MI Judge Ruling: Mark Baker Can Raise His “Feral” Pigs, But What About Everyone Else?

Some of the questionable pigs, now allowed under a judge's ruling, at Mark Baker's farm in Michigan.The state of Michigan angrily gave in to farmer Mark Baker, telling a state judge that the farmer can continue to raise his hybrid pigs clearly forbidden by the state’s contentious Invasive Species Order. What's unclear is how the state's move affects other farmers. 


The state made its move in a desperate effort to avoid a trial, scheduled to begin March 11, that was based on a suit brought by Baker to force clarification of the ISO and its broad prohibition of pretty much all pigs that aren’t raised by corporate producers. 


In a Lake City courtroom packed with 100 Baker supporters, Judge William Fagerman reluctantly dismissed the suit brought by Baker after a Michigan assistant attorney general, Harold Martin, assured the judge that the state was fine with the Russian hybrids being raised by Baker. “I could see the pain in the judge’s face,” Baker recounted shortly afterwards.  Fagerman, after all, is the judge who had several months ago rejected the state’s effort to dismiss Baker’s suit and ruled that Baker did have enough of an argument about the vagueness of the ISO and concerns about the DNR's authority, to warrant a trial.


But because the state wasn’t seeking any longer to bar Baker from raising his pigs, and wasn’t seeking to impose the $700,000 fine it levied last year, Baker technically had no case. “The ruling was correct….Any pig with a straight or curly tail is a problem, except on my farm,” Baker said. 


On his web site, Baker put it this way: “Despite the fact….that our pigs are Russian Boar hybrids (clearly prohibited in the ISO) is OK with the DNR and our pigs are legal. This is a complete turnaround from everything they’ve stated to date and left our jaws on the table. However, the net result was it gave the judge little choice but to state that there was no longer a conflict. The practical questions were still on the table, but the legal status was changed with (the state lawyer's) statement. There was no more disagreement about whether or not the Invasive Species Order applied to us—we both agreed that it should not apply. The judge chose to ignore the Declaratory Ruling, which almost perfectly describes our pigs.


“This turnabout on the part of the DNR was an an admission of ‘uncle.’ Their regulation is so incredibly subjective that they could just wave a magic want and make our pigs ‘legal’ and so avoid explaining themselves under oath. They were desperate not to have to make their case. This eleventh hour move shows their cowardice and their bully nature.” 


In a video, Baker described a bizarre courtroom scene just preceding the judge’s ruling in which the state’s lawyer, Martin, showed his anger about the case by first refusing to shake hands with Baker, and then refusing to stand with everyone else for the Pledge of Allegiance. When an elderly spectator called Martin out, according to Baker, “Harry Martin snarled at this man, ‘Are you questioning my patriotism? You have a problem with me?’ “ There followed further harsh words over Martin’s failure to attend a hearing last week, ostensibly because of a snow storm. (A YouTube video catches some of the courtroom exchange.)


After the hearing and the judge’s dismissal of the case, a suddenly-pleased Martin walked past Baker and his lawyer and, sounding something like a Mafia Don, remarked, according to Baker, “What do you think of your court now?” 


Baker says he was astounded by the entire scene made by the state’s lawyer. “How do you tell your children we have a good system?” he asked. “I have never seen a man bring discredit down on his organization the way this man did.” 


What are the practical implications of yesterday’s court ruling? According to Baker,’s web site “We can take our pigs to a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) butcher without fear of refusal due to the ISO. We can sell our weaned pigs this spring and they can’t go after our customers.”


However, “We still don’t have clarification on what a ‘feral pig’ or ‘old world swine’ is. We still don’t know if we are a domestic hog producer per the DNR’s legally binding subjective opinion.” 


Moreover, “We get no compensation of any sort for the last two-and-a-half years worth of lost business and livelihood,” though he indicated he may file suit against the state seeking financial restitution. 

But despite the Michigan lawyer’s arrogance toward Baker, the state of Michigan clearly has wounds that require licking. It has, under highly public legal pressure, sanctioned one farmer departing from its genetic pig prohibitions. The effect isn’t unlike the Vernon Hershberger trial last May, where a jury acquitted the dairy farmer of violating the state’s dairy and retail licensing laws with his raw milk and other foods. While the decision technically only affected Hershberger, it publicly set a precedent that the state has, thus far, felt bound to respect statewide.

