Tag Archives: family farms

The Santa Clause and the Food & Farm Control Bill Snagged: Fishing to Control Small Family Farms and Real Food Producers?

The Santa Clause and the Gift of the Magi-cians.

The so-called Food Safety Control S510 bill with the so-called savior Tester-Hagan amendments may now be passed back to the overwhelming approving Senate. This is a perfect example of hard-ball politics of division, where half the food freedom folks are for it and half against it. Typically, federal control bills are written to appease large  stakeholders, then revised to include most stakeholders, changed several times in the process, including having several bills of different names.

In this battle, the war on food controls by the corporate/government  partnership, the magic trick is to appear to save the small farms producing local foods, yet provide the legal and regulatory framework, with funding, to take it all way. So once again it appears to be an angel of light, a white knight on a horse coming to save the small farm, and getting the foodies to work on the language for them so that end the end, the language can be twisted and used against them.

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FDA Mice are After the Cheese: Raw Dairy Fund Drive

From the NY Times slide show

The FDA is going after the raw cheese– in accordance with the U.S. government health agenda to eliminate raw milk sales in the US by 2020. This time it is Estrella Family Creamery and thousands of pounds of award-winning cheeses embargoed.

The Journal first published the Estrella story called Another FDA Cheese Bust on Family Food Ministry: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State two weeks ago.  Since then a group of bloggers got together and sponsored a fundraiser to keep the family going and the cows and goats fed (more on this below) A nice article and slide show appeared in the New York Times, Business Day section two days ago.

The article had an interesting quote about the zero-tolerance mentality when it comes to the detection of a pathogen in a food product:

“If the FDA wanted to shut down the U.S. artisan cheese industry, all they’d have to do is do this environmental surveillance and the odds of finding a pathogen would be pretty great,” said Catherine W. Donnelly, co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese of the University of Vermont, referring to the listeria testing at cheese plants. “Is our role to shut these places down or help them?”

Regulatory agencies should become better educated in these skilled crafts and then use their infinite resources to assist those who may have a safety problem to get back into production as quick as possible–since these operations are so important for the local culture and economy. If farmers and consumers want traditional and artisan food produced and continue their rapid growth, they also need to come to the aid of those who get unjustly treated, in the Estrella case by the FDA who stepped in around the state agencies.  This is your chance to put $5, $10 or $20 or more down on this horse and watch this race play out!

Please make your donation at the Pledgie site. From there you can go to the Estrella wordpress blog set up to keep up on the latest.
Click here to lend your support to: Help the Estrella Family Creamery and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

Please share this post at the Pledgie site or below with our Facebook and Twitter buttons!

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Two Declarations for Farm and Food Freedom

Two international figures came out last week to make serious statements about farm and food freedom. Sir Julian Rose and the ICPPC Manifesto and Michael Schmidt with his  Edmonton Declaration. Michael sent me his and Julian sent his to Kimberly Hartke. I thought it appropriate to tie these two together–Augie

The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC) held their Anniversary conference this past weekend. The Manifesto for 21st Century Food and Farming “Farming for the People with the People”was circulated there and was submitted to Hartke is Online! by their co-director, Sir Julian Rose.

Sir Rose, a strong advocate/activists for real farming and raw milk, gives the Manifesto which states:

Continuing to adhere to the present corporate and state controlled food and farming regimes means that:

  • Farmer’s time honoured right to save their seeds and to cultivate, distribute and trade the produce resulting from these seeds will continue to be subverted, curtailed and stolen.
  • People’s right to perpetuate the biodiversity of locally adapted native plants, herbs and animals for culinary, medicinal and general environmental health will be denied.
  • People’s rights to gain lawful access to unused or barren land for the purpose of growing food for their own consumption in ways that do not harm the environment will be blocked.
  • People’s time honoured right to carry on the daily operations of good farming practice unhindered by state and corporate power structures, will be denied.

We call for a people led and people owned  renaissance of agriculture. One which will liberate the creativity and ingenuity of man and draw inspiration from the time honoured peasant and family farming practices that still form the foundation of self sufficient, sustainable and ecological agricultural production throughout the world.

Read the brief  Manifesto submitted at Hartke is Online!

The Edmonton Declaration by Michael Schmidt

The following document was presented at Michael Schmidt’s news conference on the steps of the Alberta Legislature recently:

Photo– Courtesy of The Bovine
 

“Agriculture has been the backbone of Canada. History has taught us that a healthy Agri-culture is able to feed all the people and therefore creates a healthy and socially stable environment.

