Tag Archives: Food politics

The 2nd Annual Raw Milk Symposium

I got up before dawn on Friday, grabbed my bags and my husband drove me to the airport where I boarded the first of three planes, stopping first in Denver, then Chicago, and finally after hurtling through the air at 450+ mph over what looked like a beautiful patchwork quilt in a plane that felt as rickety and made as much noise as I imagine a tin can would at that speed, I landed in Madison WI at 3:55 PM. As I walked out the door the air smelled like grassy farmland and I could see the horizon stretching out for miles – not the usual for a girl who has spent the last 20 years of her life at the foot of the mountains in Utah.

Rosanne Lindsay from the Wisconsin Alliance for Raw Milk (ARM) picked me up and took me to the Hilton where the symposium would be held the next day, and I got to spend some time with some of the folks there for the symposium, caught some really good Italian with Augie Augenstein, the founder of the ARMi, and then Rosanne picked me up from there and I stayed at her home that night.

The next morning, Rosanne made sure I got plenty of raw milk to drink with breakfast and filled our thermoses for the day and then we headed out to the symposium, where we were able to meet Cathy Raymond from the fund, Gene’ Walls and her absolutely DARLING little boy, Michael Schmidt, David Gumpart, Mark McAfee, Scott Trautman, Sally and John Fallon, Max Kane, fund attorney Elizabeth Gamsky, Kathryne Pirtle, Kimberly Hartke, Jackie Stowers from Manna Storehouse, Andrew & Rebekah Sell, Annette Kohn-lau, Micah Taair, and many other great people (I am terrible with names!)

Some of my favorite bits from the symposium:

(Paraphrasing) This isn’t about milk, we are at war! Food can turn you into a perfect slave . . . We have a new form of dictatorship – a dictatorship of our own consent . . . To be silent is to consent . . . and creates a mockery of those who died to establish freedom.  . . we are for the government an unlimited natural resource if we are sick, because when we are sick, they can milk us to death. ~ Michael Schmidt

Real milk and Cod Liver Oil would solve 80% of our health problems. . . . (paraphrasing) This isn’t about milk, it is about freedom and it is about our children. It shows God’s sense of humor in that it’s all coalescing around a glass of milk ~ Sally Fallon

After the panel discussion, there was a wine and cheese tasting bar. I really loved the cheeses – there was a really wonderful gouda, some cheddar and colby, blue cheese, a fantastic chevre, (which I am going to try making myself) and some really yummy herbed cheese with parsley – none of it was labeled so I had to try to figure out what each one was, and since I’m not a cheese maker (maybe when I grow up :) ) so I could possibly be wrong on some of them. One thing is for sure they were all really good!

At the end we wrapped up with a sneak preview to Kristin Canty’s upcoming film documentary Farmageddon. It is a very touching and personal glimpse into farm raids and the trials that many of our small family farms have been experiencing as the FDA is amping up their enforcement of gray areas in the current food safety laws – I strongly encourage everyone to go see it once it comes out!

Sunday morning I was up at 4:30 am, and off to the Madison airport to catch a 6:30 am flight back in to Salt Lake City. Thank you to everyone who made the trip possible for me, so that I could go and represent our group and make connections that will allow me to continue to be an advocate for raw milk!