In Baker's case, the ramifications could be national. Other states contemplating similar orders to restrict raising of "feral" or wild hogs, could hesitate based on the legal events in Michigan. These regulators hate the glare of publicity, of having ordinary people know about their maneuverings against small farms and, most important, having the audacity to speak up and question them. 

garycox's picture

mark should sue the state of michigan for abuse of process. what the state has done is not justice and it does not serve the public. it was a shell game of intimidation, costing mark his business and his livelihood. to put mark through this process, only at the last instant to say "we're sorry, we were wrong about the law" is unconscionable. abuse of process mark, abuse of process. go for it.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

This latest court hearing could provide a precedence for Mark Baker to go after the state for loss of income and other damages. I'm not sure if he plans to do so, but he has every right to do so & I wouldn't blame him.


you want to live in a country with responsible government? OK, then make the bureaucrats responsible for wrongdoing, when they err. The miscreants in high places know perfectly well that what they're doing is = using the process itself, for punishing dissidents, so as to make an example to les autres. If they think they can just walk away, with no downside after perpetrating such an outrage, it's our task to educate them otherwise. Such rank, witting, long-running abuse of process demands that the vicitms - that'd be every single person in Michigan over whom those idiots think they preside - shove back. With vigah!, as JFK used to say
... I'm going to keep on referring all-concerned to the essay "And Not a Shot is fired" by Arthur Burns. In 1960, at their Socialist Internationale, the commies layed-out their plan for subverting the Western nations : by infiltrating the bureaucracies so as to create "Authorities" = nameless faceless, UNacountable agencies which would stealthily appropriate powers away from elected bodies. Now half a century later, BC is infested with such "Agencies". These people then tell the elected representatives what they want in the way of regulations ... without so much as even consulting the people who are directly affected by those regs. Putting the bureaucrats back in their proper place - as our civil servants, rather than the insolent little tyrants they think themselves to be - is tough slogging. But someone's got to do it.
... A civil action for 'MAL-feasance of public office' is the way to go. Not MIS-feasance ... MAL-feasance. "Champerty" used to be illegal. But it ain't anymore. Meaning : the claimant can sell fractions of his interest in such a lawsuit, to raise a war chest. Called "non-recourse lawsuit funding" Everyone who cares about how govt. ought to be done can put their $$ where their core values are, by purchasing an interest in such a lawsuit. If you can buy a lottery ticket, or a latte a day, you can spend a few bucks to finance "laying the lash" on the internal enemies of the Republic who perverted Justice in the hog case.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I am confused. If the farmer is raising the hogs, how can they be deemed feral or wild?
Per MW dictionary:

Full Definition of FERAL
: of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast <feral teeth> <feral instincts>
a : not domesticated or cultivated : wild
b : having escaped from domestication and become wild <feral cats>
— feral noun

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Yep, that's the whole thing, Sylvia, indeed how can the state get away with misusing & abusing the term 'feral'?!! Any animal that ends up in the wild long enough to become wild are truly feral whether it be cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, etc. To claim that animals that are pets or that are raised on farms are feral is not correct at all! And to claim certain physical appearances & traits as being markers to justify labeling such animal as feral is so ludicrous! All truly feral animals will have physical appearances & traits completely different from one another as they all come from differing breeds. It is amazing how they think that they can change the meaning of 'feral' & think no one would be the wiser!


mfpellicano's picture

Sylvia, in this and many other cases, it's not the animals that are 'feral,' but the States' regulators that have gone rogue...regarding their treatment of individuals, farmers, consumers...riding rough shod over all due process and the U.S. Constitution...be dammed! I'm with Gary Cox...this farmer should be compensated for his losses!

mark mcafee's picture

Several states have cried uncle recently. Oregon just settled a First amendment case against advertizement of raw milk. California smartly met with small herd owners ( the family cow ) and worked out details that now works for everyone.

In states where reason does not prevail...and bully reign supreme until they discover that they are nothing but bullies and cowards, need to seriously reevaluate their positions earlier in their game.

