Interview with Joel Salatin, Farmer & Author

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK7sKYAE4sg?rel=0]

 

I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms – one of the most well-spoken and actionable people in our country taking a stand against the bad uses of government force.  His book “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal – War Stories from the Local Food Front”, has been a hit with the public, and his bio-dynamic farm in Virginia has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic.  You can listen or download the interview here, or watch the interview on Youtube here!

Let's Stop the EPA from Taking Your Property

Property rights, the ability to own “things”, and the protection against having groups of people – whether in government or in business – be able to “take your stuff”, is a unique and coveted component of our country.

Americans are feeling the heat – farmers, small-business-owners, and most everyone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck – can feel that something is trying to stop them from being able to work, to make money, to protect their property, and to be able to accomplish “the American Dream”.

There are thousands of laws on the books that are not equally enforceable, and so oftentimes, those trying hardest to “follow the law” are the ones that get punished.  Where is the justice in that?

Another law coming down the pipe that supports and promotes the non-environmentally-protecting EPA yet again threatens farmers and property owners with the un-just and un-constitutional actions of the federal government.  The EPA proposal will “regulate” (AKA: spy on, fine, and take away) property with isolated water accumulations (e.g. ponds and marshes) with no direct flow or connection to navigable waterways (e.g. streams and rivers).

Basically, every property in America would have some accumulation of water, at some point.  And so this piece of legislation, the Clean Water Act, with this proposed rule – could be damaging to not only farmers and ranchers – but even home-owners.

In our elections, in our consumption, and in our voice – it is up to us to step up and protect each other.  We are the servers of justice, and you and I must protect each other’s property – whether it is our homes, our land, our bank-accounts, or our family.  It’s up to us, and we must oppose laws that can take away our property – it is the antithesis of the American Dream.

 

Food Freedom, Let's Fight Back!

When it comes to food freedom, and being able to eat whatever we like, as well as grow food for ourselves, our families, and our community, we have to be cognizant of the many (and increasing) regulatory agencies that are causing issues. Most of these regulations are statutory law (not common law or constitutional law), and therefore we can easily work at a local level to nullify (or get rid of) bad laws that make it impossible to eat good, healthy food.

 

Here are some examples of what we have come up against – do you have more to add and share with others?

 

 

An entrepreneur, who has been working on growing her dedicated following of people who want natural prepared meals and healthful alternatives to the central food supply, has encountered multiple hurdles when trying to both start and expand her operations.

 

  1. (LOCAL LICENSING FEES) She purchased a retail food license for a place ($250), but ended up having to move into a new location and was told she was going to have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license ($250) – this was after the Pueblo City County Health Department told her she would have to “get the facility up to code” even though it was a restaurant previously (the previous operators were operating for TWO YEARS not in code and were never fined or questioned).  And then, the license expires at the end of the year!  So she will have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license in January of 2013 ($250)!  That is a total of $750 for a retail food license for a small business that has not even technically started selling to the public through this retail food establishment yet!

 

  1. (FEDERAL REGULATION) She has a source of naturally-raised and USDA-processed chicken that her customers are eager to purchase.  The people who process these chickens are certified by all of the agencies necessary to show that the chickens have been handled and processed up to “code”. HOWEVER, she is not allowed to re-sell these chickens to her customers.  Why?  The Pueblo City-County Health Department has told her that the people raising the chickens themselves would have to be certified by the USDA (the time and cost for this is extensive – likely in the thousands of dollars/and months of delay by the end of it).  We are talking about between 20 and 30 chickens, raised by small-time farmers on their own land, taking them to a USDA-certified processing facility, with this type of regulation, no small farmer could ever afford to raise chickens.

 

  1. (LOCAL and FEDERAL REGULATIONS) She wanted to buy italian sausage from a local market and use it in her tortellini soup. That was NOT POSSIBLE! The local market can sell directly to the consumer, but as soon as they sell to this small-business-owner starting her business they need a wholesale license and to be inspected by the USDA – something that costs more and will take more time than what it is worth to either the small market or to the entrepreneur.

