“Mary and Bart Hill own M & B Fairview Farm in Hamburg, PA. For the last five years, they have provided delicious, nutritious raw milk from their gentle, friendly Jerseys and Milking Devons and subsequent crosses, as well as from their herd of a variety of breeds of dairy goats. I can personally attest to their goat’s milk being the best I have ever tasted; fresh, creamy and sweet without that typical “gamey” flavor commonly associated with goat’s milk.
They also provide grass-fed and pastured meats of beef as well as goat and chicken, along with truly pastured eggs. In fact, if you wanted to buy a live chicken from them, the website advises that you set an appointment and give plenty of warning so that they have time to go out and catch one of their free-ranging birds. Local upscale restaurants carry their meats and dairy, and they are a staple at many farm markets around the region.
But all of that changed over night for them recently during some heavy rains that hit our area. State inspectors came out during the worst of the flooding, and cited them for all of the mud and dirt. During a FLOOD! They also inspected the milking barn while they were milking, and cited them, claiming it was dirty. While there were cows there. Being milked. Doing what cows do.
The inspectors went on to insist that the free range chickens could no longer free range and must be penned. They were also denied the ability to use the brand new, processing plant they built on the property for making cheeses; a processing plant they built to the specifications and approval of the Agricultural Department.
Prior to this, for the last five years, only one inspector has come out for the scheduled inspections every few months and never found anything wrong. Now all of a sudden, two inspectors are coming out on a frequent basis, and things that were never an issue before are suddenly an issue. They have been given until January to make thousands of dollars worth of changes and upgrades. The inspectors are claiming that theses changes have always needed to be made, but this is the first they have ever brought them up to Mary and Bart, and they have given them little time or opportunity to do it, or make arrangements to accomplish it. They tried hiring a lawyer, only to find things got worse for them.
Because they have been given precious little recourse or time, Mary and Bart are now being forced to sell off their beloved herds of milk cows and dairy goats; animals who have been pampered, loved and hand raised with no antibiotics, chemicals, or hormones, and who have tested again and again to be clean, healthy and completely disease free….”