Open season for regulators has dairy farmers afraid to come out of the barn

From Christopher Fisher, on Civil Eats:

“Amidst a spate of law enforcement raids and other regulatory actions taken by local, state, and federal officials against raw milk producers across the country, an alarmed group of small California dairy farmers and consumers have recently formed the Food Rights Coalition and begun to push state regulators and legislators to take action to help them. The coalition formed in response to at least a half dozen cease and desist orders issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) over the past year to  small dairy herdshares across the state.

At a Petaluma, California meeting last week, several local members of the group expressed concern for the loss of their livelihoods and the safety of their families, seeking the assistance of 6th District Assemblyman Jared Huffman to protect their milking rights.

Prior to meeting Huffman, Farmer J (who spoke during an interview on condition of anonymity) stated that the CDFA’s actions forced them to reach out to other herdshares, farmers, and advocates to begin organizing: “It was the fear of what they were doing and where that could be heading that led us to come together and try to protect ourselves and fight for our right to do what we’re doing–milking and caring for a few cows and sharing the milk with our co-owners.”

A herdshare is a private business arrangement whereby consumers purchase a piece, or share, of a cow, goat, or herd of the animals and contract with a farmer who is compensated for feeding, caring, and milking the animals, and bottling, storing, and distributing the milk. The details of the relationship between farmers and their herdshare co-owners may vary, but they generally feature the encouragement, sometimes requirement, that co-owners make some regular contribution to the animals’ care themselves.

Herdshares are often begun simply as a means of dealing with the volume of milk that can be produced by a lone family cow. One lactating cow can produce four gallons of milk per day—enough to create small-scale exchange of goods on a local level. According to Farmer “A”, who has a small Olema herdshare and also spoke on condition of anonymity, product transparency is key to a successful herdshare operation, and their co-owners are generally a passionate, well-educated bunch. “A lot of our members have developed a personal relationship with our cow…we’ve had quite a few people come out and really inspect the whole farm. It’s important to them to see how the cows are treated and they have a say in how we feed them. Good pasture-management techniques are a very big deal to them.”

“But,” she continued, the CDFA just doesn’t know how to deal with small dairy operations, treating one or two cow operations as if they’re far larger, industrialized businesses. “They only have these large dairy guidelines, so whether you have 200, 2,000, or one cow you’re the same in their eyes.”…”

Read it all on Civil Eats.


Filed under News

28 responses to “Open season for regulators has dairy farmers afraid to come out of the barn

  1. Kurtis

    I sincerely hope private agreement and rights of the individual win out here.

  2. James

    It makes be laugh how easy it was for Arnold Schwarzenegger to be elected to California, the 6th largest economy. By the way a state is a country (IE) The state of Israel, Vatican City and all the Several States. It’s just not talked about now after the civil war and D.C decides your school curriculum both public,private and home school. They also control the media through licensing, turning the right of the press in the first amendment into a privilege that government can pull anytime they want.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger was a Hitler youth and his father was a Nazi. America went to war with this clown and now he’s running California into bankruptcy. First under the 14th amendment this yoyo was in rebellion against the United States, yet he got elected to office and now people are saying he needs to be president.. Have people lost their minds! Is it possible that this clown is deliberately destroying California to get back at the country that destroyed his homeland? He claims to be a conservative but he married a liberal Kennedy. He is an actor and has played the part very well. Kinda reminds me of the presidential election were James Carville ran the demacrate election and his wife ran the the republican election.. Kinda makes you wonder… Clinton won that one..

  3. nedlud

    When I had very severe problems (up to and including destruction of personal property) with Organic Valley, everyone and I mean everyone worked to ensure that I was defeated in my complaints. This ‘defeat’ cost our family our entire herd of ‘organic certified cows’. We had milked a herd of 20 cows straight through for 28 years at the time, we had a sense of who we were and what we were doing and what was right. None of that mattered to the bureaucrats. We are now impoverished and have been dealt one cruelty after another. It is not easy when you are broke and need to somehow, carry on.

    When you attempt to defend yourself from bureaucracy you are doing it alone.

