Charge Against Minnesota Raw-Milk Farmer Dismissed


Despite admitting to breaking the law by selling raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products, Minnesota farmer Michael Hartmann had his charge dismissed and has been released from probation.

Sibley County District Court Judge Erica MacDonald determined after a hearing in Gaylord, Minn., that Hartmann should not be assessed further penalties for his actions, and she dismissed a charge against him of probation violation.

“The court affirmed the bedrock principle that the state cannot insert itself into a private transaction between consenting adults to buy a natural product, or interfere with the type of foods that a parent might choose to nourish their family with,” defense attorney Zenas Baer said.

Judge MacDonald had previously ruled that Hartmann violated the terms of his probation by continuing to sell raw milk and not cooperating with Minnesota Department of Agriculture rules, which only allows on-farm sales of raw milk.

Hartmann was on probation from a 2012 incident where he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of illegally selling raw milk, as well as selling beef and pork without a license. He was then fined $585 and sentenced to unsupervised probation for six months. He agreed to also follow all state licensing and labeling laws.