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Vernon Hershberger fined $1,000 in raw milk case

BARABOO, WI (WTAQ) - Sauk County dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was fined $1,000 Thursday, for violating a holding order on raw milk made at his Loganville farm.

State prosecutors asked a judge to fine Hershberger $3,000 with a year of probation – but the judge decided the probation was not necessary.

At a recent trial, Hershberger was found not guilty on three charges of processing and selling milk without the proper state licenses. He was found guilty on one count of violating a holding order, after he was told not to move raw milk that inspectors found – and did so anyway.

Hershberger said he did not break state laws against selling raw milk, because he only gave the product to members of a private buying club.

The case was watched nationally. Raw milk supporters saw it as a referendum on the product’s health benefits.

Prosecutors said it was no such thing. The state said the only pertinent issues were the lack of licenses and the holding order violation.