This public reverse of position is an admission!!! A huge admission of fault and must be followed by a claim for damages. Perhaps states will be a little more reasoned in their approach to we the people next time.

My deepest and most heart felt congratulations to Mark Baker and his family. They have paid a dear price. Now it is time for the state to pay for this shananigans and get rid of the culture of hate that prevails inside some of these regulatory regimes.

ingvar's picture

Feral regulators.

Ora Moose's picture

Feral regulators and other wild fed, state or city pigs are easily identified by their uniforms, and by anyone with a trained eye or personal experience. I used to think of them law enforcers as good people overall. Call me "People who are disillusioned have lost their illusions. This is usually meant in a negative way, as disillusioned people tend to be a little bitter." Monitor this.

But the milk is still sweet tasting and life sustaining.

mark mcafee's picture

This is not a federal thing...this was state level cockiness.

Just finished a well attended RAWMI WEBINAR that addressed "Udderly Safe Raw Milk" practices. We had about 70 attendees from all over norther America. Not bad....the information is getting out! Several from Universities and 50 that identified themselves as producers.

Sorry I missed the Webinar. Are these posted somewhere and available for latter viewing?

Another question, with the drought in CA, what is the impact on Organic Pastures Dairy?

J Heckman

David Gumpert's picture

Here is the Michigan Ass't AG Harold Martin at Mark Baker's hearing yesterday. It is quite a remarkable performance. First, he challenges Baker about the farmer's YouTube videos mocking the state's efforts to put him out of business (and Martin, by calling him "Harry"). Then, Martin fails to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, he takes on Baker's supporters in the courtroom ("Go ahead, tell me how bad I am." When they do, he interrupts them.) They eventually tell him to turn around and stop wasting their time. As Mark Baker suggested, it is a pretty amazing performance. Must see.


Sylvia Gibson's picture

What an ass. Reminds me of those who aren't the sharpest tool in the shed and are under the misguided impression that they are superior.

Ora Moose's picture

Sylvia it's called entitlement and it exists, either through procedural ancestry or actual current money powered politics.

Wild birds and animals, we have them all over the place now even after silent spring and eventually when the phood/financial system collapses, it's what we'll possibly fall back on. Scary eh? Whats a CAFO again when the trucks ain't running??

Eat and drink well it's your best defense. Oppression and repression don't last long so like long winters weather it. Stay warm and love.

D. Smith's picture

The problem is that guy doesn't just represent the State of Michigan. He represents the entire face of the DOJ. I wonder if they encourage that sort of behavior? It doesn't speak well for them, but what do they care, right?

You're right, Sylvia - an ass. Or maybe horse's ass would be better. How about jackass? They all fit. ;)

mark mcafee's picture

Dr joe,

Opdc is not being negatively effected by the drought because we have deep wells and a strong aquifer. In the short term we are fine. Long term if the drought was to continue for several years then the aquifer would suffer, then there could be well issues. We have lowered and extended our well pump bowls 60 foot each just to make sure pastures and almonds stay wet this year. Those farmers that do not have wells and rely only on surface canals are in real trouble. It is raining heavily right now. We will see.

I am so proud of Mark Baker. He is quite a man. Especially when compared to the arrogant ass that represents the state. The Peter Priciple really says it all about the states attorney.

Ora Moose's picture

Mark, we all share that the same water table. This is the same argument we face as to town water alerts vs private wells in the east where we don not depend on artificial dams for our water. Think snow and ice!

It is scary to me that private people and businesses automated watering systems set their lawns at 2PM when most of it just evaporates. Why not set the timers tot 2AM instead.

And agree on Mr Baker, he is a true American hero. The ass DA, I won't comment.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

We are lucky that we don't live in Colorado with regards to water rights! Colorado has probably the strictest restrictions when it comes to rain water collection & wells. Read what they have done about this here: http://water.state.co.us/SURFACEWATER/SWRIGHTS/Pages/RainwaterGraywater....
You cannot collect any rain water for future use, you cannot have rain barrels, cisterns, etc, you can only have your rainspouts, but cannot attach anything to them to divert the water elsewhere. I don't know how the Colorado residents allowed the state to get away with this...basically the state of Colorado is claiming that the state owns the water, no matter where it comes from!!

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I can't imagine how the people allowed laws such as those.

D. Smith's picture

It was probably pork that was stuffed into some bill (as a rider or an amendment). People probably didn't know it was coming down the pike in the first place. That's how a lot of our rights are being taken away at the speed of sound.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Hadn't thought of that. probably true.

Ora Moose's picture

Absurdities know no bounds. Rain will soon be priced buy the size of you house or lot. Glad I don't have a golf course type yard to me it's justunconscionable waste ofwater, grow food not vanity

I certainly hope this sets the precedent for other farmers to begin (or resume) raising any type of pig they like here in Michigan. If the Bakers can do it, why not anyone else? Kudos to them for standing up to the bully state. There is a big lesson here, and I hope the DNR has learned it.

I agree with others that the Bakers deserve some kind of compensation for the needless pain they've endured over the past two and a half years. What brave people. Many thanks go to them for contributing to the proud agricultural tradition of our beautiful state and for taking a stand for freedom.

D. Smith's picture

While I agree that the Bakers should be able to retrieve some of their lost $$, maybe the compensation here should be the satisfaction of how it ended. To keep suing for this and that will only keep the wounds open and keep them at the front of the State radar, so to speak. And you never know how these things will turn out, so might be best to just skip that part and go quietly into that good night. Don't waste sunsets on people who will be gone by sunrise.

your post, D Smith, is so disappointing as to be irritating. You just don't get it, do you?
... If you think that the race traitors in high places are going to leave us alone after this round, you're supremely ignorant of history. I recommend you start by reading how Britain mis-treated the colonies ... the problem today is only more of the same. Or, when you're ready for strong meat', read what Dr Henry Makow puts on his website.
...Practicing their religion of Free-Masonry / Baal-worship, throughout all history, the "King's Men" insolently presume that the People are just sheep to be shorn .... Yet even in 1776, only a small percentage of the populace actually engaged the thugs in the uniform of the state, the Hessians ... the rest stayed home, and wrung their hands, simpering "oh if we just keep our heads down, it'll all blow over" , or slunk off to Upper Canada.
... We are ruled by people who hate us. Take a good hard look at that video = the arrogance of the District Attorney says everything you need to know about whether they're going to go quietly into the night. But it's OK ... you just pull the covers over your head and snooze on, while the nation goes to hell-in-a-handbasket outside your doorstep. there are always a few patriots who care enough about real America, to do what's necessary. And that's all it takes, Praise God!

D. Smith's picture

With all due respect Gordon, you can be supremely irritating yourself when you don your preacher uniform. I know you have a hard-on for the justice system but I, on the other hand feel that Bakers might be better off in the long run to avoid further run-ins with these jerks. IF Baker's were to go quietly into the night the State wouldn't have anything more to chew on, as far as continuing this ONE fight, at least. It is strictly a matter of opinion and just because your opinion is different than mine does not make me ignorant. Maybe the State will try other ways to hassle him and his family and his farm but throwing himself out there as red meat will not help the matter. There are just too many vindictive jerks on the other side.

You said "we are ruled by people who hate us". No kidding? But . . . so . . . making them hate us even more by pushing the envelope will be a solution to the problem? Can you imagine that his [Hal Martin's] colleagues are duly impressed with his theatre act? I can only hope that not all people involved at this level of the DOJ are in the same class (brain-wise) as him or we're in trouble anyhow.