  4. I have run across a few very pertinent resources that shed light on the issues that are alive at the Bovine. Try these links if you have an inquisitive mind and as Henry David Thoreau said: “Strike at the Root”

    • rainhard pitschke

      Excellent material and resources Joe. It seems that until people here are totally convinced of the folly of giving jurisdiction to a military tribunal….and expecting their officers (lawyers) to protect them, rights and freedom remain theoretical at best. The fear of standing alone as a Sovereign and being declared ‘radical’ is greater than the fear of just being a rebellious ‘rule-breaker’ seeking fairer rules. Never mind the sensible goals Michael has outlined. Is ‘winning’ this issue going to change anything? No. It entrenches it more since ‘leave to appeal’ shows subservience to men who claim more power than God. Nedlud and James have outlined the entire agenda of the communist/Nazi dictatorship running the USSA. They won the war because they weren’t the powers or ideology funding it. We’re dealing with the 4th reich. More ruthless though. The camps are being staffed. Good positions still available.
      Happy Saturnalia all.

  5. rainhard thankyou… and police state 4 is a great movie for those that are still asleep.

    In many ways arguing about raw milk is a diversion and a waste of time especially if you put it into perspective that the world economic system is about to crash, the US is gearing up to start World War 3, and may other issues.

    If you are going to get involved in the raw milk issue at least do it from an Inalienable rights perspective so that once learned by the public – it also applies to most other issues in society and not just this one.

    • rainhard pitschke

      The people here represent the kind of lifestyle and spiritual values I share. We must prevail. Cowshare, foodshare, wholesome participatory education like the Waldorf school, Camphill communities are related here and all are being stripped of integrity and independence through government regulations. Once people connect and see that petitioning/voting/protesting/courts doesn’t work anymore, they realize that the servants have become the tyrants. Non-compliance is needed ‘en-masse’. This is peaceful and needs to be approached lawfully. Same with the highway robbers and their ‘ticketting’. Same with income tax.

      Yes, the situation is desparate, Joe. There’s really no time left. The next false flag attack whether nuclear, internet hacking, economic meltdown, alien attack or whatever will mean lockdown martial law and the end of sites like this. Most will then shut up. I’m in more danger than Michael since what I do can be considered ‘hate crime’, ‘homegrown terrorism’, ‘mental illness’ or ‘treason’. Michael is at least working within the system and is highly visible. I can be jailed, ‘accidented’ or ‘suicided’ easily. There’s no doubt in me I’m on ‘the list’. Pol Pot killed all intellectuals, artists, writers, teachers first…before he marched in. The farmers mostly complied.

  6. Peter

    I would suggest that it be properly understood that there is no neutral 3rd party to settle disputes between sovereigns. You can claim and be sovereign anytime you like. You can claim your inalienable rights where and whenever you like. To stand on them to the exclusion of a 3rd party is anarchism. Enforcement of rights is strictly your own, for there is no court/police to enforce your rights for you.
    And if you choose to respect the inalienable rights of others, you would respect their right to associate, and create their own “society”. There is no neutral 3rd party between yourself and this other “society”. And so this society lays claim to land which you thought was yours, you need to be able to defend it against their claim.
    In other words, you are in the right to play the sovereignty card. But then you have no standing to complain for want of a civil remedy, or a perceived trespass on your inalienable rights. Like I said before, that you have rights is completely useless unless they are enforced.
    Where are you guys going with this? Even if you convince 1 million or 10 million others of the fact that you are “right”… then what? They will invariably construct societies. These societies will invariably clash. A world without courts/civil discourse is merely a vacuum to be filled with more civil order. The only thing that will do away with that is the dissolution of the ego (which means no ownership / attachment to property or rights). Therefore, so long as you are talking about having rights, there is ego.
    I came from the very paradigm you guys are speaking of. None of what you are saying is a problem. Just challenging you to see/think things through to some point/goal.

    • rainhard pitschke

      THE GOAL:
      End fractional reserve banking. Dissolve all debt.
      End corporate ‘rights’ supplanting human ones….we and our children are the shareholders, not the companies or government.
      On the personal level….yes…end attachment to ‘me/mine’ if this means others do without.

      civil order third party intervention exists in jury trials not in military/corporate tribunals.

      • Peter

        Thank you for telling us what you don’t want (fractional banking, corporate rights, etc.). I would suggest it is impossible to manifest what is not wanted. I am of the view that thinking on what I don’t want does 2 things: It manifests/perpetuates it, and it leaves/puts me in a negative state/victim mentality. I would invite you to identify what it is that you want.

        Civil order third party intervention in jury trial still means subjecting yourself to whoever is making judgment over you. As such you are not sovereign. You cannot play “sovereign” and play “civil order” at the same time. They are juxtaposed.

