MOOREFIELD — Ten weeks after police and OMAFRA officials raided his farm as part of an apparent raw milk investigation, owner Brad Martin had yet to see a single charge laid against him.
“I’m not sure what they’re waiting on, and I haven’t wanted to poke the bear by asking,” the Moorefield-area operator recently told Farmers Forum.
“At this point, we’re just waiting to see what they’re cooking up,” said Martin, whose Echo Valley Ranch was visited by officials, backed up by a reported dozen OPP cruisers, on April 13th. Another farm in nearby Clifford was similarly raided on April 20th.
Martin has said that search warrants executed at his place suggest he should prepare for forthcoming allegations of operating an unlicensed milk processing plant, in connection with supplying raw product to a cow-share concern. He has said he won’t stop unless ordered to by a judge.
The warrants also pertained to an investigation into the alleged sale of ungraded eggs, Martin has previously revealed, though he sees the raw milk issue as the main driver for the authorities.
“It almost feels like they have a personal vendetta against the raw milk industry,” he said. “I see the demand that’s out there…. We have so many immigrants that come from countries accustomed to raw milk that want it. And I think, why not let Canadian farmers fill that need?”
Martin said he’s also talked to the owners of the other raided farm, “and they haven’t heard back, either” on any charges.