your opinion D Smith, is based in feelings. Mine is based in thinking with 35 + years of hand-to-hand fighting in the cesspool of the legal racket, on some of the most controversial political issues. See the difference?
yes, the Bakers would be better off, personally, in the long run if they just fold their tents now. But what I know that you don't know is : how it goes in the real world. start your self-education with the 2 millenia-old maxim AB ASUETIS NON FIT INJURIA. thereafter = "once you stand up, you're never allowed to sit down again"
you seem not to have cottoned-on to the DUTY of a citizen to shove back against tyranny. Mr Hal Martin's performance is not really all that offensive, as far as explaining his failure to show up in Court. What is out of the question, is, his extremely bad manners towards people who pay his salary. In 1776, insufferable "pommie bastards' who acted like that were tarred and feathered, and run out of town on a rail. Of course, your approach = running away and hiding from the continuing problem = is so much more effective. How's that working for you so far? The best part about the video is ; the contact information for DA Martin, at the very end. Information technologies are the weapons for modern warfaring. Have you called Mr Martin up, lately and told him how much you appreciate his efforts?
Get some facts. let's see what the Bakers have to say, after the state steamrollered over them, and left them in the dust, a couple of 100 thousand $$ poorer. I bet they have a very different take on things, than your Disney-theology ; vis "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
your comment is more proof that the major weakness of the Campaign for REAL MILK, is : participants don't have the measure of the enemy. The best example being, Alice Jongerden. As a Christian, she came into the fray assuming the best of the government. After being put through the meatgrinder of Court by the "health Authorities, for doing nothing worse than feeding hundreds of people with the best food on earth, she's a cynic.
Perhaps you'd be good enough to tell us, D Smith, how much experience you have in the wordly Court system, from which you draw your opinion? Zero? if so, then the kindest thing to be said is : you know not whereof you speak

D. Smith's picture

I put in enough years with the legal system to know when I wanted out - so I got out. I also know that talking to you is like talking to a stop sign, so I'm out of that, too. You can see the world however you wish, sir. If you wish to fight constantly, go for it.

Ora Moose's picture

"Like talking to a stop sign" is a close second. I once wrote a song for my hometown soccer team that translated to "Fight Constantly" different context but if you want your milk

Ora Moose's picture

Gordon, you are too subtle. Ever wish you were a fed judge?

Ora Moose's picture

"Don't waste sunsets on people who will be gone by sunrise."

Priceless, D.

Also a good way to describe a majority of the regulators, not that I'd claim to have any inside knowledge but as in any industry some are lifers some are part timers .

And real milk is definitely one of those

yah that is a good line, ie "don't waste sunsets on people who will be gone by sunrise" ... very useful for illustrating how far up his hind end D Smith has his head jammed, as he advises us the assinine govt. agents will just evaporate with the morning dew. Such ignorance may be bliss - for a while. But there's a very high price to be payed for such studied stupidity

Let me get this clear, D. Smith ; your solution for dealing with people who cook up laws behind the scenes, then come 'round to enforce them AT GUNPOINT, is : - to smile and tug your forelock while stepping back carefully, mumbling "It was all just a bad dream. I'll take 2 aspirins then call you in the morning" Have I got that right?

what do you think this Campaign for REAL MILK is about, anyway? There wouldn't be no raw milk for anyone, if guys like Aajonus Von Derplanetz hadn't stepped into the gap and gone to the mat with the domestic enemies of the Republic. Contrary to what Jiminy Cricket taught = that you can make the bogeyman go away by simply "wishing upon a star" = "controversy may be our duty" [ said JC Ryle ]

Ora Moose's picture

Gordon again you are being too subtle. Why don't you just tell D that you like to argue and move on

The Bakers should receive restitution not out of vindictiveness, but as another commenter noted below, to make the state accountable for its actions. They've been left twisting in the wind for two and a half years and now all of a sudden everything is okay? Their needless suffering should be acknowledged.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

See, Shana, that is the problem, while Mark is now able to keep his & resume his business, it may not apply to the other farmers or new farmers that get into heritage hog raising. Someone needs to continue to confront the state of MI for the others, especially those that were put out of business earlier & who lost all of their heritage herds. I was so disgusted by that video that David posted showing the arrogance, rudeness & despicable behaviour of the Assist. Attorney General...he is supposed to be a public servant!! His display of his behaviour was far from being a public servant! I am glad that this video was released, it shows just how these dishonorable people really are!

Shelly-D.'s picture

I think that heritage hog farmers need to organize to protect their rights. Alone, they're vulnerable to state harassment. Together, they can fight it more effectively.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I think organization as groups, the larger the better, would be beneficial.

