The case of a Stearns County farmer accused of violating the state’s raw milk laws has gone to the jury. Alvin Schlangen of Freeport is charged with three misdemeanor counts including distributing unpasteurized milk, operating without a food handler’s license and handling adulterated food. Jurors deliberated for about an hour and a half Wednesday before recessing until today (THU). Minnesota law prohibits raw milk sales except directly to consumers on the farm when it’s produced. Schlangen contends he doesn’t sell milk – that he merely operates a private buying club that distributes raw milk to members. He says all he does is deliver the end product to members who lease cows from Amish farmers. The state Agriculture Department contends Minnesota’s restrictions on raw milk sales are necessary to protect the public from diseases. The trial of a Gibbon-area farmer accused of selling raw milk was delayed recently. Michael Hartmann faces a total of 9 charges for selling raw milk from his farm.