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Farmers Face Trial for Allegedly Obstructing Officers


Police and Investigators try to negotiate with the farm gate defenders


Farm owners block the drive way in defense of their food


Drive way blocked with tractors, cars and grain bin in intense standoff.

Peaceful farmers stood their ground during aggressive raid on their farm, now face trial and jail

What I eat, and what I feed my family, from my own farm and my own farm animals should be my choice, not a bureaucrat making that decision for me,”
— Marta Bak
WALKERTON, ONTARIO, CANADA, March 3, 2017 / -- A highly anticipated drama will unfold in the Walkerton Courtroom starting Monday, where Glencolton Farms coop owners will re-live the dramatic stand-off at the farm where they source their food. On Monday, March 6, 2017 at Walkerton (County of Bruce) Courthouse in Ontario, 207 Cayley Street, 3 farmers and a colleague face charges of obstructing police officers during a farm raid. The trial is set to begin at 9:30am.

The four men on trial are Michael Schmidt an outspoken activist on food rights who lives on the farm that was raided; Robert Pinnell, farm hand and mechanic; John Schnurr, business consultant; and George Bothwell who is still at large.

The four men, along with a fifth whose charges have since been dropped, were charged with obstructing a peace officer during a well-publicized raid on Glencolton Farms on October 2nd 2015.

Glencolton Farms has been the center of the Canadian raw milk battle for over 23 years. Glencolton Farms is owned by 150 families who are members in the Our Farm, Our Foods cooperative.

At the core of this standoff, is an application by the Government of Ontario and three Local Public Health Units against the distribution of raw milk, directly threatening farm families with arrest. Owners of the farm and supporters of food freedom were angered by the government’s action against their food source and stood in peaceful opposition to the government action against them.

During the raid, over 60 owners and friends of the farm blocked the driveway in order to prevent the confiscation of their equipment and their dairy products. The standoff ended peacefully after the investigator agreed to leave all items at the farm.

Six weeks later 5 arrest warrants were issued against the 5 individuals.

“What I eat, and what I feed my family, from my own farm and my own farm animals should be my choice, not a bureaucrat making that decision for me,” says Marta Bak, a mother and one of the farm’s owners. “I want to feed my family the best that I can.”

The trial is scheduled to last the whole week.

For more info on the raid, see this video:

Our Farms, Our Foods Coop is a 200 member cooperative formed for the purpose of boarding personal cows with a responsible dairyman. The group is just one of the many interested stakeholders in changing Canadian policy on raw milk. For additional information on raw milk For more on raw milk Canada see The Bovine.


Photo Credit: Elisa VanderHout

Liz Reitzig
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