For Vernon Hershberger, 2014 has been much better than 2013. Last year, he was in the middle of a raw milk suit against the state of Wisconsin. After being acquitted on three of four charges in Sauk County, Wis., court, the 43-year-old told the Wisconsin State Journal this week, “I got my life back.”
In addition, the well-publicized court case served as a great marketing opportunity for Hershberger’s raw milk business. Today, the members of his buyers club are about 25% greater than they were last year. He was found not guilty on charges relating to producing and selling milk, but was charged only for violating the holding order placed on his products after a 2010 raid.
The 35-cow dairyman did not increase his milking herd, but told the Journal that the pigs and chickens on his Loganville farm just have less available to drink.
His conviction resulted in a $1,000 fine paid by friends, the Journal article said. But a bigger cost was borne with a fire that destroyed one barn and most of his equipment. Friends are also helping to repay that estimated $175,000 loss.