The “Final Chapter” for Michael Schmidt? A Meeting with Ontario Premier Would End Hunger Strike

Canadian raw dairy farmer Michael Schmidt personally delivered a letter to Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty, today. In it, he explains why he is carrying on his hunger strike, and what it will take for him to end it. Schmidt states his position more clearly and eloquently than I ever could, so I am publishing it as is.Here is information on contacting the premier, to follow up on Schmidt’s letter.

Premier of Ontario, Honorable Dalton McGuinty,

Choice is something that is inherent in our national identity. People come to this country from all around the world because Canada is a place of liberty, and these are the values we hold most dear.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuintyYet, despite this, I have been fighting since 1994 for the right of men, women and children in Canada to be able to make the simplest and most important of all choices -what they eat.

Over the last 17 years I have made every effort to engage the authorities in a constructive dialogue about the issue of non-pasteurized milk in Ontario and Canada. In return my farm has been raided by armed officers, my family has been terrorized and I been dragged through the courts – first being acquitted and then being found guilty.

Today, farmers like me in Ontario and around the country are scared. We are scared that people with guns who claim to be acting in our best interests will snatch our livelihoods from us. We are scared that we will be tried for the “crime” of believing that informed consumers and citizens in our free country should be able to choose what they eat and drink.

This is why, on September 29th, I began my hunger strike. Today is day 19 without food. And whilst I am suffering and my body is weakening by the hour, I am resolutely determined that this will be the final chapter of this 17-year fight.

The right to buy food direct from a farmer is as old as our country. Yet, today, that right is being taken away from Canadians by a government that insists that only corporate Canada be responsible for feeding our citizens.

I respectfully call on you, Premier McGuinty, to meet with me in person, as soon as possible, to find a way of ensuring that this right is respected and that the government renounces in taking away the most fundamental of all our rights – that to choose what we eat.

The end of my hunger strike is dependent on it. I am very hopeful that we will be able to resolve this issue, once and for all, by working together in an open and constructive way and I very much hope that the opportunity to do so comes soon.

Yours respectfully

Michael Schmidt

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36 Comments on "The “Final Chapter” for Michael Schmidt? A Meeting with Ontario Premier Would End Hunger Strike"

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Mark McAfee
October 19, 2011 6:28 am

Brother Michael….

Finnaly, a reach across the bridge of reason to the executive branch of government and an abandonment of the judges…

Awesome!! Glorious!! Fantastic!! I am with you all the way!!

Deepest respect,


Blair McMorran
October 19, 2011 8:00 am

Thank you David,
for posting this letter. It explains a lot.

If Michael's appeal to Premier (what a title!) McGinty does not receive a prompt response, the premier will go down in infamy. The ball is in his court, and his integrity to serving his province .

I pray this gets lots of accurate media attention.

I support RAWMI's stated goals and I don't believe you are out to get the little guy. Sometimes on this blog you make statements that alarm people, but I get what you're doing.
Thank you for… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 19, 2011 8:53 am

Thank you Blair,

I will try to tone it down a little. But…the passion of truth, the studies and 65000 raw milk consuming CA people reinforce how powerful raw milk is for us all. Farmers and consumers alike. It is hard for me to stand by and let people stand in it's way….people from the FDA or even on the raw milk side.

I deeply respect what you have done at RMAC.

Violet Willis
October 19, 2011 9:02 am


Thanks so much for your kind comments about my farm but I do digress with your comment about my blog . . .

"Your site is covered in links to all types of raw milk events and activist sorts of things."

Wondering which blog you went to because I have no links to any site and I am totally non-political in my writings . . . it is all about my farm, food, community and family. I make it a point to be non-political on my blog . .

You lied about me, Mark . . . and it says… Read more »

Violet Willis
October 19, 2011 9:42 am

Mark and I are with you . . .Michael . . . we will be fasting with you in solidarity on Thursday , ,

With very best wishes from fellow farmers and raw milk consumers in Maine . . .

Kind regards,


milk farmer
October 19, 2011 10:21 am

You sure got balls to call me lazy Mark….but as always you take a slap at small farmers that work their farms alone. If I was 'selfish' I damn sure would be pouring every minute of every day into my farm… Talk about hollow words. Deceiving others again. Tsk tsk.