At the turn of the last century 70% of our Canadian population was actively involved in farming.

Today we have only 2% of the population left working on farms.

80% of them have to have another job to keep their farm going.

The average age of today’s farmers is 56 and hardly any young farmer can afford to start farming.

Corporate farming has taken over food production and multi national corporations control most of the farming inputs, food processing and distribution.

Food safety regulations and production standards are passed based on intensive lobby powers by those who control the current food chain.

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UPDATE: David vs Goliath: Sustainable Farmer/Soil Scientist Against Big Ag Money in Iowa Race for Secretary of Agriculture

“Iowa is the Corn State, and its about time that farmers quit growing Corn and start raising Cain.”–Augie

Francis, Susan and Rodney– Sustainable Dairy Farmers, Raw Milk Lovers and with your help can be Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture

Your chance to give David a few more stones to hurl at the Goliath he is up against in this neck-to-neck battle– this is the one to watch!

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UPDATE on Another FDA Cheese Bust on Family Food Ministry: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer

UPDATE 10/25/2010

As reported here (below) Saturday, FDA busted another artisan-cheese family food ministry in Washington. The children have calmed down now four days after their direct dealings with the FDA agents when they locked up all the award-winning cheese at Estrella Family Creamery–while the Anthony and Kelly Estrella, the parents, were known by the intruders to be away at the farmers market. All because a few isolated samples of cheese never offered to the public did not pass non-detect (zero) of a microorganism that is found all over your skin. A “standard” that will shut down any cheesemaker nationwide. Continue reading

David vs Goliath: Sustainable Farmer/Soil Scientist Against Big Ag Money in Iowa Race for Secretary of Agriculture

“Iowa is the Corn State, and its about time that farmers quit growing Corn and start raising Cain.”–Augie

Francis, Susan and Rodney-- Sustainable Dairy Farmers, Raw Milk Lovers and with your help can be Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture

UPDATE: I was informed last night that an anonymous donor to the Francis Thicke campaign from Fairfield, Iowa will MATCH every new dollar donated UP TO $25,000 to pay for the beautiful billboards to be erected on Iowa highways and the boss TV commercials. Continue reading

UPDATE on Another FDA Cheese Bust on Family Food Ministry: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State

UPDATE 10/25/2010

As reported here (below) Saturday, FDA busted another artisan-cheese family food ministry in Washington state. The children have calmed down now four days after their direct dealings with the FDA agents when they locked up all the award-winning cheese at Estrella Family Creamery–while Anthony and Kelly Estrella, the parents, were known by the intruders to be away at the farmers market. All because a few isolated samples of cheese never offered to the public did not pass non-detect (zero) of a microorganism that is found all over your skin: a “standard” that will shut down any cheese maker nationwide.

According to the Estrella’s, there had been a pathogen detected last Spring and rectified as is industry-standard worldwide. But this time FDA just suspects “all of the batches cheese” might contain a sub-type of Listeria, something allowed in European cheeses. (Low levels of Listeria may be found any cheese, according to this report. So the crux of the whole deal in Washington and some other states is a zero-dectection limit with a zero-tolerance which is an impossibility to achieve—even in the cleanest of cheese operations, not whether it is detected.) Continue reading

International Nutrition Conference to Explore The Politics of Food

Before tonight’s announcement, I am asking my readers and subscribers to use my new form to tell me something about yourself. This new short form will also give you an opportunity to subscribe if you have not already done so.  I will prompt you again at the end.–Augie

Are you going to the Conference? If so, I would like to meet you there.

International Nutrition Conference to Explore The Politics of Food

October 12, 2010-WASHINGTON, D.C.— The intense debate generated by proposed food safety legislation, ongoing government opposition to raw milk, and raids by agents with guns drawn on private food clubs in California and Ohio, has vaulted the subject of food politics into the eye of consumers and policy makers.  Should small farms be regulated? Are the USDA dietary guidelines improving health or causing disease? Do citizens have a right to the foods of their choice?

Food activists, raw milk advocates, nutritionists, farmers and consumers will explore these issues at Wise Traditions 2010, the 11th annual international conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation, November 12-15 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. With over 136 licensed raw dairy farms and forty applications pending, Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserving traditional dairy farming methods and providing access to raw milk for consumers.

