John Hartzler is just thankful to be alive today. His story serves as a landmark event in the Hartzler family history. More than a decade later, it continues to confirm that their alternative farming methods are moving them in the right direction.
"It was December of '82," he begins. " I was 21-years-old and had basically been in bed for four months. I was too sick to move and was in almost a comatose state. A lot of specialists had examined me but no one could figure out what was wrong. They suspected I had a virus in my blood and had tried giving me antibiotics. Nothing was really working."
When John began to have chest pains, it led to a battery of heart tests and x-rays--all to no avail.
"We finally went up to a clinic in Cleveland to be examined by a biochemist who was also a physician," says John. " He took a urine sample and came back in 20 minutes with some shocking results. He told me that I had DDT in my system. My liver was not working properly and I had large amounts of mercury, lead, parasites and aluminum. I guess you could say I was heavy metalled," he laughs...now.
The first thing the physician did was prescribe organic iodine. He also continued with extensive blood tests. John did indeed have a virus in his blood. A normal-functioning liver could have controlled the situation, but tests indicated John's liver was only functioning at 60 percent capacity. Within two weeks on the organic iodine, it was up to 70 percent and within three months it was well into the normal 90 percent capacity.
"Actually within about 10 days I started feeling like a new fellow and after that I woke up every day knowing that my body was being totally rejuvenated," says John thankfully. " Say what you want, I learned that it doesn't matter how much money you have, how important or famous you are, without your health, nothing else really matters."
John's situation was studied further to determine the cause of his serious condition. It did not take long to realize what had happened. As a little boy, he had helped his father and brother prepare spray for the fields with what was then considered harmless--DDT. In the course of stirring and splashing the white liquid into water, he had come into liberal contact with it. The entire Hartzler family would never forget this near-tragic experience.
In 1984, John went into farming with his older brother Jeff, working the original family dairy once operated by Harold.
"I enjoy working the land and the benefits of raising my family on the farm," John says. It would be a gross understatement to say he does not want chemicals to be any part of his farming.
"Right now we are just focused on producing a quality product for our customers," says John. "We have paid our dues and done a lot of investment in both time and money to make Hartzler Family Dairy's natural milk become a reality. This is a big step for us," he admits. "It's not for everybody. You've got to have a lot of heart."
What keeps John going through the relentless task of dairy farming and dealing with an overwhelming volume of regulations?
"The literally hundreds of people who have never been able to drink milk, writing us and telling us that they can drink our milk now and they love it," he answers with a satisfied smile.
John is married to Darlene and they have two children Andrew and Corbin. John continues to work on the original family farm with his brother Jeff.
It's full of health tips, recipes and news you can use.
Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight. Incorporate milk into your morning routine with these tips:-Milk makes your scrambled eggs fluffier, lighter, and tastier! -Add milk to your coffee for extra calcium & Vitamin D. -Drink the milk in the bottom of your cereal bowl. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips!
"..The Cream Rises to the top"
Whether you drink it straight from the bottle (we won't tell your mom), or from a favorite glass, there's one thing you need to do first: SHAKE BEFORE DRINKING! That's because our milk is all natural and the cream rises to the top -- that's what makes our milk healthier and tastier than most!