You are guessing Mark, and hoping to make an impression with your response. You don't know me or the community that I have built around my milk and other farm products. But since I don't agree with your 'vision' you trash them as insignificant, and me as even less than… Read more »

Deborah Peterson
October 19, 2011 11:41 am

Back in the days when Raw Certified Milk was in place & very prolific throughout the U.S. there were standards in place that ensured pure, safe, nutritious milk to the consumers. Some of these standards included:

Cleanliness: milk samples tested daily

Bacteria count: milk & cream – 10,000/ml maximum

Anaerobic bacteria test: once per week

Streptococci test: once per month

Herd tests: each cow's blood tested for brucellosis before entering milk herd & retested at least once a year. Reactors removed from herd

T.B. skin test: every 180 days by veterinarian

Health of cows: heifer calves vaccinated for brucellosis between… Read more »

October 19, 2011 12:01 pm


It's an extraordinary letter that pulls together everything that those of us who want the freedom to choose the food we eat and drink are so passionate about. It's so simple, really, and this letter crystallizes it all.

I've sent an e-mail via the premier's contact page (thank you, David, for providing the link). I hope and pray that the premier meets with him, and that something good comes of it.

And Michael, my heart and prayers have been with you and will continue so.

October 19, 2011 9:36 pm


Do you an email I can reach you at? I have some questions better addresed privately.

Marietta Pellicano
October 19, 2011 10:15 pm

"I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you." This is a mantra/prayer as taught by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. One can 'google' this to find out more about this, but today I ask that we collectively repeat this all day long as much as we can for Michael Schmidt. Implore as many as you can to do the same. Farmer Schmidt, an honorable man, has declared his fasting intent, and I could never ask him to change, (even though I would want to), so what can I do to support him? Prayer, especially collective prayer can move… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
October 19, 2011 10:19 pm

"What about raw milk producers in states where it is illegal to produce and sell raw milk? Are you going to list their names and addresses on your website?"

Perhaps they would be considered collateral damage? Make a martyr of them?

I wouldn't buy raw milk from any chain stores, that would not only make the quality of the milk questionable, it would also make it questionable how the milk was processed.

What does it cost to have labs done each time? What does the equipment cost to obtain the samples,hold them and transport them?… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
October 20, 2011 12:59 am

"(CDC) ……, the FDA says it was able to positively trace the source of the outbreak to southwestern Colorado cantaloupe growers Jensen Farms."

How long before the public was notified of the "potential" contamination?

"The investigation found that the Listeria monocytogenes strains MAY have been introduced by a low level of the bacteria in the fields where the fruit were grown and contaminated the storage facility. The facility COULD HAVE also been affected by a truck used to haul the fruits to a cattle operation," (emphasis mine)

Sounds like they still are NOT sure…. wonder if Jenson's… Read more »

October 20, 2011 1:23 am

Ahhh, but you see, Sylvia, that's how they squeeze out the little folk, how they've always done it… make the requirements and restrictions so onerous that small farmers are forced to give up: "Get big or get OUT." Well, what if we don't want to get big?

Mark and Gordon always make me laugh out loud when they accuse me of being jealous of their success. LOLOL I don't WANT their success. I'm perfectly happy serving the folks I do… mostly liberals and hippies in a small college town which is still 40 miles from my farm,… Read more »

Blair McMorran
October 20, 2011 1:33 am

Good questions about testing. RMAC's Goat Standards Committee had a devil of a time with TB and Brucellosis test standards for goats. Generally speaking, goat producers are more adamant about not exposing their animals to vaccines, other routine chemicals and shots. They eventually decided to make a one-time test for TB & Brucellosis mandatory, and as long as it was a closed herd and Colorado remained a TB and Brucellosis "free" state, no further testing required. Otherwise, testing was required every 3 years for goats, every year for cows.

We test for Salmonella and e.coli 015:H7,… Read more »

October 20, 2011 1:40 am

With the listeria outbreak in CO, does anyone know if those cantaloupes were genetically modified? I don't know of anyone who's addressed the issue of GMOs and foodborne illness.

