Raw War Rages | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK

  • Posted June 2, 2013

Another attack on raw milk? Why should you care? What IS raw milk? Is there really a Raw War? Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have enough information to better answer these questions and make more informed health decisions for yourself.   [updated at end]


We begin with Vernon Hershberger. Vernon is an Amish dairy farmer in Wisconsin and a father of 10. He recently faced jail time and fines while being charged with 4 misdemeanor counts. The crime? Providing quality fresh food to his community.

Ah yes, the Amish Milk Terrorist. Vernon was ‘attacking’ people by providing healthy food for them and their families, and in Wisconsin, that is illegal. So in June 2010, the DATCP (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) raided his farm and issued a holding order. They destroyed his bulk tanks of raw milk and taped the refrigerators in Arnold’s farm store, thus barring the removal of any food products. Catastrophe avoided! Whew!

You see, earlier in 2010, then Gov. Jim Doyle had VETOED a bill that would’ve made legal, the limited sale of raw milk. Vernon believed that, by instead, selling a share of the cow, the current law would not apply to him. He wouldn’t really be selling milk, but his ‘victims’ would actually own the cow. The cow is their property to milk or not.

Oh silly farmer… Laws are meant to be circumvented by politicians, and the crony corporations and organizations that fund them. Obtrusive laws aren’t meant to be bent by regular, hard-working people.. But Vernon couldn’t just let the food rot, so the tape was ignored and the rightful owners of the property (milk) were able to retrieve it from the coolers.

So on to the trial. In January 2012, the criminal complaint was filed against Vernon Hershberger. Essentially, this became a case where the taxpayers were funding the REAL attack on their food freedom. The DATCP was using taxpayer money to try Vernon Hershberger, and prevent him from providing the taxpayer with the quality fresh food…. Wait, which one was the supposed terrorist again?

Fast-forward to May 25, 2013.

With the help of Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Vernon was acquitted on three of the four counts. Among the NOT GUILTY verdicts were:

  • operating a retail food establishment without a license
  • operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license
  • operating a dairy plant without a license

However, Vernon was found GUILTY of violating the holding order issued by the DATCP. This seems odd considering the not guilty verdicts would make the holding order invalid to begin with, right? But this is the land of the free, the honest working man needs to be milked as much as possible (pun intended).

So yes, taxpayer money was spent to go after a man where there was no victim nor injury present. The endgame goal was to destroy a man’s business, and also, to deny individuals the freedom to choose what foods they wish to consume for their optimal health. Land of the Free, indeed.

As of this writing, Vernon Hershberger is able to feed his community once again. However, with the sentencing of the guilty verdict, the threat of jail time and fines still hang over his head. June 2, 2013, nearly three years after the initial raid, the raw war continues as Wisconsin prosecutors are still motioning to have Vernon Hershberger thrown in jail.


We now move to Pennsylvania with Your Family Farmer. ‘Your Family Farmer’ is a close-knit group of grass-based sustainable family farms in Pennsylvania, USA. Their mission states that they ‘have a special vision and talent to nurture healing foods from God’s good earth.’ And they ‘specialize in high-integrity, nutrient-dense, raw, organic foods from earth, grass and livestock.’ Among Your Family Farmer is The Family Cow. The Family Cow acts as the raw cow’s milk producer of the group.

And so on Wednesday, May 29, The Family Cow, headed by Edwin Shank and family, announced that it was suspending sales of it’s raw milk. The official statement was as follows:

“This is a note to tell you that we are halting sales of our raw milk while we do further testing. The PA Department of Ag called me yesterday reporting that they isolated campylobacter bacteria in a sample of raw milk that was bottled at our farm almost three weeks ago. For the next several days, both we and the state are extensively testing our current milk to assure its safety before we resume sales.”

Huh? Campy-what?

Campylobacter [pronounced “kamp-e-lo-back-ter”] is a microaerophilic bacterium. Campylobacteriosis is usually caused by consuming unpasteurized milk, raw or undercooked meat or poultry. Though it may be present in the body with no apparent symptoms, it is still one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in the United States.

Symptoms (which may include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea) can occur within 2 to 10 days after the bacteria are ingested, and will last about a week (usually 2-5 days). However, the USDA does warn of complications, and estimates 124 deaths each year from the bacteria.

In the Raw War, Campylobacter is a go-to ammunition by the anti-raw milk crowd.

O.K. At this point, some may be thinking….”Just what is this Procinctu? Why do I care that some backward Mennonite is selling people bacteria in a bottle? I saw this on my news, they should be shut down! The government needs to protect citizens from people like this! At least the Amish guy didn’t make people sick.”your family cow | Raw War | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK

Okay, Okay, so let’s go to the next part.


