The Quiet War on our Farmers

| 5/17/2013 12:12:00 PM

In December, I was going to write about something that happened to us, but I was concerned that it might be in poor choice due to the circumstances. I feel liberated now to tell you the whole story, and ask that if you read this post, pass it on. People need to know what is happening to our independent farmers.

And above all else, the story I'm about to tell is not about us. Not at all. It's about a breach of people's personal freedoms.

About three years ago, June to be exact, Andy and I drove across the state of Wisconsin to support a farmer friend of ours. Truth be told, we didn't know him that well; had only met him once or twice since the inception of our own farm. However, we had a common bond with him: he sold farm fresh products directly to his farm members and so did we. So why, might you ask, did we take off a whole day of farm work to visit him?

We went because his farm had been raided the previous day by Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DTCAP) officials and his farm store shut down. They claimed they were coming back the next day to confiscate all his food products, thousands of dollars worth of food, to dump them. All of this in the name of public safety and the fact that he had no applied for a few licenses from the state. Let me be clear: he was selling raw milk, but no one had been sick from his farm, ever.

In order to save his business and his farm, let alone his family of ten, this farmer did the only thing he felt right in his conscious to do: he called for support and opened the store up again the next day. In his mind, the consumers who depended on his whole, fresh food were more important than any licensing he might have to acquire. Besides that, because he was selling privately and not to the public...and did not have the licenses that most farmers have, he was not in the jurisdiction of the DTCAP to even come onto his property to shut him down.

We dropped our things, grabbed our [then] two children and drove. By the time we reached his farm and farm store, most of the initial supporters had left. But there were a few there left, to make sure any follow up by the DTCAP would be seen and recorded by the public.

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