A dairy farmer in Sauk County is the latest person caught in a state Ag Department crackdown on illegal sales of raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products, after officials raided his operation on Wednesday.
DATCP Food Safety Administrator Steve Ingham says the farmer was going beyond just sales of raw milk though, with items such as cheese also being produced and sold.
Ingham says Vernon Hershberger didn’t even have the proper license to operate a dairy. Although, he claimed he was exempt from regulations because he only sold products to members. Ingham points to Sam’s Club and Costco as examples of members-only businesses that sell food, but still need to have a license.
Ingham says DATCP is primarily concerned with operations selling raw milk to a large number of people. He says those the Department goes after typically are breaking other laws as well, and those are the ones the agency is currently taking notice of.
Governor Doyle last month vetoed a bill that would have allowed the limited sale of raw milk by dairy farmers. Even if Governor Doyle had signed it, Ingham says Hershberger’s operation would have still been illegal. The legislation would have allowed sales by dairy farmers with a Grade A license. Hershberger only had a Grade B dairy license, before his expired in February.