In Edwin’s statement, he said. “While we do further testing…”  So just what kind of testing do they perform over there?

Independent third party testing per The family Cow website includes:

  1. (SPC) Standard Plate Count bacteria test.
  2. (PI) Preliminary Incubation bacteria test.
  3. (SCC) Somatic Cell Count
  4. (TCC) Total Culiform Count.
  5. Salmonella (sample taken from final packaged bottle.) – zero tolerance
  6. E.coli-O157:H7 (sample taken from final packaged bottle) – zero tolerance
  7. Listeria monocytogenes (sample taken from final packaged bottle) – zero tolerance
  8. Campylobacter jejune (sample taken from final packaged bottle) – zero tolerance
  9. Bovine tuberculosis – zero tolerance
  10. Brucellosis – zero tolerance

Of these 10 milk sanitation and herd health tests, only the first 3 are required in order to sell milk to the pasteurizer. The other 7 are extra PA state tests required to sell raw milk intended for direct human consumption.

But if that’s not enough, they voluntarily go beyond the state requirement for testing of raw milk. Stating….

“We do this extra testing for your peace of mind, the safety of your families and out of abundance of caution. Testing is tedious and expensive. It would be easier and cheaper to only test at the state required minimum.”

“To our knowledge, we are the only PA dairy, raw or pasteurized, which tests in the final retail-ready container at this frequency. Some experts in microbiology have cautioned us that testing with this level of intensity is not a wise business move because, in their you look that hard and test that frequently, you will be sure to have a positive test sometime. Then your farm and food will have bad press, while those who test less frequently or never, will look good!”

Then they go on….

“When it comes to your family’s safety, it’s not the government’s standards that we are trying to live up to… it’s yours.   We have faith that you will appreciate our caution, honesty, transparency and forthrightness.”

It seems like a good effort in combating the Raw War. So given all this testing info, how likely do you think it is that contaminated milk will make it past the testing and past the family and into the hands of the public? Certainly it’s possible. No argument there. However, the timing of this is quite suspect.


The timing? Yes. While Vernon Hershberger was in court awaiting his verdict, Edwin Shank sent an email out to his list in defense of Vernon. In the email he talked about the importance of the case and its impact on the state of raw milk. It wasn’t the first time he railed against the FDA, but he called them out  yet again for perpetrating the raw war attacks (though they are carried out on the state level).

However, there are several peculiar phrases of note that raise some eyebrows. Phrases like these:

“This is too close home! It’s not our family now… But if they can do this to Vernon and his family, what guarantee do we have that our day is not coming!”

“Folks! We must wake up and know that Vernon is not alone in feeling the hangman’s hand. Even If he escapes this time, this will not be the end, nor will Vernon be the last. The Shanks at Family Cow may be next. The form of attack may be different, but the motive and end result will be the same.”

“Or….you and your family may be next.”

“Maybe you think you can’t afford to join the FTCLDF for Vernon. But Please do it for us. Our family may be next. I’m dead serious. We have a foreboding sense of urgency. If you cannot do it for us either. We do understand. But please, join at least for yourself and for your children.”

Hmmm. So 3 days after the warnings and call to action, they find tainted milk?


Of course here at Procinctu, we would never suggest that a governmental entity would be less than forthright. However, for conversations sake, let’s just pretend we are writing a book. It might go a little something like this…..

There is a public display in opposition to the government. Government bureaucrats are humiliated in court. Some power tripper with a tin badge wants to feel important.

To the average onlooker, this looks like a perfect situation for a bit of retaliation. You know, shut down business for a few days…Nothing too bad… We won’t put them OUT of business or anything. Just lean on them a bit… You know, just so they think twice before they open their mouths again.

So in this book, the department says, “Hey there, between April 30 and May 10, five people became sick with campylobacter.. These people have had raw milk before, so we are going to come on May 17, and take samples from that batch of milk.” The department then comes back 10 days later and says “Yep, your milk from 3 weeks ago had campylobacter. You can’t sell anymore milk until we test some more.”

Okay, well IF that’s the case, there are some logical replies that the farmer could come up with… like…Why were there not more sicknesses? Thousands of people drink the milk only 5 were sick?…. three weeks ago?… What about everybody else who drank the milk 3 weeks ago? What about everybody who has had the milk in the weeks since then? Why aren’t they sick? What’s the point of shutting down now?

Of course, there’s no room for logic to apply in this book. Only the ‘temporary’ halting of a man’s business and livelihood. Plus, the infringement on the right’s of thousands of people, who just want to freely choose their food. Nothing really important here.