The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education foundation, will host more than twelve hundred participants for the four-day event of presentations, seminars, food preparation demonstrations and farm tours, in addition to showcasing delicious traditional foods.  Attendees will include health and nutrition professionals, farmers, activists and wellness-oriented citizens from around the world. The event is open to the public and Continuing Education Credits are available for some health professionals.

Several experts will address the subject of raw milk, including Tim Wightman, dairy and soil expert, Ted Beals, MD, physician and dairy safety consultant, and Mark McAfee, owner of the largest raw dairy in California.

At the general session on Saturday, November 13, Geoffrey Smith will discuss the politics of genetically modified organisms, Judith McGeary will explore the pitfalls in proposed food safety legislation, and Sally Fallon Morell will present insights into the negative effects of the USDA dietary guidelines on foods served at school lunch programs and in institutions like prisons and hospitals.

Other topics on the menu include dental health, heart disease, soil and livestock fertility, cancer alternatives and native diets. The exhibit hall, featuring over one hundred vendors of whole foods, supplements, body care products and crafts, will be open on Saturday and Sunday

The conference will feature several full day seminars on Friday, November 12: Traditional Diets by Sally Fallon Morell; Holistic Cancer Therapy with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD;  Gut and Psychology Syndrome by autism specialist, Natasha Campbell McBride; Soil Health and Fertility with Will Winter, DVM, and Jerry Brunetti, soil health expert; and Milk Quality, Testing, and Continuing Education for Dairy Farmers with Mark McAfee, Dr. Ted Beals, and Tim Wightman, author of the Raw Milk Production Handbook.

Other partial day tracks will cover the topics of cooking, wellness, hormones, environmental hazards,  fitness and weight loss.

The conference will feature delicious traditional meals, with much of the food donated by sustainable small farmers from around the country.

For further  information about WAPF, visit www.westonaprice.org. For the conference schedule or to register for the conference visit the conference page at www.westonaprice.org/conferences/2010-conference.html or phone (304) 724-3006.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kimberly Hartke phone 703-860-2711, cell 703-675-5557 press@westonaprice.org

I am asking my readers and subscribers to use my new form to tell me something about yourself. This new short form will also give you an opportunity to subscribe if you have not already done so.  –Augie

UPDATE: Family Farm Ordered to Destroy $250,000 Worth of Cheese Yet No Illness in 30 Years

Before we get to the update, a poem inspired by this incident was written by Alan Watt of Cutting through the Matrix . He mentioned my post here and drew oodles of new readers.

A Healthy Diet Can Cause a Riot:
An Ode to Morningland Dairy, Missouri
and Rawesome Foods, California:

“Whodathunk You’d Ever See SWAT Teams Raiding Farms,
Guns Drawn, Attacking at Dawn Before the Cock Alarms,
They’re Combat-Ready Hit-Men, Members of That Ilk,
They Cause Harm to Any Farm with Organic Milk,
Animals Know They’re Coming, Nervously They Mutter,
Nursing Sows and Milking Cows Cross Legs to Save the Udder,
They are America’s Finest, Protecting Citizens from Food
That Makers Sell to Keep Them Well, Nutritiously so Good,
Pour Blessings on the FDA, Praise Them on Your Knees,
Crawling Through Mire into the Byre, Peppering the Cheese
With Automatic Weapons, They Earn the Reputation
Tough and Fearless, Leaving you Tearless, Waving Legislation,
God Save America from Each Black-Cladded Goon,
Pull Their Socket, Pop ’em on a Rocket Heading for the Moon”
© Alan Watt Oct. 13, 2010
* Poem & Dialogue Copyrighted Alan Watt – Oct. 13, 2010 (Exempting Music, Literary Quotes, and Callers’ Comments)

Ace-in-the-Hole

FDAs regulatory enforcement and product seizure powers under the inevitable federal food safety laws  will make the Morningland Dairy cheese case look like a nibble, according to attorney Pete Kennedy in tonight’s update:

The views of FDA and many state health and agriculture departments on L-mono can be summarized in a statement made by a Missouri Milk Board inspector to Joe Dixon, “You are lucky if you find listeria,” implying the belief that it is either present in all food or present in the environment of all food processing plants. FDA’s position is that if a food sample tests positive for L-mono or any other pathogen, any other food produced on the same equipment is adulterated. This position was also taken by the Missouri Milk Board in its handling of the Morningland case. A Milk Board inspector told Joe that the embargoed cheese would still be suspect even if samples of it did test negative. When Joe asked the inspector, “Why do we even test?” There was no response.