      • rainhard pitschke

        @peter re: Thank you for telling us what you don’t want (fractional banking, corporate rights, etc.). I would suggest it is impossible to manifest what is not wanted. I am of the view that thinking on what I don’t want does 2 things: It manifests/perpetuates it, and it leaves/puts me in a negative state/victim mentality. I would invite you to identify what it is that you want.

        There is some truth in this “The Secret” manifestation arguement. But it doesn’t account for situations where the victim doesn’t even realize he’s a victim and must first stop the self-abuse. An alcoholic makes no progress without first stopping to pour the poison down his throat and putting all efforts into that and nothing more. We must stop pouring money that doesn’t exist down their throats and stop recognizing corporations as having authority over any but their employees. They don’t, for instance own forests and mines. They certainly don’t own the government who are our employees. That being said, I do have a ‘grand vision’ of all people being creditors not debtors.
        To answer the second part of your comment….I see no juxtaposition. If all are sovereign then this means the recognition of the same in others. If Honour is the fundamental principal, then of course an appeal is made to judge who has violated it and Sovereign carry the obligation and full liability to redress violations. You are making this distinction between public and private if there can be such a thing. It’s like all the folks who complain about ‘the traffic’ yet believe they are not ‘it’.

      • Peter

        @ rainhard
        The victim that doesn’t realize he/she is a victim has not yet, imo, become conscious of self. If contrast brings clarity, I am not sure why the answer is to stop feeding corporations money. I would suggest the answer is to bring conscious awareness to our own condition. Pointing the finger to anything but self (i.e. corporations) is, imo, what feeds the victim mentality. I suggest real progress is made when we reflect on self and simply expose what is. Fighting anything that is, is, imo, futile.
        Understanding comes through objective contemplation – not a subjective perspective.
        As such, I do not advocate fighting for freedom, fighting for raw milk, fighting governments, fighting inequality, fighting politicians, or the like. At this stage in my life, I advocate calling things out for what they are, and let the chips fall where they may.
        As for the second part, a sovereign only has God as his/her judge. A sovereign is free to attain counsel, but the subject of court proceedings he/she is not.
        A public is a group of people who hold a collective state of mind – a collective state of mind as subjects of a sovereign. You are free to negate the fact that 33 million people have a collective state of mind called Canadian. You are free to negate the existence of this corporate body politic. I get that it is a state of mind, and hence a fiction. But the fiction is real to those who hold it. By the principles of freedom, people are free to hold that mental position, and are free to discard that position. People have the right to associate, and not to associate. A contract is a fiction. So is a mental position. So what is real? You seem to suggest that you still “trade”, which inherently implies ownership, and conditional giving (duality). This is not a problem. You are welcome to perceive ownership. The reality is that it is a fiction / construct of the mind. And the entire civil administration of justice is based on the fiction called ownership. This includes ownership of one’s life, one’s property, one’s rights.
        You are free to negate the “reality” of private an public, or you can work with it. Either is fine. One invokes a space of understanding/co-operation, the other invokes fighting. Neither is right, neither is wrong, for such is, imo, also a fiction.

  7. I draw to your attention Peter to the fact that governments by genocide have murdered something like 200 million of their own citizens in the 20th century. Many times the number of people killed by so called criminals.

    This number does not even include the citizens killed by these countries starting wars.

    • Peter

      You may be right. In deed, you probably are. And then what? I fail to see the relevance of your point. What do you suggest is the answer to this “genocide”?

      • At the very least governments being the most dangerous things that any of us will encounter in our lives — we should come up with better ways to control them and in the mean time that we do the best with the tools that we have:

        Dave Champion is in the process of writing a constitution that will IMHO be much better in controlling government that any that I have seen.

        To be honest I don’t think a monopoly on power will ever work.

      • rainhard pitschke

        You admit this and still put genocide in quotation marks??!!! I suggest you go to your recruiting office for a gun and start killing us to remain being a complacent cog in this machinery.

      • Peter

        @ Rainhard
        Your comment is very telling, and sad. It comes off as a judgement. If I choose not to pick up arms, and/or aspire to perceive objectively, does that, in your eyes, make me complacent? And if so, where do you/I/we go from there? Like really… whatever gave you the impression I would be even remotely inclined to pick up arms against anyone, or endorse such? Please try to understand (and if not understand, accept) that just because I don’t concur with you does not put me on the other side of the fence. I am only trying to perceive objectively, and highlight the things that are in-congruent. There really is no need to make me your enemy.
        PS – For your consideration, some consider the pen mightier than the sword; some see that ideas are more powerful than weapons.
        PSS – I am not sure I admitted anything. It was not my intent to pass Joe’s determinations as necessarily being so.

