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Raw milk farmer invites jury to ice cream social

SAUK COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Vernon Hershberger – the Sauk County farmer convicted on one of four charges related to the sale of raw milk – has invited his jury to an ice cream social on Saturday.

He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that five jurors plan to be there. Hershberger also invited the state agriculture officials who prosecuted him, saying he wants to improve communication with them.

They don’t plan to show up.

Hershberger also plans to announce on Saturday that he’ll ask an appeals court to throw out his lone conviction from his recent trial, for violating a state order not to touch the raw milk that state inspectors found during a raid on his farm in 2010.

It’s not surprising that the jurors will attend his ice cream social. After the verdict, some of them posed for pictures with Hershberger – some later joined his raw milk purchasing club – and four jurors asked a judge to be lenient in his sentencing.

The farmer was fined $1,500 including court costs.

In case you’re wondering, Hershberger’s lawyer says only his purchasing club members will get ice cream made from raw milk on Saturday. Everybody else will get the pasteurized stuff.