–Blue Dog

Sylvia Gibson
October 20, 2011 2:20 am

$20.50 plus mailing (I have to clue what shipping costs)

According to mark's RAMP on his web site, he sends in samples twice a week. $12.50X2= $25/week X52weeks=$1300/year plus shipping…. That adds up. Mark does your RAWMI require your members to test twice a week?

If the animals are getting vaccinations, are they considered organic?

"Mark's swagger and semi-threatening bombast is beginning to sound like the FDA, "


Blue Dog- haven't seen anything about GMOs and the cantaloupe

October 20, 2011 2:22 am
October 20, 2011 3:34 am

Violet, that is indeed very illuminating. I appreciate you highlighting the disparity between the claim and reality of your web site.

Short of searching the entire site, is there any way I can find your fiber/yarn goods that are currently for sale?

Marietta Pellicano
October 20, 2011 6:36 am

These are the Quixote lyrics that I know…from Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Lyrics by Joe Darion
In this song, Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it … in doing so,
he captures the essence of the play and its philosophical underpinnings.
(For me, it is absolutely magical.)

To dream … the impossible dream …
To fight … the unbeatable foe …
To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
To run … where the brave dare not go …
To right … the unrightable wrong …
To love … pure and chaste from afar …
To try … when your arms are too weary …
To… Read more »

Mary Martin
October 20, 2011 6:43 am

October 19, 2006
Day 43 Hospital

When the doctors made their rounds, discussions took place about possibly of doing a laparoscopy to check the opening of Chris pancreas. Due to the length of time Chris pancreas had not been working, he was moving into the category of having chronic pancreatitis. We were still in the process of being released from the hospital, but had been waiting for the TPN nurse specialist to meet with us. They didnt know if this would take place through LLUCH or our HMO. We would have been released tomorrow, but someone forgot… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 20, 2011 6:59 am


I visited your wonderful website and I saw all sorts of links to political activities etc. David Gumpert speaking etc.

I am going to reserve all comments and stay positive.


Violet Willis
October 20, 2011 7:11 am


Thanks so much for your posting . . .

E-mail me privately at: or even call me at (207) 726-4765 and I will be able to give you the range of our fiber products from our Icelandic Sheep . . . glad you took the time btw to realize that Mark McAfee was wrong about my blog:) At this point . . . I don't think he even looked at it . . .30 minutes . . . is that right Mark:)

Getting ready to fast tomorrow . . .remember . . . Canada is a very Socialist… Read more »

Violet Willis
October 20, 2011 7:31 am


That was a post about our open farm day . . . we had three speakers who spoke about food rights . . . and believe it or not, all three are personal friends . . . :)

Kind regards,


The Complete Patient
October 20, 2011 8:58 am

Yes, per comments by Mark and Violet, I had a great time at Violet's farm on Saturday. She and husband Mark hosted a community open house, which included talks by Scott D'Amboise, a candidate for the U.S. Senate; Bob St. Peter, a leader of the Food Sovereignty movement; and myself. It was a beautiful day, and about 100 area residents showed up at her way Downeast outpost…yes, Dennysville is close to the easternmost town in the U.S. I meant to thank her on the blog for her hospitality, but with all that is going on with Michael Schmidt, I've… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 20, 2011 11:45 am


If I did not report properly about your website, I deeply apologize. The website I visited had a right hand margin filled with links. It was the address that you use at your name address. Did I not visit the wrong website?

Blue dog Or you can call me 1877 raw milk.

As to the RAWMI standards, we have learned much from the lessons of the AAMMC certified raw milk movement. We have learned much from RMAC. At RAWMI we hope to bring a fresh new era to raw milk safety and transparency. A track record with… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
October 20, 2011 6:08 pm

Mark does your RAWMI require your members to test twice a week? You didn't answer this question?

If I was in a state where selling raw milk was illegal, I would not join any entity as there would be fear of the feds invading that entity that holds records of my lab results, etc leading the govt to invade me…..

"The website I visited had a right hand margin filled with links." "I saw all sorts of links to political activities etc."

