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Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

I’m a little late on this, but I wanted mention the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. According to its website (at the rather unpronounceable ftcldf.org):


Our Founding Fathers saw family farms as the very backbone of American society. Yet today small farmers are an endangered species because of government laws and regulations that serve big agri-business and make it difficult for small farms to be profitable. …

"Farmers across the land are either being forced into producing factory-quality industrial food and selling it through a corporate channels or just closing down the farm," says Minneapolis activist Will Winter, DVM. "Some who’ve tried to do it the old- fashioned way have found themselves faced with huge fines and even jail time."

As well:

The FTCLDF provides affordable legal counsel to farmers and consumers in need, it will make the needs of the small farmer and the concerned consumer known to our government, and it will promote our shared vision: Sustainable farming and direct farm-to-consumer transactions.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization recognized under the Internal Revenue Code as a Section 501(c)(4) organization.

A worthy cause. If you’d like to help, they’re calling for donations.

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6 Comments for "Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund"

  1. Lynn Cameron

    When farmers have the right to sell unprocessed ‘real’ milk and other farm-fresh products directly to consumers without a middle-man, they can make a decent living, even with small herds and limited acreage.

    Pasteurization and other laws limiting on-farm sales favor large, industrialized conglomerates and squeeze out small farmers. Let’s all increase the demand for ‘real food’ and save the small Family Farm!

  2. Diane Vigil

    You’re right, Lynn. Farming can’t be an easy life (at least, so it seems to this city-dweller), but small organic farms are the source of well-raised, clean, organic food that factory farms will never be.

    Unfortunately, farming does not seem to be something that scales well in terms of profitability, at least as practiced without factory farming and the production of “food-like substances”. When you look at “who benefits” by these laws, they smack of favoritism and worse.

    That said, I suspect that the current climate of consumers desiring cleaner food than that provided by factory farms and processed food producers may have led to further suppression of the small guy; such is what I suspect we’re seeing with the moves against raw milk here in California.

    Do we really need these governmental shenanigans intrusions?

    "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1778)

  3. bruce werner

    I read recently about the raid on the Stowers home and co-op up in Ohio by sherriffs officers and other officials of the state. They entered a home where 8 children and a housewife were, they intimidated them with drawn guns, and held them captive for about 6 hours while the house was torn aprt and every room searched. Computers, phones, and about 10,000 dollars of food was stolen and confiscated. Where are the peoples of Ohio in this, are they outraged and demanding the Governor to step in and make this right? Is it any wonder the people, every year, hate the Govt. more and more? Bruce Werner

  4. Diane Vigil

    Thank you for mentioning the Stowers’ plight (and welcome to We Want Organic Food). I did a bit of a search, and learned that on December 1, 2008, the Ohio Department of Agriculture entered their home without identifying themselves, then held the Stowers and children for six hours. I’m going to write an article, but here’s a YouTube video for now:

  5. kathy haven

    diane i will have to diagree with u as far as a farmer having no middleman
    if they did you say they wont make a profit . there are many a farmers that cant get their products from their farm to more people
    especially the amish people
    they dont drive there are a many a farmers that need a distributor for their products to be brought somewhere for sales to multiply for them
    its called distributor
    in allmost every business there are distributors
    every one
    so if someone wants to take the farmers products ,say to the sick or disabled or very far away ,but still local
    everyone profits EVERYONE
    this is what i do now
    for a living
    its either this or go on welfare
    the farmer seems to be real happy about it as well cause hes local but still 6 hours away local
    most people wont drive to him
    i challege any government agency about my JOB

  6. Diane Vigil

    Hello, Kathy, and welcome to We Want Organic Food.

    Actually, I was quoting from the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund materials, and then there were other comments following my article.

    I think the point was just what you said — where farmers are having difficulty getting their products from the farm to more people. Distribution sounds like a good idea.

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