 

  1. (LOCAL and STATE REGULATIONS) Farmers can sell their eggs directly to the consumer on their farm, however, as soon as the farmer goes to take these eggs to a market (e.g. a farmers’ market), then there is a requirement for a license from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), which includes the need for a home inspection. Even if it is one dozen eggs – 12 eggs – being taken to market – this licensing requirement exists and takes more time and money than the potential revenue and/or profit from selling the eggs. Our entrepreneur can sell those certified farm eggs in her storefront, but IS NOT ALLOWED TO USE THE EGGS IN HER RECIPES – the State says that all eggs served to the public must be pasteurized – a process that is not part of the regular operations of selling eggs from the farm directly to consumers.

 

  1. (LOCAL REGULATION) Another, separate entrepreneur was interested in starting a co-op, or community-supported-agriculture (CSA) operation in town (Pueblo). She went to the Pueblo Regional Building Department to be “approved” to have this. She also went to purchase the required business license to be able to operate. She was told that she could not be approved to do have this type of operation in the City, but to keep trying. She would have been able to grow local food for 10-15 families, but it was determined by the City that she could not grow food in town. She was never able to start her small urban farm.

 

Small, local, micro producers should never be held to the same “laws” as large multi-national companies that lobby Congress to create these atrocious rules and regulations (what they call “law”) that eventually stop small producers from producing.  Follow the money.  You can see that most of our representatives in Congress have got there through the very money that ends up creating “laws” that hurt small farmers, entrepreneurs, and producers of food products.  It is people’s natural and unalienable right to consume products that they want to and exchange those products amongst each other.  There are no laws that can stop people who grow food or raise animals from getting those to willing consumers who are willing to purchase those items.

 

It is our natural right to grow food, consumer food, and exchange food. If anyone EVER tells you differently, remind them that you have the power of the Constitution behind you, and that you are capable of acting locally, even getting your local county sheriff involved, to protect your food freedom.

 

In Food Freedom,

Tisha Casida – That’s Natural!

The Bureaucracy Faced by Food Producers

An entrepreneur, who has been working on growing her dedicated following of people who want natural prepared meals and healthful alternatives to the central food supply, has encountered multiple hurdles when trying to both start and expand her operations.

1. She purchased a retail food license for a place ($250), but ended up having to move into a new location and was told she was going to have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license ($250) – this was after the City-County Health Department told her she would have to “get the facility up to code” even though it was a restaurant previously (the previous operators were operating for TWO YEARS not in code and were never fined or questioned).  And then, the license expires at the end of the year!  So she will have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license in January of 2013 ($250)!  That is a total of $750 for a retail food license for a small business that has not even technically started selling to the public through this retail food establishment yet!

2. She has a source of naturally-raised and USDA-processed chicken that her customers are eager to purchase.  The people who process these chickens are certified by all of the agencies necessary to show that the chickens have been handled and processed up to “code”. HOWEVER, she is not allowed to re-sell these chickens to her customers.  Why?  The City-County Health Department has told her that the people raising the chickens themselves would have to be certified by the USDA (the time and cost for this is extensive – likely in the thousands of dollars by the end of it).  We are talking about between 20 and 30 chickens.

3. She wanted to purchase Italian Sausage from a small, local market and use it in her tortellini soup. But she was not “allowed” to! According to rules and regulations, the small local market can sell directly to the consumer, but as soon as the market sells to her they need a wholesale license and to be inspected by the USDA!  An impossible feat for this small-time market – this is an added expense that is not worth spending the money – there is just not enough volume to justify the investment, and therefore stops the creation of this product in its entirety.

4. If she wants to use farm-fresh eggs in a recipe, then she must have a license from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), and a home inspection. She can sell farm-fresh eggs in her store-front, but SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO USE THEM IN RECIPES.  All eggs served to the public must be pasteurized.  There are groups of people who do not want pasteurized products, and she has been stopped from using farm-fresh eggs in her recipes. People who want products that have not been pasteurized do not get the option of purchasing these products from her.

