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Jurors Who Acquitted Raw Milk Organic Farmer in Wisconsin Speak Out in Support

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organics page, our Healthy Raw Milk page and our Wisconsin News page.

ROCK SPRINGS - One of the jurors who found a Loganville farmer not guilty on three of four counts that he operated an illegal raw milk operation told an audience here Tuesday night that she was so moved by the experience she now wants to be a part of the operation.

“I want to join that buyer’s club, I feel very passionate about it,” said Michele Bollfrass-Hopp, 51, of Merrimac, who spoke to a group of about 35 people at the Rock Springs Community Center.

Another juror, Kelly Winecke, said the trial proved to her that the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection needs to create new guidelines to protect farmers and consumers. “Make it their duty to let them know about safety and other concerns,” she said.

The two were members of the Sauk County jury in April that found organic farmer Vernon Hershberger not guilty of charges that he produced milk and operated a dairy plant without a license and illegally sold food in a retail establishment.

The jury found Hershberger guilty of violating a holding order placed on his products after a 2010 raid by state agents, and he was later sentenced by Sauk County judge Guy Reynolds to pay a fine of $1,500.

Hershberger, 41, would have been found not guilty on all counts if the jury had been given fuller information regarding the holding order, Bollfrass-Hopp said. She added she was angry to learn after the trial that some key information was withheld from the jury by state prosecutors and Sauk County judge Guy Reynolds.

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