Shelly-D.'s picture

Maybe a "Heritage Hog Farmers of Michigan Association"? e.g. http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_61343_35413_35426-120068... and http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/forming-nonprofit-corporation-mic... ? Governments tread all over individuals as if we are dust, but for some reason - evil though it is - they seem to treat corporations with more respect. :(

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Sounds good. Doesn't being a corporation protect your personal assets from your business assets if you are sued?

Shelly-D.'s picture

Yes as far as i know, for any corporation. The corporation owns it's own assets, not the directors or employees of the corporation. The corporation can be sued, but the directors and employees personal assets are safe, unless they are being used themselves.

I was thinking in this case of a nonprofit corporation, to represent heritage hog farmers. Different thing.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Well, whatever it is called, I think there is great strength in numbers. Bullies are much less likely to harass if there are large groups to support the bullied. The more people there are, the louder the noises are.

Shelly-D.'s picture

As Gordon W here said though a while back, you "either have time to do the work (farming) or do the politics." Rarely time for both. It may take the heritage hog farmers' devoted customers and supporters to band together with their farmers and do the legwork of setting up a corporation to protect their and their farmers' interests.

I am astounded at how confrontational and unprofessional this attorney general was. Well, he has certainly let everyone know about his "character". I hope that the video is circulated wide in Michigan before the next election.

Mark Baker, you and your family are amazing and we admire you so much. I have personally seen the stress and pain on two other farmers' faces in Wisconsin and the hell that their families went through. The state and the corporate lobbyists planned on all the farmers just complying or else. The Michigan Ag Dept. needs to be looked at more closely by the people's representatives (long shot I know). There absolutely needs to be restitution for the financial and emotional hell the state put this family through for the last 2-1/2 years. I know that its easy for me to say and I certainly would probably just want to go back to my peaceful life. It just seems that if the state can walk away (and so very rudely too), there is no accountability for doing an immense amount of harm to a quiet farm family. Any other farmer (who previously complied and got rid of their pigs) would be unsure if they could raise their pigs again without being harassed. The bureaucrats just seem to get drunk with power and unless a bright light is shone upon them AND there is accountability for their actions, it will happen again. Let's all give to FTCLDA. They have helped save yet another farm family and protect our rights.

mark mcafee's picture

The State Deputy Attorney needs to heed some advice;

"When you are in a deep hole...and you want to get out of that hole....stop digging a deeper hole."

This guy is a real hole digger!

This guy is basically the poster boy for how not to conduct ones self in court and win points with the public or even a judge! He just made a real name for himself back at his office and I doubt he ever promotes again....much less keeps his miserable job.

Ora Moose, we as Americans do not share the same water aquifers...they are very local and every area has there own or may not have one at all. The depth, availability and quality of water varies greatly from area to area. Land values vary greatly depending on water quality, depth of water table, recharge systems and aquifer strength etc.

As far as the RAWMI webinar is concerned...I am not sure if it will be archived. I will speak with our RAWMI tech people and let you know.

Ora Moose's picture

I saw the Whole Diggers right after they went public with that obscure one time hit "Go Deep" it would sold a lot better if billed as a baseball thing.

And Mark, while I'd have to agree that aquifers are natural (except in CA) and weather regional no doubt, they are still part of an overall worldwide inter ecology dependency on balance. Floods here, droughts there you should know what to expect depending on where you are

Brock, C.C.; Barham, B.L. ‘Milk is Milk’: Organic Dairy Adoption Decisions and Bounded Rationality. Sustainability 2013, 5, 5416-5441.

Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study

rawmilkmike's picture

Their really is no reason to pay more for organic milk if it is pasteurized and there is no reason to pay more for raw milk just because it isn't.

Milk's of omega-6 (ω-6) fatty acid level only matters if you have access to raw milk and more than one source to chose from.

“5. Conclusions:
Bounded rationality appears to play a significant role in shaping adoption decisions around organic dairy farming in Wisconsin. It is not always a binding constraint, and it may decline as information and knowledge spread, but it can be a major barrier for farmers to overcome in the early stages of a successful alternative management system or technology. Bounded rationality can also be an ongoing constraint if farmers information satisfice in ways that might prevent them from taking viable alternatives seriously.”

Sounds like a lot of big words just to state the obvious.