      • BC Food Security

        Beautiful question Peter. Let me try and take a “stab” at that one (no pun intended !) . Do we fight fire with more fire ? Do we fight genocide with more genocide ? Some will say fight a fire with water ! Practically speaking , some teachers will say that you can’t do much about the aggressions of others but you can start now by rooting out the aggression in yourself . As Peter said instead of focussing on the genocide you don’t want what would happen if we all focussed on loving and serviceful acts that we and others can do in our local communities ? Some will say that is denial and others will say that is the ONLY way that counts !

  8. Peter picking up arms should be a wholly personal voluntary choice. The draft is often slavery, genocide, or murder disguised as something called “patriotism”.

    Good thoughts all but there are times that only force will suffice, and it must always be held in reserve.

  9. rainhard pitschke

    Well, peter, I’m using a pen and have never been violent physically my entire life. I’m not afraid of judgement though and using words to point out where inconsistencies invariably lead. In this case you see the statistics of ‘death by government’, ie genocide and continue to defend it’s practices of ‘regulation’. By paying for and submitting to these powers, one is actually pulling triggers of guns. I’m willing to continue dialogue and search for truth also. I see ever more clearly
    though that the seemingly sensible trusting nature of the vast majority of citizens is the mechanism exploited, appealed to and installed that works best to control.
    In the interest of surgically (with data and words) attempting to aid you in what you say is your goal…and I see as cognitive dissonance…I offer the complete files supporting Joe’s original refernce to Rummel’s book. I came across this years ago and made the effort to read much of them, because I truly didn’t want to believe it. I understand how much of a mental and emotional earthquake such understanding inflicts….and the responsability of ‘implication’…in action afterwards. The same terrifying shattering of trust comes after thorough, impartial investigation of 9/11 data. If one agrees with the genocide and 9/11 ‘inside job’ data, and continues to pay and support such ‘policy makers’…one is actually killing people….because, yes, words are more powerful than guns.

    • rainhard pitschke

      I addressed to the best of my ability the entire points made in your ‘@rainhard’. To pin you down and address your concerns, (”where do we go from here”), I suggest we at least agree that although we are not ‘enemies’ in any personal way, we are opponents in a debate…on the opposite sides of a very real fence. And…also partners in the quest for a prize we wish to share…greater understanding, love and tolerance. Agreement. a GATE IN THE FENCE OR IT’S REMOVAL. Please examine the ‘truth bomb’ I lobbed over, and dismantle it and the subsiduary 9/11 one. They are both nuclear ones. I don’t care to follow you around here for tiny skirmishes. I don’t believe you are sincere to me or yourself.

    • Peter

      Is it possible that there be a 3rd position? Not one on the opposite side of your fence, but one perceiving both sides at the same time? The the opposite sides of the fence might be called mental positions, and the parties hold a disposition that says “this is the way it should be”. A neutral party simply calls it for what it is, without suggesting how it should be. Such a position is not cognitive dissonance, for it does not create anxiety. In deed, the opposite.
      It has not been my attempt to “defend” regulations, but simply to offer reasoning. My challenges or critique are not from the space of how things should be (i.e. not from the other side of the fence). I believe you have presumed my comments to be “opposite” your position, and hence supporting status quo. And if that is your perspective, I would suggest you couldn’t be more mistaken.
      I get the inconvenience of truth. I get how it makes people uncomfortable. I get the “9/11” data, and the genocide data. But then what? We can complain (emotion/victim) about the way things are, we can call things out for what they are (matter of fact / non attachment), and then create what we want (peace / prosperity / well being).
      I would suggest that, if in fact you hold freedom as a virtue, you would lead by example and allow other sovereigns to live free also, including their aspiration to lording over “their” public.
      Am I a complacent cog in the wheel, as you so stated? Your prerogative, I suppose, to cast judgement as you deem fit. But I would like to suggest such conduct props up one’s perspective, and is the stage for animosity/antagonism/fighting, and the like. And if fighting is what you want, I would suggest fighting is what you’ll have.