5. This entrepreneur started a very small indoor farmer’s market that was never inspected by the Health Department (after all, it was produce being sold by willing sellers and purchased by willing buyers – no prepared foods were involved) – and she was warned by someone in the Extension office that her market may have been “illegal”.  She asked me, “Don’t we have the right to gather and sell the goods we’ve produced?

***

Do We?

***
Small, local, micro producers should never be held to the same “laws” as large multi-national companies that lobby Congress to create these atrocious rules and regulations (what they call “law”) that eventually stop small producers from producing.  Follow the money.  You can see that most of our representatives in Congress have got there through the very money that ends up creating “laws” that hurt small farmers, entrepreneurs, and producers of food products.

***
It is people’s natural and unalienable right to consume products that they want to and exchange those products amongst each other.  There are no laws that can stop people who grow food or raise animals from getting those to willing consumers who are willing to purchase those items. And if those “laws” exist, then we can get rid of them in our own localities and communities.

Tyranny = Raw Milk Producers Being Arrested

Tyranny is all around us – including our food supply and our choice to use natural foods and medicines in our bodies.

Rawsome Foods – a private members-only (co-op) market in Venice, California, is home to place where local community members can purchase raw milk, cheese, yogurt, and kefir.  Apparently the federal government does not have enough to be worried about with the upcoming collapse of the economic system, they have to “protect” consumers from purchasing raw food products that humans have consumed for thousands of years.

The owner, James Stewart, along with two others (Sharon Palmer (of Healthy Family Farms), and Victoria Bloch (local L.A. co-chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation)), were taken away in handcuffs.

The raid was carried out by gun carrying officers of the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control“.

The charge?  Conspiracy to sell unpasteurized milk products.  

THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND.

First of all, it cannot be a conspiracy if it is a private group of knowing citizens deciding for themselves to purchase and consume these products.  Secondly, I cannot believe that our tax-payer money goes towards arresting innocent people who are actually doing good things for their local communities and economies.

I have consumed raw milk (both cow and goat) for over 4 years, and know for a fact that it is actually healthier and more beneficial to our bodies than pasteurized milk.  It really doesn’t matter what I think though, because each of us should have the right to CHOOSE FOR OURSELVES – that is what liberty is – and that is why the government should get its nose out of our choice to consume raw milk.

RESOURCES:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/omkara/2011/aug/6/rawsome-foods-raided-sad-day-america/

http://www.foodrenegade.com/rawsome-foods-raided-again-by-swat/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/03/rawsome-raid-_n_917540.html

Poverty Cannot be Eliminated by Charity Alone « Cycling for Change

via Poverty Cannot be Eliminated by Charity Alone « Cycling for Change.

Supporting local farmers and ranchers can have great multiplier effects on an economy at-large.  In addition to having a food system that is more sustainable, one can expect to have more money circulating locally.

Learn about a Colorado resident and business owner that is taking rural entrepreneurship into his own hands.

Read a great interview on this HERE.

Access to Local Food

In an AP article, a phenomena and trend which has been taking shape for quite awhile, is highlighted.

That trend is the limited access to food in rural areas (e.g. grocery stores), and the reason has to do with economics.  Smaller operations are generally more costly to run, and larger operations who can utilize the benefits of economies of scale to offer products and services for a lower price – will be able to attract more customers who are looking for cost-savings (especially if facing bad economic conditions).

Government proposals will include spending initiatives, and there are grants and other opportunities for these small grocery stores to try and stay in business.  What is truly sustainable, though, would be for consumers to change their purchasing patterns.  Because if the demand is not there, you cannot subsidize it – it will simply not work in a free market (and we are assuming that we are keeping the free market that we have).

So, if you are reading this and are a consumer and want to make a difference – find local farmers, ranchers, and producers to support, and be willing to spend some extra money to keep them in business.  If we keep our local guys open, and help their businesses to thrive, then eventually we will actually see local food prices decrease, and the wonder and beauty of economics in a free market can once again be realized.

It will take time, it is not easy, and we must all work together.  But it is possible.

– Tisha Casida

Say NO to Genetically-Engineered (GE) Alfalfa

Sometimes you don’t get a second chance.  Our ecosystem is resilient and we have put it through quite a test, especially with intense conventional agricultural practices (fertilizers, chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides).  For the most part, up until a decade ago, even this unsustainable methodology of growing plants was at least something that could be eventually mitigated and developed into alternative means of farming (i.e. low-intensity, no-till, natural and organic methods).