Ora Moose's picture

Mr. Heckman those are great links to really valuable info, and I would like to again thanks you for your contributions highly appreciated.

Ken Conrad's picture

"Reasonableness and code requirements don't always go hand-in-hand," stated Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin, insinuating his own disagreement with the outrageous rules. Nevertheless, he insists that he is required to enforce them, "whether I want to or not."

Rubbish!!! Judges are not supposed to be mere puppets or figureheads and one would think that they would be compelled to use common sense and reason when it comes to enforcing a law such as did Justice of the peace Paul Kowarsky in Ontario when he ruled in favor of Michael Schmidt and dismissed all 19 charges in 2000 and…whatever?

Certainly judges aught to have the wherewithal and discretion to suggest that politicians reexamine their laws when they find them to be “outrageous”, “unreasonable”, impractical, foolish and if applicable unconstitutional?

“The law is an ass”, said Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist character Mr. Bumble, when confronted with the courts foolish assumption. In the above court ruling however by Harold S. Eskin I would suggest that “the law” is asinine and that the judge, “is an ass” for failing to rule in favor of the unwritten law of common sense and reason.

The pain on Judge William Fagerman’s face as he reluctantly dismissed the suit brought by Mark Baker is a picture of a man struggling with his conscience.

The ramifications of the Mark Baker case would have been much more profound, compelling and expeditious if Judge Faggerman had taken the opportunity to make a statement in court more in line with Gary Cox’s statement above, “what the state has done is not justice and it does not serve the public. it was a shell game of intimidation, costing mark his business and his livelihood. to put mark through this process, only at the last instant to say "we're sorry, we were wrong about the law" is unconscionable”.


rawmilkmike's picture

Technically, in Wisconsin a rule that is unreasonable is by definition, illegal and can not be legally enforced.

If a judges were really required to enforce the law, raw dairy cases would be thrown out on the first day. Regulation of food is done on behalf of the consumer. Which means the consumer can exempt any producer from any regulation. You don't need to be a lawyer to figure that out.
Saying “My hands are tied”, “I'm treating you like anyone else”, or telling us what isn't in the constitution, are just an admissions of guilt, just like Pontius Pilate washing his hands. These judges are admitting their actions are immoral.

Ora Moose's picture

Who knew and other interesting facts or fiction about:

"A larger, 34,591-pound cheddar cheese measuring 141.5 feet by 61.5 feet by 51.5 feet was made for the Wisconsin Pavilion at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York. The current record-holder however is a 56,850-pound Cheddar made in Oregon by the Federation of American Cheese-makers in 1989."


I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mark Baker at a Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund fundraiser dinner a few years ago. His commitment to his family, his farm and his freedom was obvious. I knew here was a man who would not cower, nor concede, to the injustice of the MI Invasive Species Order. I kept thinking how unfair his situation: after serving his country for 20 years in the USAF, now creating a life for himself and support his family by farming, this? I am pleased he can resume and the egregious fine will not be imposed. I also hope Mark sues the state, but certainly understand if he doesn't. I am sure he would rather farm than fight, but he should be recompensed. Thanks Mark for taking a stand against the ISO. You stood for all of us.

Ora Moose's picture

Sour, clabber, whey what's that? Smile if you know.

"It’s amazing how something that was so common a hundred years ago is so unheard of today"

I hadn't seen it before but this article is dated spring 2013 so that would be a hundred and one by now?

Anyhow I learned to love dandelions yummy salads and you could too, sure beats chemicals.


Ora Moose's picture

Slow as molasses, think I'm going to try this in addition to our regular compost to speed up our veggie gadden this year. Wait there's sposed to be an R in there? But hay I live near Boston so it's not a requiement. But I wonder if there's such a thing as oganic molasses these days. Still, good info to share:


"Who knew that something as simple as milk and molasses had such powerfully positive, far-reaching effects?"

Ora Moose's picture

Gordon, not to beat down I already posted this link a couple days ago but it's worth repeating. So is this, funniest angriest food store ever even if they don't sell raw milk anymore


Bear with me, hibernation is almost over.

rawmilkmike's picture

What a sadistic jerk.

D. Smith's picture