The site she lists as hers doesn't have a side margin with links, or are… Read more »

Brigitte Ruthman
October 20, 2011 7:05 pm

It is worth repeating Goatmaid's comments from above. Although she/he fears revealing an identity, the situation seems so famiiliar to me in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where more and more people are coming from farther and farther away, hoping to find fresh milk. They are mothers with babies, adults with health issues, liberals, conservatives, all united in a belief that local farmers are an antidote to industrial, processed corporate foods and their greed. Their voices, as yet, aren't strong enough. But unlike many of you, including Goatmaid, I believe that people will rise up to claim their rights. We… Read more »

The Complete Patient
October 20, 2011 8:01 pm

There was one politician at Violet Willis' open house on Saturday, Scott D'Amboise. Bob St. Peter and I, also spoke, but we're not politicians. I'm not sure sometimes where these ideas get going, such as the notion that only politicians spoke there.


Sylvia Gibson
October 20, 2011 9:59 pm


I believe it was Mark's post "I visited your wonderful website and I saw all sorts of links to political activities etc. David Gumpert speaking etc. " that alluded to or put you in the same category as a politician.

I've read Violet's blog and did not see any political activities on it, as it appeared that Mark did per his statements.

I've no doubt that many are proud to "stand forward" in preventing invasion from the govt. Some aren't foolish enough to toss everything away they've worked hard for all their lives. They don't want… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 20, 2011 10:20 pm

To answer the question of testing frequency, RAWMI has not fully settled on the testing protocol.

We have discussed that smaller operations would test much less frequently than larger commercial operations. I can not see any operation testing more than 1 time per month. Smaller operations perhaps once every 3 months. That is our best guess at this time. We will see how the final concept comes out.

Remember that testing does not assure safety. It is the consistency of the plan and controls in place that make for safety. Testing is a surveilance program to measure how well… Read more »

Ken Conrad
October 20, 2011 10:38 pm


I wish you the best with your RAWMI program however keep in mind that our desire to bring about positive change through controlling standards can be a slippery slope to perdition. Farmers and the public have both been brainwashed into believing that the current system of production, processing and distribution of food is adequate despite its failures and a gross disrespect for the environment and natural process and for this reason education aught to be RAWMI's sole objective.

I admire and I am enviable of the fact that raw milk is available for sale in many states south of… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
October 20, 2011 10:49 pm


I can't speak for others, only myself. It's not a matter of feeling threatened by growing interest in raw milk. I think it is great, more people are leaning towards more natural foods. Less processing, less adulterations.

One of the things that concerns me is that throughout history, it has shown that when something becomes "big" there is a tendency for increased contamination.
I can envision a 500 or greater heard supplying raw milk for consumption. It is not something I would be comfortable consuming. It's like running a day care… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 20, 2011 11:20 pm


I think that the sober facts of Alta Dena bear witness to your very correct observations. When 6000 cows ( Alta Dena operations in the 1980's ) are crowded together in wet CAFO conditions, it really does not matter how clean you try to make their udders during milking, the conditions microscopically will not be a match for raw milk. Alta Dena also used anti biotics and lots of grain…lots of it. Not a blade of grass ever. No sunny pastures.

So you are very very right.

We are at the dawn of a new day. Organic… Read more »

Mark McAfee
October 21, 2011 1:26 am


I am sure that Premier McGuinty has plenty of voices inside of his Agriculture Department telling him to not meet with you. That is what his message to the press has been.

Mike you need to erode the Premiers support systems. Meet or attempt to meet with every person that sits in power, through out all Canadian government. Take the press with you. Do a Michael Moore on these poor smucks. Walk to each office…serve them all with notice. Take this argument to each government official and appeals to them as parents.

I sent my letter and email to… Read more »

Nourish Yourself
October 21, 2011 4:21 am

It's time to get on our knees and ask the Almighty for forgiveness for turning from Him, trust Jesus Christ by faith for salvation and then pray for Michael Schmidt, and our food freedoms!

Jeremiah 33:3 God's phone#
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know

?2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their… Read more »

Daniel Lester
October 27, 2011 12:15 am

Concerning Sylvias remarks (10/20), big is only a three letter word. There is no reason why a larger operation should be any less capable of producing healthy raw dairy products than a small operation, assuming the terrain is suitable for whatever number of cows the farmer wishes to maintain. Suppose that within a market area there were either 100 two-cow milk producing farms or one 200-cow farm. Is a consumer more likely to contract a sickening pathogen in one system than the other? As a consumer, I am interested in which system would better serve the… Read more »