Yeah, this seems like conspiratorial hogwash. Luckily, in real life, it’s not like a government entity would target a person or business out of spite or political beliefs. This isn’t Nazi Germany, there are no Soviets around, the Big Ag lobby has no skin in the game….



Personally, it was over a year ago that I became a convert to raw milkism. Why? To me, the benefits far outweighed the risks. Plus, the obvious Raw War that the government has waged against raw milk, led me to question why.

The terminology battle in the raw war has already been lost. Really, Raw Milk should just be called MILK. And the milk most North Americans refer to as the conventional pasteurized form should be called PASTEURIZED milk. Why does the original product have to change it’s name? Do you call carbonated water, WATER….and normal water, WATER MINUS CARBONATION? Or back to milk… is chocolate milk, MILK ….and normal milk, MILK MINUS CHOCOLATE? Nope. Sounds pretty stupid and redundant. However, we let this terminology take over in the area of real raw milk vs altered pasteurized milk.

So just what is raw milk? That’s it. MILK! From the cow to your mouth.

And what about pasteurized milk? It’s from the cow, to the processor, then to your mouth. And what goes on at the processor varies greatly from one to the next. Pasteurization itself is the heating of the milk to kill the bacteria within it. That heat kills both bad and GOOD bacteria! And also, since they know the milk will be heated, the standards by which the milk is produced are lax.

Then take into account that sometimes the cow is fed an unnatural diet to beef it up, and sometimes the cow is injected with a growth hormone to make it grow. This creates a pus in the milk and further increases the need for pasteurization. Mmmm pus. (that’s pus like mucous, not to be confused with…..oh, nevermind)

As far as the Raw Milk aspect, the good bacteria are beneficial in boosting one’s immune system. To further explain, I’m going to quote a Procinctu article from last year…

no parking | Raw War | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK….raw milk boasts of having these ‘living’ essential probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms which benefit the host (you). How? They line your gut and ward off the detrimental bacteria from causing you problems and illness. Edwin calls it “competitive exclusion” and as an example he says to imagine your gut as a city street. If your city is already heavily populated (helpful probiotics) and all the street parking is taken, then the bad guys (harmful bacteria) who come to wreak havoc have nowhere to park and move on.

Why does this matter so much? Well, up to 80% of your immune system is dependent on these ‘friendly population’ of probiotics in your intestines. If they are lacking, then the harmful bacteria or parasites have places to latch within your gut, and as a result, you are more easily exposed to diseases of every kind, even mental.

So where does your milk fit into this? You see, modern conventional methods use pasteurization to kill harmful pathogens from milk and extend its shelf life. But this high heat not only kills the harmful stuff, it also destroys the original beneficial antimicrobial properties and the vitamins within the milk. Then the ’manufacturers’ actually make vitamins to mimic the ones they had just destroyed, and put those BACK into the milk and call it ‘fortified vitamin D milk.’ Hmm… Now women….when breast feeding your child, do you milk yourself, then pasteurize it, then give it to your child? Or do have your child consume it in its raw state (as has been done for all of history)? Or maybe God’s design was wrong from the start, and the current humans now have it all figured out….

Hopefully that explained things well enough to give you a better understanding.


Obviously, as more and more people REdiscover the benefits of real raw milk, they will flock away from the pasteurized milk that they have been conditioned to accept. This is a huge threat to the multi-billion dollar dairy industry and just one of the reasons behind the raw war. And don’t think that they aren’t lobbying politicians to be their henchmen. Anyway, it’s a bonus for the politicians, since restricting people’s rights, in order to protect them from themselves, fit perfectly with the typical government narrative.

As anyone who has studied germs can attest, a sterile environment doesn’t mean a healthy one. You can even take a look at this in-depth article by Michael Pollan, titled Some of My Best Friends Are Germs. As you just read above, bacteria are a huge part of our bodies. And the fact that we can populate ourselves with healthy bacteria scares many people in power who otherwise would just like to control us. It provides another way to be self-reliant and less reliant on pills they’d like for us to consume.

But looking on to the Raw War, the bureaucrats seem to get a high off of executing their power trips and terrorizing the working man. Here is a video from Morningland Dairy in Missouri.

Eventually, the government would destroy tens of thousands of pounds of this man’s raw cheese, and ultimately his livelihood. Why? After 30 years, how many became sick form his cheese? Any?

These things are NOT isolated. In the FDA report “Healthy People in 2010 and 2020” the objectives are clear. The Federal government wants to OUTLAW REAL RAW MILK. Here is the proof.

