by David Michael, BSc, MSc, PEng
“On this Independence Day we should be celebrating freedom and thankful for those who died, were injured and served in the military over the decades to keep the freedom we have. This is the thanks this 20-year military veteran has received from the Michigan state government and this is an example of those freedoms being lost.
Late last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) demanded the payment of $700,000 from a small farm family of ten and the destruction of 70 of their pigs at Baker’s Green Acres, operated by Mark and Jill Baker and their eight children. This action followed Mark Baker’s comments during testimony opposing a new rule at a state congressional hearing where he identified himself as owner of three hogs deemed illegal (because of their looks).
He understood the new rule, called an Invasive Species Order (ISO) to mean the state would threaten him with fines, criminal charges and a two-year prison term and an order to destroy his animals. Baker answered the ISO by filing a lawsuit against the state agency for the damages and their reckless behavior.
In the latest action on Thursday, June 27—legal papers sent to the court say the state demands $700,000 in fines and destruction of the farm animals—all based on how the pigs look. These actions are not just against Mark and Jill– it is also against their children and their animals, too. This is one of five lawsuits against MDNR and their new ISO (several more suits are pending.
The Baker’s small farm business has nearly been ruined and at jeopardy now are their pastured poultry and beef production for local families who want want farm fresh, healthy food. The Baker’s have set up an interent crowdfunding account through Pledgie to handle the donations (that are only trickling in as of now) to meet family needs, feed pigs and fix the tractor and for the small fees being charged by an independent attorney.
(Below you will be asked to pledge your support to help the Baker’s by donating to help win this case for all farmers nationwide)…”