MOOREFIELD — A Wellington County dairy farmer says he is now facing charges related to the alleged production of raw milk for clientele participating in a cow-share arrangement.
Brad and Donna Martin’s farm near Moor eld was visited April 13 by evidence-gathering Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs officials, accompanied by a reported 12 OPP cruisers.
Brad Martin said shortly afterward that he anticipated forthcoming allegations of operating an unlicensed milk plant and selling ungraded eggs, based on the warrants he was shown.
“It’s the milk that they were really after,” he said at the time. As the weeks passed after the raid at Echo Valley Ranch, Martin vowed to carry on until instructed otherwise by a judge.
On Aug. 9, he replied to a Farmers Forum inquiry by emailing that “I can confirm we have been charged as anticipated, and thus will no longer be discussing our situation with the media.”
It’s understood the allegations are provincial offences, likely involving the Milk Act.
Martin said in April that his customers were calling him in tears to inquire if their supply of raw milk would be interrupted after a decade of relying on him. He predicted they would turn to almond or soy milk — or even cross into the United States to buy raw milk o the shelf — if their supply dries up.
The OMAFRA investigation at the Martin farm preceded a similar raid at a farm in nearby Clifford on April 20. It’s not yet known whether charges have been laid in that case. OMAFRA has diverged from usual practice and will not provide even bare details of charges it may have been involved in pressing, noting in an email that OMAFRA will only publish a conviction, if there is one.