S510 – Dangers of Mandatory Recall Power

In pushing its anti-raw milk agenda…. “Listeria monocytogenes,” in Joe Dixon’s words, “can be FDA’s ace in the hole.”

The cheese cases are an indicator of what could happen if S510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, passes into law giving FDA mandatory recall power. The cases show how the recall power along with the food safety plan requirement [see HARPC] in the bill would be an effective way for the agency to cripple raw dairy producers who have harmed no one with their products. If S510 passes, state agencies and laboratories will be getting more funding from FDA and the influence of the agency on states in pushing its anti-raw milk agenda will increase. In working toward this end, “Listeria monocytogenes,” in Joe Dixon’s words, “can be FDA’s ace in the hole.” READ more on this.

Join the Un-cheese Party and adopt a pound of cheese for five bucks to help this family fight the authorities in this miscarriage of justice to protect our health. Now here is the current situation in Missouri in the story by Doreen Hannes.– Augie

Family Farm Ordered to Destroy $250,000 Worth of Cheese

©Doreen Hannes 2010

Morningland Dairy is the latest attempt by the FDA to fulfill the Healthy People 2020 objective to kill raw dairy. Morningland is owned by Joseph and Denise Dixon, who operate the cheese plant and make raw cheese from cows kept right on the property and managed by one of their eldest daughters. They have 12 children, 4 who still live at home, and they have been actively engaged in real food for decades.  They were caught up in the Rawesome Raid dragnet and many believe the questionable California Dept of Food and Agriculture tests on their cheese are the legal justification for the multi-agency guns drawn raid at Rawesome.

Farm’s Perfect Safety Record Matters Not to Authorities

Morningland CalfMorningland Calf and Farmer’s Daughter

In the thirty years of Morningland Dairy operations NO ONE has become ill from consuming their products. Yet they have been ordered by the Missouri Milk Board to destroy ALL of their cheese without actual tests being performed on the cheese stock. This is nearly 50,000 pounds of cheese, or approximately $250,000.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HARTKEISONLINE !

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I am asking my readers and subscribers to use my new form to tell me something about yourself. This short from will also give you an opportunity to subscribe if you have not already done so.– Augie

NOW is the time to push the MO ARM as $250,000 worth of cheese is ordered destroyed PLUS the trial of the Bechard family farm is still pending. INVITE YOUR FRIENDS, post and comment!–Augie

JOIN UP with the ARMi Now!

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Menu of the Year Awarded: The Weston A. Price Foundation International Conference

For the second year in a row, the Journal of Natural Food and Healing has awarded the Menu of the Year to the chefs, menu planners and donors of the naturally produced farm food for The Weston A. Price Foundation’s International conference to be held November 11-14, near Philadelphia. (Okay, we did not look at any other menus– but how could you beat this one?)

If things go right, an attempt to beat this one, at least in many categories, may be sponsored by the Journal and Living Food– our new bulletin.  This would be prepared by three-time winner Gold Medal award winner of the International Olympics in Culinary Arts- Chef Fetty– at an undisclosed world-class resort in the heart of the world’s largest Amish country. (Okay it may be dinner of just 4– even though the dining area can seat 150 ) He is already using local naturally grown foods and wants to upgrade more.)

Of course, many of our readers will be there, as well as ARMi Facebook folks, including myself. I am going to hear Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride on autism recovery and a full-day session on Homeopathy on Monday. Here are some examples of some of the menus that match the caliber of speakers for the 3-day event, including icon Joel Salatin speaking at “Everything I Want to Eat is Illegal” banquet dinner.

I am wondering how many readers are going, have gone before, or who may want to plan to come next year. You should leave a comment to that affect or any other comment. You may review the Agenda here or by clicking the  Banner to the left.

BREAKFAST EXAMPLE
Horsemen Trails Farm Pastured Tunis Lamb Breakfast Sausage Links
Pennsylvania Pastured Pork Breakfast Sausage
Thankful Harvest Grass-fed TenderHeart Beef Breakfast Sausage

Pennsylvania Pastured Pork
French Toast with Atwater’s Sourdough Cranberry Pecan Bread

Miller’s Organic Farm Maple Syrup

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