Here’s an excerpt from a recent story on Augie’s Journal of Natural Food and Nutrition:
“A family who owns and operates a small farm and natural food ministry offers farm, fresh milk (raw) to their customers now face 180 days in jail and stand to lose their farm. It is called Bechard Family Farm and they raise turkeys, pork, beef, chickens, eggs and make soap.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department in Springfield, Missouri, says the Bechard teenage daughters sold their undercover agents two gallons of raw milk at one of the customer delivery points . The health department employees did not identity themselves. The father, Armand Bechard, who was not there at the time is being charged because he is the producer of the milk. Both the City and State are suing him.
Friday (June 4, 2010), the local trial is being held and many in Missouri and around the U.S. are watching. As many as 100 folks–perhaps many more– are showing up for the court and rally in support of the Bechards. There were 60 at the previous hearing as reported in the Journal back in March. The Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale (ARMi) and its Missouri ARMi division started a Fundraiser today to help with the mounting legal expenses. (Armand was badly injured last week when a car fell on him: he was under the car when the jack failed. He is expected to be in good enough shape to stand trial.)
The State also is also suing Armand for the same offense and the Attorney General has been busy mounting up for the case. The AG is representing the State Milk Board. The Supervisor at the health department has been recently appointed as Chairman of the Milk Board. The State is seeking to prevent the Bechards from using a central distribution point to sell raw milk to customers who pay in advance, while the city is suing because they did not have a food service permit for what is defined as a “food establishment”—but they will not give them a permit….