  10. rainhard pitschke

    Very true peter. But you’ve admitted your helplessness and complacency now and only see complaining as a solution you won’t participate in to inform others. Protesting is not complaining. Non-compliance is what I advocate. At the same time I try to build new ways of economic well-being in all my relations. For instance instead of trading dollars, I trade services for rent. I live very simply and have the tiniest of footprint. I share and give freely any ‘extra’.
    In any case, this blog is a court and the jury reads and silently (in general) makes judgement. This is why I speak here and is more important to me than you. If I come across as ‘colourful’, antagonistic, or whatever….to you…’s intentional to give a ‘picture’…which is a ‘something’ not a misty atmospheric grey blob, but elements in contrast…at the very least a subject and ‘backgound’ in CONTRAST. I am fully trained as an artist and in the field of Gestalt therapy. In gestalt thinking, this discussion is the ‘figure’ which arises in greater definition against the backgound of milk/law. It subsides if and when our colours blend. They don’t have to. You can call me the ‘dark’ parts if you like. I’m not a dualist though and agree that harmony requires three factors, awareness being the ‘holy ghost’.

    • Peter

      Thank you for your commentary. Appreciated.
      If I may, for my benefit, I would be blessed if you would help me to see something, which is at present cloudy. I did not realize I admitted helplessness and complacency, or that I only see complaining as a solution I won’t participate in. Your insight / feedback would be appreciated.

  11. rainhard pitschke

    “I get the inconvenience of truth. I get how it makes people uncomfortable. I get the “9/11″ data, and the genocide data. ”
    Uncomfortable ??? Inconvenient??? Excuse me but if this isn’t shrugging shoulders and a nodding off morally, then O J Simpson isn’t a murderer, but was rightfully convicted civily of ‘wrongful death’….and that’s just fine and dandy. Since you also say ‘it makes people’…you distance yourself from your feelings, this arguement, and objectify what are the major horrors of this or any century. The ‘it’ are hundreds of millions of corpses. Part of the billions more coming now from this same process. Their souls cry louder than your feeble plea for ‘mental neutrality’…as in…”The the opposite sides of the fence might be called mental positions, and the parties hold a disposition that says “this is the way it should
    be”. A neutral party simply calls it for what it is, without suggesting how it should be. Such a position is not cognitive dissonance, for it does not create anxiety. In deed, the opposite.”
    Your emotional disconnect in service of ‘anti-anxiety’ should be taught to heroin addicts.

    • Peter

      Thank you for your commentary. I don’t know if I should take your commentary at face value / a reflection of your actual perspective, or if they are an attempt at applying Gestalt therapy. No offense intended, just curious.
      I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m going to call things out as I see them. If that serves, or resonates with you, bless. If not, no offense taken, nor intended.
      I personally see no value in getting worked up about the loss of past life. That does not mean their loss isn’t sad. I personally don’t see past lives as souls continuing on in anguish. I see the value in empathy for those who survive. But I see no value in placing attachment to past events. They are facts (events in the past) that facilitate appreciation of truth (independent of time).
      In my estimation (not intended as judgement, just observation), your comments are rife with edification that you are perceiving with a subjective perspective. And I’m not making it wrong. It just is what it is. And the subjective perspective is very good at making something else (i.e. me/my perspective) wrong (duality/fighting). You seem to imply that I “should” be something other than I am (i.e. hold certain other moral values / feel what you feel, perhaps more in line with you/yours?). Please correct me if that is not the case.
      As a point for consideration, the simple administration of justice operates independent of emotion, be that natural justice or man’s form of justice. If you jump off a cliff, no matter your subjective perspective, nature will administer objectively. In the same way, the seat of a judge is unemotional. It is simply an administration of facts and law, not emotion (exception – emotion might be considered in the sentencing stage, and may come into play in the determination of facts). A good judge is not emotionally charged. It is why a jury is not charged with the function of determining law, but merely the facts, because the perspective of the majority is emotionally charged.
      Politics is largely inclusive of emotional whim. Most everybody has an opinion of how things should be… The inherent evidence of a subjective perspective.

  12. rainhard pitschke

    Dear peter; I look over our discussion and see the open questioning and sincerity of doubt you have presented…and the hammering in of my ‘points’. I am now ashamed and feel I’ve caused hurt. I know that when pointing a finger, three point back. Much of my harshness ‘in service of truth’ is ego and lashing out…and I suffer from my own judgement of failings and helplessness, complacency….etc.
    I’m sorry and offer goodwill and thanks for your patience.

    • Peter

      Thanks you. Absolutely no hard feelings or offense taken on my part… at any point. If our exchanged has provided opportunity for reflection and personal growth, I consider it gain. THANK YOU for participating in the exchange. I have been blessed with your candor. Blessings, and Happy New Year!

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