Yesterday Jacquelin Fennel and her husband John met with Michael Schmidt to discuss the current situation in regards to cow share operations in Ontario.
Topic of discussion was the imminent danger of further crack downs by local Health Units or the SWAT team from the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) acting as enforcement agency for the two Ministries Agriculture and Health in Ontario.
Jacguelin Fennel is a fearless and outspoken cow share operator with 200 families.
She has been one of the first farms operating under the “Cow Share Canada Quality Assurance Program” intended to provide cow share members with the comfort of a third party accreditation.
Cow Share Canada is a national organization providing the following:
-Farmers training through cow share colleges
-Consumer education through information sessions and newsletters
-Independent farm inspection by certified inspectors
-And farm accreditation after basic conditions like proper testing
procedures for the production of certified raw milk are complied
Cow Share Canada is a producer and consumer driven organization with members across Canada.
This concept is not new and has been successfully used in Europe for close to 100 years with great success.
In regards to the current challenges in Ontario and BC Michael and Jacguelin reviewed the immediate response procedures in case a farm is raided or about to be raided.
Amongst them the following:
-Response time after emergency call
-phone trees for quick responses
-training of members how to react and respond to harassment
-protection and preparation of farm family especially children for
-non-violent resistance to enforcement actions.
-video surveillance of enforcement actions
-proper response to enforcement misconduct.
-how cow share members protect their property in case of a raid
-understand your rights
Special sessions with cow share members across Ontario have been taking place and are urgently recommended to prevent unpleasant surprises.
An Ontario wide emergency response hotline will be up and running shortly to inform media and associate farm organizations like the Ontario Land Owners or local chapters of general farm organizations about ongoing raids.
One of the main discussion points centered around the need to ensure the uninterrupted flow of milk after a raid to cow share members for very serious health reasons.
The co-operation and support between accredited cow share operations during and after the raid was also discussed.
As sad this is, it also shows the clear Determination by farmers and cow share families to defend their food and their rights against growing interference of bureaucrats.
“Forget your fears”says Jacguelin Fennel, “that is the first thing farmers have to learn”
Because of the current debate membership in Cow Share Canada dramatically increased and currently represents over 4000 members.
Michaels intention is to negotiate a “hands off policy for currently accredited cow share operations” until pending court proceedings up to the last level have been completed with the help of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
For donations in support of your food rights please go to the following website: