Farmer who sold raw milk in trouble again

Michael Hartmann
Dairy farmer Michael Hartmann stands outside of the Sibley County Courthouse in Gaylord, Minn. on August 19, 2010. Hartmann's attorney, Zenas Baer, said he has a constitutional right to sell unpasteurized milk.
MPR Photo/Mark Steil

Michael Hartmann, the southern Minnesota dairy farmer who last year pleaded guilty to charges of illegally selling raw milk, could be jailed following a recent stop for transporting unpasteurized milk.

The Sibley County prosecutor said Hartmann has violated the terms of his parole and "continues to ignore the laws of the state." His office has asked a district court judge to order that Hartmann be taken into custody for violating the terms of his parole.

The move comes after a state patrol officer stopped Hartmann last week in Anoka County. Prosecutors say during that stop Hartmann was discovered "to again be transporting food for sale including unpasteurized milk."

According to state law, raw milk can only be sold on the farm where it is produced.

Hartmann's attorney, Zenas Baer, said he has a constitutional right to sell the milk.

"The state's regulation of raw milk sales such as Hartmann is doing to his willing customers, is an infringement on his right to sell and peddle products that is specifically provided for under the Minnesota constitution," Baer said.

In 2010, state authorities said Hartmann's unpasteurized products sickened more than a dozen people.

He faces several more criminal charges stemming from his raw milk sales.

A hearing date has not yet been set on the Sibley County request that Hartmann be jailed.

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