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) substances – specifically seeds and crops – are a whole different issue.  The genetic modification of ANY seed, could never be tested enough to see and understand if it is safe.  But, no need to worry, we are now experimenting on ourselves, because much of the corn and soybean products that we may eventually consume already have genetically modified ingredients.

However, Monsanto now wants to use a GE alfalfa.  Alfalfa is used as forage for cows that produce milk.  Organic farmers who rely on organic alfalfa have reason for their concern of this GE alfalfa – once the product is in the environment, it can easily be spread around the entire ecosystem, thus destroying the potential for NON-GE anything. (We have yet to see the current impact of all of the GE-products already in our ecosystem.)

Want to read more?  Visit Food Safety News, and call your congressmen to make sure this does not get into our environment!  Ask them to sign on to the
“Dear Colleague Letter to USDA about Banning GE Alfalfa”

Senators should contact:
Adrienne Wojciechowski, Sen. Leahy’s office;
Adrienne.w@judiciary-dem.senate.gov

House Representatives should contact:
Emily Rohlffs in Rep. DeFazio’s office
emily.rohlffs@mail.house.gov

– Joni Cave

Slow Money Alliance

Meet the Slow Food Alliance – an organization with an outstanding mission to build sustainable local food systems (which are inherently better for the economy).

Their Goal?

A million Americans investing 1% of their assets in local food systems…within a decade.

Their Reasoning?

In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration.

Their Method?

Have people sign onto their principles – you can access those HERE!

Want to Learn More?

Watch what they are working on via their BLOG, which you can find HERE!

We applaud the Slow Money Alliance in their efforts to educate our communities about the importance of supporting and maintaining sustainable food systems.  Please take the time to listen to what they are creating, and take action to support local food.

SARE 20/20: Sustainable Innovations Are Revitalizing American Agriculture

Beltsville, MD – A New Mexico farmer cut annual greenhouse heating costs from $2,000 to zero using the power of the sun. Perched at the edge of the Sonoran desert in New Mexico, Don Bustos’ family farm is endowed with ample sunshine – but cool temperatures limit the growing season to only four or five months. When rising fuel costs threatened his farm and family, Bustos tapped nature’s own energy source: the sun. With the help of a grant from the USDA/CSREES-supported Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Bustos tested a new system that uses solar heated fluid to warm greenhouse beds, lengthen his growing season and increase profits.

Bustos’ innovative approach is just one of dozens profiled in SARE’s newest free publication, SARE 20/20: Celebrating our First 20 years, Envisioning the Next. Featuring farmers and ranchers who are turning to sustainable agriculture to boost profits, protect the environment and build their communities, SARE 20/20 chronicles two decades of agricultural innovation supported by SARE.

“We are proud of how SARE grantees – from every corner of the nation – have used sound research to advance the frontier of sustainable agriculture,” said Jill Auburn, SARE director.

SARE 20/20 highlights cream-of-the-crop projects from more than 3,700 SARE funded grants, illustrating how producers, researchers and educators are collaborating to advance sustainable innovations to the whole of American agriculture. A few examples:

  • A nonprofit uses innovative marketing strategies to open new markets for more than 40 produce farmers, resulting in a tenfold increase in sales spanning six years.
  • Researchers in the South develop a toolbox of low-cost strategies to detect and target parasites in goats and sheep, reducing the use of chemical dewormers.
  • Minnesota researchers find success using reduced tillage and rotations to control corn rootworm.

Download SARE 20/20 for free at www.sare.org/publications/highlights.htm. To order print copies, visit www.sare.org/WebStore, call 301/374-9696 or write to Sustainable Agriculture Publications, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Md. 20604-0753. (Please specify SARE 20/20 when ordering by mail.) Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

SARE 20/20 was published by the national outreach office of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA. SARE’s nationwide research and education grants program advances farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.  The national outreach office operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. Visit www.sare.org for more information about SARE.

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