadt. Georg Michaelis was at first very critical of this new approach to agriculture. Being himself a conservative Christian, he rejected any spiritual aspect unless it was founded in the traditional belief system of religion. Schmidt's paternal grandfather, Martin Schmidt, was one of the participants at the 1924 Koberwitz Agricultural Course, given by Rudolf Steiner. Advised by Steiner, Martin Schmidt developed a new and very methodical way of grain breeding through planetary constellation research and a sophisticated planting method. Martin Schmidt’s father, Wilhelm Schmidt[1], also known as Hot Steam Schmidt (Heißdampf-Schmidt) (1858–1924) was an engineer and inventor who achieved the breakthrough in the development of superheated steam technology for steam engines. Wilhelm Schmidt was born in Wegeleben in the Prussian province of Saxony where he later founded the Schmidt Superheated Steam Company (Schmidt'sche Heissdampfgesellschaft). This explains how it was possible for his son, Martin Schmidt, to acquire the estate in Thuringia, known as Gut Hessel, which was then lost in 1945 after the second world war, but returned to the Schmidt family in

1990 after the Berlin Wall came down.[2]

  1. ^ Wikipidia
  2. ^ Bert Becker, Georg Michaelis :Eine Biogaphie