Teaching of a Different Sort: “Rights Workshop” to Advise Farmers, Food Clubs, on Countering Government Attacks; A Farm Family’s Fundraiser

Farmers and food club managers who come under attack by government enforcers are often at a loss about what to do next.

Will they invite government retribution if they try to publicize what has happened?

What do they tell food club members?

Should they hire a lawyer or represent themselves?

Should they comply with what the regulators are demanding, or resist?

What protections do they have under the law, and under the U.S. Constitution?  

Constitutional expert Michael Badnarik, who will be speaking at the special Rights Workshop in Wisconsin March 1. To begin to answer those and other similar questions, a first-ever “Rights Workshop” is being held next week, March 1, from 2-5:30 in Wisconsin. The workshop is in preparation for a rally the next day, March 2, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in support of dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day.

Workshop presenters include constitutional expert Michael Badnarik (“Defiance is the Key to Freedom”), Canadian dairy farmer and activist Michael Schmidt (“Lawyer or No Lawyer?”), Wisconsin activist Mel Olsen (“Being an Activist Mom”), Kentucky food club organizer John Moody (“Generating Grass Roots Support When Facing Health Department or Other Enforcement Actions”), national activist Liz Reitzig (“History of Social Change Through Peaceful Noncompliance”), Wisconsin activist Max Kane (“Taking Responsibility for Your Freedom”), and yours truly (“Let the World Know About Your Confrontation–Publicizing Government Infringements”).

The suggested donation is $20, and dinner will be served after the sessions. Spaces are limited–to RSVP, email rawmilkfreedomriders@gmail.com.

A Florida bio-dynamic farmer who was a long-time contributor to this blog died tragically two weeks, and friends are in the closing days of a fundraising effort on behalf of his family.

The farmer, Ed Sherwood, died in an auto accident. I truly wish I could say more about his blog identity here. He was an astute, if often acerbic commenter, and his family has requested I not reveal his blog pseudonym; they are fearful the farm could be a target of government retribution.

According to the fund-raising site, Sherwood’s farm “is really like a piece of heaven. Their cows are treated with love and respect and their garden overflows with a bounty of beautiful veggies. All of this took a lot of work from Ed. He faithfully milked the family cows twice a day, every day. He tended the garden and kept the 100-year-old farmhouse in repair. He took their vegetables – both fresh and cultured – to market every week.”

The fund-raising campaign ends tomorrow. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

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13 Comments on "Teaching of a Different Sort: “Rights Workshop” to Advise Farmers, Food Clubs, on Countering Government Attacks; A Farm Family’s Fundraiser"

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Bill Anderson
February 21, 2012 9:05 am

Out of curiosity, what makes Michael Badnarik a "constitutional expert"? Does he have a law degree? Has he won any cases in court, on constitutional grounds?

I first met him in 2004 when he was running for president. From my understanding, he is a retired nuclear engineer, not a constitutional lawyer.

Sylvia Gibson
February 21, 2012 9:15 am

My condolences to the Sherwood family and friends.


Will the "Rights Workshop" information be made available at some point in the future for all to read?

Bill Anderson
February 21, 2012 9:47 am

Noam Chomsky on the American perversion of libertarian ideals:


The Complete Patient
February 21, 2012 8:56 pm

Badnarik goes around the country speaking about the U.S. Constitution, gives day-long seminars. I've heard him speak and he knows what he's talking about. I don't know if he's a lawyer, and frankly, don't care. You can definitely be an expert on the Constitution without being a lawyer.


Bill Anderson
February 21, 2012 11:44 pm

I have heard Badnarik speak too.

I've never been impressed with the so-called "Libertarian" movement of America (more accurately "Propertarian"), which narrowly focuses on private property as the basis for all freedom. Even America's founding fathers (with all their flaws — slaveholders, banking aristocrats, and leading US Marshalls on the Western fron to crush farmer rebellions against the Whisky tax) understood that there needed to be limits to the rights of property, in order to guarantee equal rights for all. (See the the quotations below)

There is after all, a reason that property is not mentioned until the 4th… Read more »

Bill Anderson
February 22, 2012 5:01 am

I think this article from the Onion pretty much sums up my feelings about the intellectually dishonest constitutional rhetoric coming from the so-called "Libertarians", such as Badnarik.


February 22, 2012 5:23 am

Yet another bunch of obsessive political diatribes by Bill A that provide absolutely no help to the farmers and food club managers under attack, as discussed above.

Bill, instead of attacking someone who's trying to help them, a person you obviously feel is deviously subversive and trying to destroy the government, what do you propose to do? I don't see you stepping up in his place to run seminars to help those farmers and food club managers, especially with all your expertise in the Constitution….

Bill Anderson
February 22, 2012 7:47 am

Hi Goatmaid.

I have forwarded information about jury nullification to Vernon Hershberger, in hopes that this will help him with his case.

We had an opportunity to legalize raw milk in Wisconsin, with RawMI, but this opportunity was completely squandered by the "libertarians" in the movement. It perplexes me how Grade A certified organic dairy farmers refused to work with RawMI because of this misguided "libertarian" ideology they get in their head. They seem to have no problem with Grade A standards or organic standards. They could easily drop the organic certification and replace it with a raw… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
February 22, 2012 7:48 am


"The 13-year review looked at more than 120 dairy product-related outbreaks that occurred in 30 states between 1993 and 2006. "

Guess they needed to stop before 2007 as pasteurized milk killed people, raw milk hasn't.

Mark McAfee
February 22, 2012 7:58 am

I came to know Mike Badnarick in Wisconsin when he spoke at a raw milk rally in the ice cold of winter.

He then died ( literally ) and was saved by two awesome Paramedics and an ER staff that did not give up after 30 minutes of ACLS and life saving advanced medicine. He narrowly escaped deathafter an apparent heart attack, just an hour after he made a presentation about freedom and raw milk in defense of Max Cane. I watched the ambulance pull away with the CPR going full blast.

Mike now continues to travel arround… Read more »

February 22, 2012 1:13 pm

I'd take Bill more seriously if his arguments weren't largely composed of straw-men. One wonders if he's actually read many libertarian writings as the scope of his knowledge doesn't even rise to the level of Wikipedia. Such arguments only serve to insulate progressives and liberals from considering the Libertarians and their ideas; the latter which should be their greatest allies in the fight for freedom.

I doubt Bill will ever be at peace with the freedom loving farmers of the raw milk movement since food freedom is diabolically opposed to his agenda of regulation.

Government regulation and freedom are incompatible… Read more »

John M
February 22, 2012 9:38 pm

Good observations Pete. The way Bill misuses evidence, quotes, sets up straw people and positions, and the like is appalling. Thankfully, I think most people at this point realize it, especially in how he distorts various people's positions, like Ron Paul, or those who oppose certain worshiped pieces of legislation that have done more harm than good to our nation and all its people.

And using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource certainly isn't going any place positive or objective – an ultra-left wing radical group is obviously going to call any limited government person or group… Read more »

February 22, 2012 10:55 pm

A long but interesting 2001 article about British cheesemakers under threat from over-regulation, which corresponds with raw milk here in the U.S.:

For example:
"EU regulation imposes a `zero tolerance' for Listeria monocytogenes in cheese but it does not apply to other foods such as pates, meats and salads. However, it is the consumption of meat products that contributes to the majority of food poisonings. … This is even more surprising in the view of the fact that `several countries have concluded that the complete absence of Listeria monocytogenes for certain ready-to-eat foods is an unattainable and unrealistic requirement that would… Read more »