FDA report | Raw War | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK

Also, the CDC has a special website whose sole purpose is to warn against raw milk. It pretty much says everything I say here, except the exact OPPOSITE. At least at Procinctu, you are encouraged to choose for yourself. Not so with the government recommendations.

Currently, there are 11 states in the U.S. in which raw milk sales are illegal. You can get a breakdown of the laws at RealMilk.com.
raw milk legality | Raw War | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK
Raw milk is also illegal in Australia and Canada. And you can follow the journey through the legal system of Canadian farmer Micheal Schmidt in the movie Milk War.

However, in most of the rest of the world, distribution of unprocessed raw milk IS allowed.

We can continue on to the evolution of this Raw War, and you will see that it is really part of the bigger War on YOU. This post is probably not the best time to address that. Though more research may lead one to Agenda 21, population control, New World Order, etc. With more research, would you find that this whole thing is more nefarious than you could imagine? I’ll leave that up to you. So for now, we’ll tone it back down and keep it on the milk level.


Some may view the Amish or Mennonite way of life as backward. But really think about it. We can talk about the materialistic realm, or the ‘lack of promiscuous dress’ realm, but let’s just focus on the milk realm by asking ourselves some questions.

  • Do you drink milk?
  • Do you know the farmer it came from?
  • Do you know what the cow’s diet consisted of?
  • Was the cow injected with rBGH?monsanto | Raw War | Latest attack on REAL RAW MILK
  • What percentage of the milk is consisting of pus, from the growth hormone?
  • Did the cow eat grass (as it would naturally) or grain (which man feeds it)?
  • Was the cow packed together with other cows in a commercial prison state?
  • Was the cow allowed to roam as it were free?
  • What became of the milk after milking? Was it bottled, or sent to a processor?
  • What processes were performed on it?
  • Was all of its healthy bacteria killed?
  • Were unnatural vitamin fortifications added to the milk to mimic the vitamins lost during pasteurization?
  • Would the original natural vitamins be more beneficial than ones made in a factory?

So which is the backward way of life? These simple questions may change your view on raw milk and give you a different perspective on the Raw War. But it should not end there. These questions should be asked of anything that you put into your body. When you eat any meat or vegetable or anything, do you know where it came from? Have you personally met the person who provided it for you? Obviously, it is difficult in this day to know the exact source of everything. But it is necessary to at least try in order to change the narrative in America and beyond.


I don’t know what exactly happened yet. Maybe Edwin wrote the email on Saturday May 25th in anticipation of the results from the May 17 investigation so that people like me could speculate and write about it. Maybe a bureaucrat has a vendetta against The Family Cow. Maybe the FDA’s leaning on someone to act against The Family Cow. Maybe there really is an instance where there are five campylobacter illnesses from raw milk, with no other carry over. I don’t really know.

What I DO really know, is that I will not settle for pasteurized dead pus milk. I will continue to drink raw milk and reap it’s benefits. When Edwin and The Family Cow resume their sales, I will once again occasionally buy raw cow milk from them. (occasionally because I drink a bit more of raw goat milk)


OK, Procinctu, I’m Sold…where can I buy this contraband?!

Ah, I thought you’d never ask! Well, actually I did, but anyway, follow THIS LINK for a state-by-state list provided by Weston A Price Foundation.. And also, consider joining the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. And remember, as the Raw War rages on, you and only you should control what goes into your body. Whether you prefer to consume dead pasteurized milk, or real raw milk, or no milk at all… You do so at your own risk. (that’s my disclaimer)


UPDATE June 3, 2013

The Family Cow addressed it’s friends and families with this statement:

All official State-accepted pathogen tests results from the Family Cow raw milk have come back 100% pathogen free! Two samples were sent to a PA State-approved 3rd party lab and tested free of the following four pathogens: Campylobacter jejune, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli O157:H7

Also exciting for us: we received test results for the 6/12 (June 12) cap date raw milk that was in our store refrigerators when the State asked us to halt sales last Tuesday. This test was also run at a 3rd party lab and, like we expected, it was also confirmed to be 100% pathogen free.

So it is official now…The Family Cow raw milk is cleared to go!…all we need yet is an updated inspection of our milking and bottling facilities by the PDA…”

Well that’s awesome. Their business was shut down for a week…. on pure speculation? Will we see the same news coverage from the newspapers and TV vindicating The Family Cow’s milk as pathogen free? Ha, doubt it. For those that aren’t reliant on mainstream media, hopefully, this whole ordeal will just spark more awareness of raw milk and create a few more converts. And give The Family Cow a few more customers in the process.